The Employee’s Retirement System of Rhode Island’s pension fund earned 1.1% in December, bringing its annual return to 14.48% for 2017, which is nearly twice what the fund returned a year ago, according to the state’s office of the general treasurer.
The return for 2017 outpaced the fund’s benchmark of 14.39%, and the fund has outperformed its annual 7% average investment target over the past one, three, and five years. The fund has posted three-, five-, and 10-year returns of 7.0%, 7.9%, and 4.9%, respectively, while its benchmark returned 6.7%, 7.9%, and 4.8%, respectively, over the same time periods.
“In 2017, we took our investment strategy Back to Basics and delivered strong returns that are helping the pension fund get stronger,” said Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner in a release.
In total, Rhode Island’s pension fund earned more than $1.09 billion from investments in 2017, bringing the fund’s value to more than $8.42 billion, which is its highest asset value in more than a decade, according to the treasurer’s office. The pension serves approximately 60,000 active and retired members.
Since the treasurer introduced the “Back to Basics” investment strategy in September 2016, the fund has exited seven hedge funds, and has reallocated $500 million into more traditional investments, said Magaziner.