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June 1, 2010

DiNapoli: Pension Fund Posts 26% Return, Grows To $132.6 Billion

The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) posted a 25.9 percent rate of return for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, driving the value of Fund assets to approximately $132.6 billion, according to a preliminary estimate New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released today. The Fund paid out roughly $7.6 billion in benefits during the fiscal year.

“The Fund remains one of the strongest in the U.S.,” DiNapoli said. “We’ve come through one of the toughest recessions in modern times, and now the Fund is well positioned to benefit from the national economic recovery we hope is taking hold. We’re not all the way back yet, and as we’ve seen in recent weeks, there are still challenges in the marketplace. But our foundation is strong. We’re moving in the right direction.”

In a recovery year marked with pockets of volatility, the Fund followed a negative performance year (-26.3 percent) by posting its third best performance numbers in the past 20 years, trailing only 1998 (30.4 percent) and 2004 (28.8 percent). DiNapoli attributed Fund performance to the strength of the domestic and international public equities markets.

The Fund’s domestic and international public equities portfolios posted one-year returns of 51.7 percent and 51.75 percent, respectively. During the same-period, the DJIA, S&P 500, and Nasdaq stock indexes posted increases of 40 percent, 45 percent, and 55 percent, respectively.

Public equities were supported with solid numbers in fixed income, 7.4 percent (core) and 5 percent (TIPS); the private equity portfolio, 11.6 percent; and, the absolute return strategies portfolio, 14.94 percent. The real estate portfolio posted a negative 27.8 percent rate of return.

DiNapoli noted that earlier this year, the independent Pew Report found that New York has the strongest public pension fund in the nation.

The Fund provides benefits to more than one million state and local government employees, retirees and beneficiaries.


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