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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: 33.55 Percent Annual Investment Return for New York State Pension Fund Is Largest in Its History

Annual Return Raises Fund’s Estimated Value to $254.8 Billion

May 26, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (Fund) estimated overall investment return was 33.55 percent for the state fiscal year (SFY) that ended March 31, 2021, reflecting the financial markets’ dramatic rebound from lows reached during the COVID-19 pandemic. The return on investments increased the Fund’s value to an estimated $254.8 billion.

“The state pension fund rode the market rebound from the depths of the pandemic and enjoyed the largest one-year investment return in its history,” DiNapoli said. “This outsized return reinforces the Fund’s position as one of the strongest in the nation, but it comes with a caution. Markets remain volatile and as unpredictable as ever. With our talented investment staff, I will continue to manage our state’s pension fund with prudence and a focus on stable, long-term results that ensure continued retirement security for our members for generations to come.”

The Fund's value reflects retirement and death benefits of $13.66 billion paid out during the fiscal year.

Employer contribution rates are determined by investment results over a multi-year period along with numerous other actuarial assumptions, including wage growth, inflation, age of retirement and mortality. Contribution rates are determined based on recommendations from the Retirement System’s Actuary in September. Integral to the Fund’s strength have been the state and local governments, which consistently pay their contributions in good times and bad.

As of March 31, 2021, the Fund had 52.82 percent of its assets invested in publicly traded equities. The remaining Fund assets by allocation are invested in cash, bonds, and mortgages (23.14 percent), private equity (10.57 percent), real estate and real assets (8.24 percent) and credit, absolute return strategies and opportunistic alternatives (5.23 percent).

The Fund’s long-term expected rate of return is 6.8 percent.

Pension fund returns 2021

Historic Fund Returns and Value
Fund’s value and rate of return in prior years

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund's fiscal year ends March 31.