New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, posted a 28.8% return for the year ended March 31, the end of the fund's fiscal year, according to a news release from the fund. Since that date, when the fund was valued at $119.2 billion, it has slipped 1.7% and was valued at $117.2 billion on Sept. 30. Alan Hevesi, sole trustee of the fund and New York state comptroller, said local governments' pension costs will decline to about 10.7% of payroll in fiscal 2006 from 12% in fiscal 2005 because of the strong performance.
"Last year's returns were outstanding," Mr. Hevesi said in the news release. "However, this year was highly unusual, and the stock market remains volatile. We cannot expect these kinds of returns to continue."