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Treasurer Cowell Announces Fiscal Year Pension Fund Returns

Raleigh, N.C. - State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that North Carolina’s pension fund returned 2.3 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Pension fund assets were valued at $89.575 billion as of June 30, 2015. The pension plan returned 9.5 percent over last 5 years; well in excess of the 7.25 percent long-term actuarial assumed rate of return.
“During a particularly volatile year, the North Carolina pension fund weathered the markets and ended in solid shape,” Treasurer Cowell said. “Our investments outside of stocks and bonds helped provide a strong buffer.”
The total pension plan rose 2.3 percent for the fiscal year and 0.3 percent for the second quarter of 2015. Public equity (stocks), which comprises 44 percent of the fund, showed gains during the fiscal year of 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent for the quarter. Investment-grade fixed income (bonds), which makes up 28 percent of the fund, rose 2.1 percent for the fiscal year, but was down 2.4 percent for the quarter.
Returns outside of stocks and bonds were generally strong for the year and provided diversification. Non-core real estate rose 19.6 percent for the year and 6.4 percent for the quarter. Private equity rose 9.6 percent for the year and 3.7 percent for the quarter. Core real estate was up 7.0 percent for the year and 0.6 percent for the quarter. However, due to sharply lower energy and other commodity prices, the inflation sensitive portfolio was down 8.0 percent for the year and up 1.2 percent for the quarter.
See the full returns here.  All returns are net of fees.  
The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is the tenth largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visit