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New York City Reports Pension CAFR Despite Sandy

*NYCRS trails 2011 return by 21.86%*

With New York City still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy, somewhat positive light surfaced Wednesday for the pension portfolio advised by the Office of Comptroller John Liu, new documents show.

According to the Oct. 31-issued Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), as required by the City Charter, the five fiduciary funds reported a 1.37% for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Previously, in 2011, the pensions reported a 23.23% return.

“We are pleased to present the city’s financial report on time, notwithstanding Hurricane Sandy,” Liu said in the Wednesday announcement.

Collectively, the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York (TRS), the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the New York City Police Pension Fund (Police), the New York City Fire Pension Fund (Fire), and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) had about $122.1 billion in aggregate of investment assets.

This represents “an increase of $2.1 billion from the June 30, 2011 value of $119.9 billion, according to commentary provided by City Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management.

As of June 30, the City funds reported a collective 39% allocation to U.S. equity, 30.4% to fixed-income, 16.2% to international equity, 7% to private equity, 3% to private real estate, 2.9% to cash and 1.4% to hedge funds.

In terms of returns, positive returns were seen with private real estate’s 12.9% return, fixed-income’s 7.19% return, private equity’s 6.4% posting, and U.S. equity’s 3.84% investment reporting, the CAFR stated.

Negative postings were seen with international equity’s –13.57% and the –2.35% return reported for hedge funds.

Additionally, the more than $1.25 billion commitment to Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs), which were coined in the report as “prudent investments that provide risk-adjusted market rates-of-return to the City pension funds,” posted a 6.31% return for the 10-year period that ended in June.

For liabilities, the CAFR further explained that City retirement funds owe about $17.4 billion. Over the course of 2012, despite paying out $11.5 billion in benefits that “were funded from the sale of investments,” contributions reached just over $10 billion.

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