State retirement systems lost a combined $641.3 billion in fiscal 2009, with a total of $2 trillion in assets as of June 30, 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The 24% decline for the 12-month period followed a $152.2 billion loss in fiscal 2008, according to the Census Bureau's “2009 Annual Survey of Public Employee Retirement Systems.” Preliminary results of the survey of 222 state-administered public plans were released Wednesday.
The Census Bureau largely attributed the asset declines to a decrease in investment returns of $924.7 billion over the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2009 — $439.8 billion in 2008 and $484.9 billion in 2009.
On Tuesday, the Pew Center on the States reported that public plans collectively held $2.28 trillion in assets and $2.94 trillion in liabilities in fiscal 2009, for a shortfall of about $660 billion.
According to the Census Bureau, total contributions to the state plans were $64.8 billion in 2009, with employee contributions increasing 5.4% to $33.3 billion.
Of the plans' aggregate holdings, non-governmental securities were $1.5 trillion in fiscal2009, down 28.8% from the previous year. Those securities comprised 71.6% of total cash and security holdings for state plans. Corporate stocks made up the greatest amount of non-governmental securities, at 45.4%, totaling $658.8 billion in fiscal2009, a 30.7% decline from the previous year.
Government securities, which comprised 8.1% of state pension plans' holdings, fell 17% in fiscal2009 to $163.9 billion; the fiscal2008 decline was 12.9%.
Other investments, such as real property and miscellaneous investments, decreased 10.5% in fiscal2009 to $328.4 billion.
Additional survey statistics are scheduled for release in summer, according to a Census Bureau news release. Briana Kaya, public information officer, could not be reached for further details.