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Treasurer Cowell Reports First Quarter Pension Fund Returns

RALEIGH, N.C. – State Treasurer Janet Cowell reported today that for the first quarter of 2015 ending March 31, 2015, the North Carolina pension fund returned 2.0 percent. Over the last 12 months, the fund has returned 5.9 percent. Pension fund assets are valued at $89.95 billion, an increase from the $88.8 billion reported at the end of calendar year 2014.

“Over the long term, the state retirement fund is in solid shape,” Cowell said. “In the short term, there are challenges as growth slows. Continuing to diversify our investments should serve us well even in slow-growth or volatile environments.”

A few highlights: the pension fund’s public equity (stock) portfolio, which is valued at $40 billion and comprises 44 percent of the fund, gained 2.8 percent for the quarter. Investment grade fixed income, which is valued at $26 billion and comprises 29 percent of the fund, gained 1.8 percent for the quarter. Non-core real estate gained 3.0 percent for the quarter, while core real estate gained 2.5 percent for the quarter. Inflation sensitive investments declined 1.4 percent for the quarter.  Private equity gained 2.6 percent for the quarter.

The pension fund’s actuarial assumed rate of return is 7.25 percent. Over the last 12 months, the fund has returned 5.9 percent. Over five years, the fund has returned 8.5 percent.
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