US - The New York State Common Retirement Fund increased by US$13.7bn in the last year according to a speech by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
DiNapoli announced the fund returned 12.6% for the fiscal year ending March 31 2007, outperforming its benchmark of 8.0%.
He said the returns generated $6.4bn of added value and the fund’s results were in the top 10th percentile of public funds in the Wilshire’s Trust Universe Comparison Service (TUCS) benchmark.
The Fund assets have grown to $154.4bn from the 2006 fiscal year end assets of $140.7bn and DiNapoli notes that the fund has the lowest risk return among public pension funds in the TUCS.
DiNapoli said: “Last year the fund paid out more than $6.6bn in benefits, and the assets still grew by nearly $14bn. There was a two month lag in investment decisions created by the Comptroller vacancy, but we were able to rebalance the portfolio and drive returns in an uncertain market.
“The Fund has outperformed virtually every benchmark, and our prudent investment strategy continues to produce returns and keep the fund secure. Public employees and retirees should know this: their pensions are safe and secure. The Common Retirement fund is sound and strong,” said DiNapoli.
Investment returns for the fund included 31.7% return from its real estate portfolio and 22.71% return from private equity in its alternatives portfolio.
In addition DiNapoli stressed hundreds of thousands of state employees had gotten paid every two weeks and unclaimed funds had been processed and the rightful owners received their money.
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.