US - The 100 largest US public pension funds saw their assets rise 6.8% for the 12 months to June, the first fiscal-year gain since 2007, research shows.
The Census Bureau report said the state and local government funds held $2.35trn as of June 30, up from $2.2trn a year earlier. This is still below their 2007 peak of $2.93trn, it added.
However, the funds lost a total of $58.6bn on their investments during the second quarter, the most since the final three months of 2008.
Domestic corporate stocks put in the poorest performance of all asset classes during the quarter, losing 13.6% from the prior three months, according to the report. Mortgages, which gained 5.5%, and federal government securities, up 1.7%, were the only asset classes to post gains.
US stocks were the largest holdings among the funds, composing about 31% of assets.
Benefits paid from the funds, which account for about 89% of financial activity among all public schemes, reached about $176bn, a 7.8% increase from a year earlier.
This was partly due to the merger of the Denver Public Schools Retirement System with the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association. The latter was one of the 100 systems in the panel, while the Denver fund was not. As a result, the merger greatly increased the total government contributions for the first quarter of 2010.
The findings follow a report earlier this week which warned six major US public funds had enough assets to pay benefits for the next 10 years only. (Global Pensions: 13 October 2010)
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