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For Immediate Release

February 3, 2012

Treasurer Cowell Reports End of Year Pension Fund Reports

RALEIGH – State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that the North Carolina pension fund returned 2.12 percent for the year ending December 31, 2011 and 3.82 percent for the last quarter of 2011. Pension fund assets are valued at $71.8 billion, an increase from the $69.6 billion reported at the end of the third quarter.

“Though markets ended the year on a positive note in the fourth quarter, 2011 was highly volatile overall,” Cowell said. “The investments staff has navigated the markets well, achieving positive returns in fixed income, real estate, and other asset classes. For the year, however, the fund was not able to overcome rough stock market performance brought on by conflicts in the Middle East, the debt crisis in Europe, and the first ever downgrade of sovereign debt in United States history.”

The fixed income (bond) portfolio returned 10.82 percent for the year and 1.77 percent for the quarter. The public equity (stock) portfolio, down 6.99 percent for the year as a result of economic weakness worldwide, returned 7.62 percent for the quarter.
Real estate, another strong performer in 2011, saw gains of 12.25 percent for the year and 0.48 percent for the quarter. The alternatives portfolio, composed mostly of private equity, returned 11.85 percent for the year despite a decline of 0.23 percent for the quarter.

The credit portfolio saw modest gains of 2.22 percent for the year but declined 1.4 percent for the quarter, while the inflation portfolio declined by 5.54 percent for the year but returned 0.29 percent for the quarter. The credit and inflation portfolios represent 3.97 percent and 3.08 percent of the total portfolio, respectively.

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View Fourth Quarter Performance Report

The North Carolina Retirement Systems, the formal name for the pension fund, is now the eleventh largest public pension fund in the country. It provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 850,000 North Carolinians, including teachers, state employees, firefighters, police officers, and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com.​