New Hampshire Retirement System Grows to $8.87 Billion

Fund has beaten up to 90% of its peers over the past quarter-century.

The New Hampshire Retirement System’s net assets stood at $8.87 billion following an 8.9% investment return in fiscal 2018, the organization reports.

The fund beat its 7.8% benchmark and its 7.25% assumed rate of return thanks to its positive performance in the period ended June 30. Its three-, five-, 10-, 20-, and 25-year returns were 7.7%, 8.7%, 7.1%, 6.4%, and 8.0%, respectively.

Since the financial crisis, the New Hampshire trust fund’s assets have nearly doubled.

In addition, the retirement system has outperformed 90% of its peers over the three- and five-year periods, and 80% in the one-, 10-, 20- , and 25-year periods, compared to the 237 public pension plans in the InvestorForce Public Defined Benefit Net Universe, an analytics tool by data firm InvestorForce. These funds total $464 billion in assets.

Although New Hampshire’s 2018 return was not as high as 2017’s 13.5% showing, assets increased by $581 million from the past year, when they totaled at $8.29 billion.

The plan’s best-performing asset class was domestic equities, returning a net 14.6%, followed by alternative assets (10.9%) and real estate (10.5%). International stocks, cash, and fixed income rounded out the mix at 7.8%, 1.4%, and 0.2%.

Although pleased with the results, George Lagos, the New Hampshire Retirement System’s executive director, said the fund understands the sensitivity of the markets and that results can vary dramatically any given year. “We continue to emphasize that our primary focus is to meet or exceed the retirement system’s assumed rate of return of 7.25% over the long term.”

The fund’s asset allocated 29.7% to domestic equities, 21.5% to fixed income, 19.2% in international equities, 18.6% in alternative assets, 9.2% to real estate, and 1.8% to cash as of June 30.

The retirement system’s funded ratio was 61.8%, according to its latest quarterly report.

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