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February 19, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
Treasurer Cowell Reports End of Year Pension Fund Returns
Pension Assets Increased to Pre-Recession Levels

RALEIGH, NC – State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, the North Carolina pension fund returned 11.84 percent. The fund returned 1.89 percent for the last quarter of 2012. Pension fund assets are valued at $78.1 billion, an increase from the $77.1 billion reported at the end of the third quarter.

“I am pleased to report that the total market value of our pension fund is over $78 billion, back to where it was prior to the recession,” said Treasurer Cowell. “The biggest challenge we face moving forward is reallocating our portfolio away from low-interest bonds to take advantage of more attractive investments as the economy continues to recover.”

The pension fund’s global equity (stock) portfolio gained 17.59 percent for the year with a 3.40 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2012. The fixed income (bond) portfolio returned 7.29 percent for the year, but was up just 0.48 percent for the fourth quarter.

The strong pension returns were driven primarily by public equity performance, but other assets also contributed to the gains. For example, the $3.2 billion credit portfolio, which was created three years ago, returned 13.95 percent for the year.

Real estate earned 8.88 percent and the alternatives portfolio, composed mostly of private equity, gained 5.51 percent for the year, while the inflation portfolio returned 1.0 percent.

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View the Year End Performance Report
 
The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is the eleventh largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 875,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers. For more information, visitwww.nctreasurer.com.