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Treasurer Cowell Reports Fourth Quarter Pension Fund Returns
Raleigh, N.C. – The Department of State Treasurer reported that for the fourth quarter of 2015 ending December 31, 2015, the retirement plans it manages, known collectively as the state pension fund, returned a gain of 1.8 percent. Over the last 12 months, the fund returned three tenths of one percent. Pension fund assets were valued at $86.57 billion. The pension plan returned a gain of 6.4 percent annualized over the last 5 years.
“The state pension fund closed out a volatile year on strong footing,” State Treasurer Janet Cowell said. “The next few years are likely to be challenging as well, but our diversified long-range strategy should keep us one of the most solid pensions in the nation focused on providing retiree benefits for the long term.”
Public equity (stocks), which comprises 43 percent of the fund, fell 1.3 percent for the year and gained 5.0 percent for the quarter. Investment-grade fixed income (bonds), which makes up 28 percent of the fund, rose three tenths of one percent for the year and fell four tenths of one percent for the quarter.
Returns outside of stocks and bonds provided diversification in line with the Department’s investment policy. Non-core real estate rose 14.8 percent for the year and 1.7 percent for the quarter. Private equity rose 9.2 percent for the year and fell 1.2 percent for the quarter. Core real estate was up 8.3 percent for the year and 2.5 percent for the quarter. Opportunistic fixed income fell 2.6 percent for the year and 2.0 percent for the quarter.  Inflation sensitive fell 9.1 percent for the year and 2.8 percent for the quarter.  Multi-strategy gained 0.9 percent for the year and 4.3 percent for the quarter.
See the report for a full reporting of all asset classes.
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