NC pension fund investments rise 1.8 percent in Q4

The North Carolina pension fund reported a 1.8 percent gain on investments in the fourth quarter, which was just enough for the fund to eke out a positive return for the year as well.

For all of 2015 the pension fund reported a return of three-tenths of one percent, the state Treasurer’s office reported Wednesday. Over the past five years, pension fund investments have posted a 6.4 percent annual gain.

Returns are calculated after deducting investment fees.

The stock portfolio, which accounts for 43 percent of the fund, rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter. Investment-grade bonds, which make up 28 percent of the investment portfolio, fell four-tenths of one percent in the quarter.

Private equity investments fell 1.2 percent in the quarter. Non-core real estate investments rose 1.7 percent, while core real estate rose 2.5 percent.

Total assets for the pension fund, which provides retirement benefits for teachers and state employees, were valued at $86.57 billion at the end of the year. Assets were valued at $85.51 billion at the end of the third quarter.

For the full year, the fund’s stock portfolio fell 1.3 percent and investment-grade bonds rose three-tenths of one percent. Private equity rose 9.2 percent, non-core real estate rose 14.8 percent and core real estate rose 8.3 percent.

The pension fund has posted positive returns on investments every year since 2008, when the value of its investment portfolio fell 19.72 percent.