The state pension fund ended the 2011-12 fiscal year March 31 with a return of 5.96 percent, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced this afternoon. The value as of that time was $150.3 billion.
“It represents the highest level that the funds have been valued at since the market meltdown of 2008-09,” the comptroller told reporters during a conference call.
This is the third consecutive year the public pension fund, the third largest in the country, has posted positive returns, DiNapoli said.
The fund serves state and local government employees, retirees and beneficiaries. More than 3,000 state and local-government employers participate in the system, which paid out $8.46 billion in benefits in the 2010-11 fiscal year. The average employer contribution rate in the current fiscal year is 18.9 percent of payroll.
“I think it’s good news that in this volatile … investment market that we continue to post positive and strong returns,” he said.
The Common Retirement Fund’s diversified investments “coupled with a long term view have helped us weather these large strings,” the comptroller said in a statement. The fund provides retirement security to more than a million New Yorkers, he said.
In the last 20 years, 82 percent of retirement benefits have been funded by investment returns. It is one of the highest funded plans in the coutnry, according to the Pew Center on the States.
These are the return rates for individual funds:
— Domestic equities, 6.9 percent (38 percent of the fund’s total investment)
— Fixed income, 9 percent (27.5 percent of the fund)
— Non-U.S. equities, 6.4 percent (13.6 percent of the fund)
— Private equity, 8.3 percent (9.6 percent of the fund)
— Real estate, 17.6 percent (6.1 percent of the fund)
— Global equities, 0.5 percnet (2.9 percent of the fund)
— Absolute return strategies, 2.4 percent (2 percent of the fund)
— Opportunistic alternatives, 1.2 percent (0.3 percent of the fund)\