NC pension fund gains nearly 16 percent for the year

Led by strong gains in its stock portfolio, investments by North Carolina’s pension fund posted a 15.88 percent return for the fiscal year that ended in June – more than double the fund’s target.

The gains helped boost the pension fund’s assets past the $90 billion milestone for the first time. Assets totaled $90.14 billion as of June 30.

“The N.C. pension fund is strong and well-positioned for the long-term,” state Treasurer Janet Cowell, who is in charge of the pension fund’s investments, said in a statement. “Our strategic, incremental diversification efforts are showing results.”

The pension fund provides retirement benefits for more than 900,000 workers, including teachers, state employees, firefighters and police officers.

Stock investments, which accounted for 46.84 percent of the portfolio, generated a 24.66 percent return over the past 12 months. Returns are calculated after deducting fees paid to money managers hired by the state.

Fixed-income investments, which account for 30.41 percent for the portfolio, reaped a 6.04 percent return over the past 12 months.

Other 12-month returns for the portfolio include real estate, 12.03 percent, and alternative investments such as hedge funds, 17.41 percent.

In the quarter that ended in June, the fund’s investments produced a 3.87 percent return.