The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, earned 14.3 percent so far in the fiscal year ending June 30 as global stocks soared to record highs.
The earnings, announced by Theodore Eliopoulos, the senior investment officer for real assets, means the $261.6 billion fund is set to beat its assumed rate of return of 7.5 percent for a second consecutive year. It gained 13.3 percent last year.
The 14.3 percent “reflects very strong performance of public equity over the last 10 months,” Eliopoulos said today at the fund’s board meeting in Sacramento. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) of U.S. stocks gained about 20.5 percent since July 2.
Calpers, as the pension is known, in May passed its pre-recession high of $260.6 billion, five years after the global financial crisis wiped out more than a third of its wealth. Local and state government have been forced to help make up the loss in order to cover pension benefits promised to public employees.
Calpers, fully funded when the recession began in December 2007, has about 74 percent of the money it needs to meet its long-term commitments.
Eliopoulos, 49, has taken over the day-to-day investment operations from Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear, 62, who is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, the fund said June 14.
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