US - The five primary New York City employee pension funds have posted annualised returns of 9.9% for the ten-year period ending June 30, 2004 and a combined return of 16.4% during fiscal year 2004, according to the New York City comptroller's annual financial report.
The funds – New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), the New York City Police Pension Fund, the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) – have collective holdings of US$83bn.
Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr (pictured) is the custodian and investment adviser to the Boards of the five funds.
“Due to the long term nature of their liabilities, the funds’ assets are invested with a long term investment horizon,” the annual report for fiscal year 2004 stated.
“Investments in assets that are expected to produce higher returns are also subject to greater volatility – ie large deviations from average returns – in the short run.”
The report said during fiscal year 2004, the Russell 3000 Index – a broad measure of the US stock market – returned 20.5%. The MSCI Europe, Australia and Far East (EAFE) index, the most common measure of performance in developed international equity markets, returned 32.4% and less developed international equity markets increased 33.5%.
“The returns of the funds have been consistent with broad market trends,” the report stated.
“The one year median public fund return was 16.2%. For the three year period ending June 30, 2004 the combined return for the funds was 3.5% and for the five year period it was 2.1%.”
The funds’ current asset allocation stands at 53% US equity, 27% US fixed income, 17% international equity, 2% REITs/private equity and 1% cash.
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