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May 23, 2012

 

DiNapoli: State Pension Fund Posts Strong Gain

Valued at $150.3 Billion, Diversification Helped Fund Weather Market Fluctuations

Despite a volatile year in the financial markets, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) earned an estimated 5.96 percent rate of return for the state's 2011-2012 fiscal year, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. The estimated value of the Fund is $150.3 billion, the highest since the global economic meltdown in state fiscal year 2008-2009.

"The financial markets took investors on an up and down ride last year, but the New York State Common Retirement Fund's diversified investment portfolio coupled with a long term view have helped us weather these large swings," DiNapoli said. "Over the last three years, the Fund has experienced strong gains during a period of economic instability. We remain one of strongest pension funds in the country, providing retirement security to more than one million New Yorkers."

Returns for the Fund's asset classes were:

  • Domestic Equities returned 6.9 percent (at 38 percent of the Fund's total investments)
  • Fixed Income returned 9.0 percent (at 27.5 percent of the Fund)
  • Non-US Equities returned -6.4 percent (at 13.6 percent of the Fund)
  • Private Equity returned 8.3 percent (at 9.6 percent of the Fund)
  • Real Estate returned 17.6 percent (at 6.1 percent of the Fund)
  • Global Equities returned -0.5 percent (at 2.9 percent of the Fund)
  • Absolute Return Strategies returned -2.4 percent (at 2 percent of the Fund)
  • Opportunistic Alternatives returned 1.2 percent (at 0.3 percent of the Fund)

The Fund, the third-largest public pension fund in the nation, remains among the highest funded plans in the country according to the Pew Center on the States. In September 2010, the Fund lowered its assumed long-term investment rate of return from 8 to 7.5 percent.

The New York State and Local Retirement System provides benefits to state and local government employees, retirees and beneficiaries. Over the last 20 years, 82 percent of the costs of benefits have been funded from investment returns.


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