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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


DiNapoli: State Pension Fund Value $192 Billion

Earns 11.42 Percent Return on Investments in State Fiscal Year 2017

May 23, 2017

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) earned an estimated 11.42 percent return on investments in the state fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2017. The Fund has an estimated value of $192 billion.

“Strong returns over the fiscal year, particularly in the fourth quarter, were driven by rising public equity markets,” DiNapoli said. “New York state’s pension fund is at a record value based on prudent long term asset allocation. We continue to manage one of best funded, best performing pension plans in the nation and that’s great news for the more than one million men and women who participate in it, as well as for New York taxpayers.”

Over state fiscal year 2017, domestic and non-U.S. equities enjoyed overall returns of 17.01 percent. The Fund’s broader approach to fixed income markets over the last year returned 2.91 percent. The Fund’s diversification strategy performed well, with private equity and real estate delivering returns of 7.02 percent and 10.68 percent. 

The Fund is the third-largest public pension fund in the country and remains one of the nation’s best-managed and best-funded pension plans. The New York State and Local Retirement System provides retirement security to more than one million active state and local government employees, retirees and their beneficiaries. Employer contribution rates are determined by investment results over a multi-year period along with numerous other actuarial assumptions, including wage growth, inflation, age of retirement and mortality. The Fund’s long-term expected rate of return is 7 percent.

In April, the Pew Charitable Trusts ranked New York’s pension system as the third best funded retirement system in the nation.

Returns in recent years have resulted in reductions in employer contributions in fiscal years 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 and allowed them to remain stable in 2017-2018.

Returns for the Fund's Asset Classes (as of March 31, 2017)
  Percent Returned Percentage of Fund's Total Investments
Domestic Equities 17.73% 36.8%
Core Fixed Income 2.49% 18.1%
Non-US Equities 15.15% 14.3%
Private Equity 7.02% 7.7%
Real Estate 10.68% 6.6%
Global Equities 17.04% 4.6%
TIPS* 1.31% 4.3%
Absolute Return Strategies 7.24% 2.9%
Cash 1.58% 1.8%
Non-Core Fixed Income** 11.43% 1.7%
Opportunistic Alternatives 4.76% 1.0%
Real Assets** 11.63% 0.2%

*Returns are estimated, pending audited data available later this year
**Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities