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New York pension fund reaches $183.5 billion in latest fiscal year, reports 7 percent return

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ALBANY, New York — The New York pension fund for state and local government workers has risen to a record $183.5 billion following an investment return of 7.16 percent last year, the state comptroller reported Friday.

The third-largest pension fund in the country, which lost $44 billion in the national recession, dropping to $110 billion, has risen 57 percent since.

"We achieved a solid return on investment in the midst of global volatility," Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the fund trustee, said about the fiscal year that ended in March. He credited the fund's investment staff and its diversified asset allocation.

About 37 percent of the fund is invested in domestic stocks, returning 11.6 percent last year. Its core fixed income investments, more than 22 percent of holdings, returned 5.5 percent.

It had more than 11 percent invested in foreign stocks, which lost 0.5 percent, 7.5 percent in private equity that returned more than 9 percent and more than 6 percent in real estate, returning more than 10 percent.

An additional 15 percent of the fund is spread among other investments.

The Common Retirement Fund has about 645,000 government employees in the system and pays benefits to some 425,000 retirees and beneficiaries.

The contribution rates paid by state and local governments for their employees' pension costs have declined in the new year that began in April to 18.2 percent of salary for most public workers and 24.7 percent for police and firefighters.

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