NYS Common Retirement Fund Cracks $200 Billion

Strong equities helped drive fund in fiscal Q3.

In its third quarter results for fiscal 2018, the New York State Common Retirement Fund returned 4.12%, growing the fund to an estimated $209.1 billion.

“A strong equities market continued to provide solid returns on investments during the last three months of 2017,” New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a statement. “Notwithstanding recent volatility, we have welcomed the stock market’s nearly decade-long rise. Our foremost goal will always be to find stable, long-term returns that will continue to provide retirement security for the pension fund’s more than 1 million members, retirees and beneficiaries.”

According to the Comptroller’s office, the fund’s estimated value reflects the benefits paid out during the period ended December 31, 2017. The audited value as of the previous fiscal year was $192.4 billion.

As of December 31, nearly 60% of the fund’s assets were in publicly traded equities (40% domestic, 18.1% international). Cash, bonds, and mortgages had a 23.7% allocation. Private equity and real estate accounted for 7.6% and 6.5%, respectively. The remaining 4.1% of the portfolio was rounded out by absolute return strategies (2.6%), and opportunistic alternatives and real assets (1.5%).

Recently, Di Napoli announced the fund’s ESG-fueled investment plan to shift equities in high-carbon stocks to low-carbon equities as part of an effort to move away from exposure to fossil fuels and other pollutants. Using a low-emissions index designed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the fund will replace the high-carbon stocks with tech stocks and environmentally friendly companies.

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