Statement from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Regarding Financial Market Impact on the Common Retirement Fund
“Despite recent developments in the financial markets, the New York State Common Retirement Fund remains strong and benefits are secure.
Relative to its size, the Fund has small investment exposure in many of the financial institutions that have made recent headlines. We, along with many other investors, will experience losses, but those losses must be put in the context of the overall Fund. The five million shares of Common Stock in Lehman Brothers the Fund held as of yesterday represent a fraction of one percent of the total Fund.
We don’t place all of our investment eggs in one basket. The Fund is well-diversified across multiple asset classes, investment types, markets and industries. This diversification has served us well. During the market downturn from 2000 – 2003, although the Fund lost $31 billion in value, our diversified approach enabled us to recover in less than two years, and retirement benefits were never in jeopardy.
Unlike many other pension funds across the country, our Fund continues to be fully funded. We can meet our obligations to our members, beneficiaries and retirees today, tomorrow and well into the future.
The trouble on Wall Street is obviously very disturbing. But the million members of the New York State Common Retirement Fund can rest assured. Their pension fund is safe, and their benefits are secure.”