Federal Thrift Savings Plan, Washington, bypassed the California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, as the nations largest retirement plan in terms of asset size.
The Federal Thrift, a defined contribution plan, had $197.3 billion in assets as of Jan. 31, according to Tom Trabucco, a spokesman for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the plan.
CalPERS assets were valued at $173.9 billion as of Monday, according to CalPERS website.
Mr. Trabucco said that one reason that the Thrift plan has gained assets is that the number of participants has been on the rise, exceeding 4 million in December.
Weve always known that because of the number of participants we have, the dollars would follow, Mr. Trabucco said.
Brad Pacheco, a CalPERS spokesman, said his fund, which is largely a defined benefit plan, doesnt rank itself against defined contribution plans.
In our scheme, we dont compare ourselves to them (Thrift plan) because they have a different asset allocation and theyre a DC plan, Mr. Pacheco said. We compare ourselves with other state public pension plans, and thats how it goes.