The 20%-plus investment returns for fiscal 2011 keep rolling in for public pension plans.
Louisiana Teachers' Retirement System, Baton Rouge, returned 26.8% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said Philip Griffith, chief investment officer of the $13.8 billion system.
“It was strong equity returns, strong private equity and strong real estate returns,” said Mr. Griffith in a telephone interview.
Domestic equity posted the best return for the fiscal year, at 33.6%, followed by international equity at 32.7%; real assets, 21.9%; private assets, 18.5%; global fixed income, 13.1%; and U.S. bonds, 5.5%.
It is the system's strongest return since 1985, when it posted 29.9%.
South Dakota Retirement System, Sioux Falls, returned 25.84% on its investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, increasing the $7.9 billion retirement system's funding ratio to 103%, confirmed state investment officer Matthew Clark.
“South Dakota did pretty well (relative to the returns of other public and corporate pension plans) probably because of its strong internal management and strong team,” he said. Roughly 70% of the system's investments are run in-house by the South Dakota Investment Council, Sioux Falls.
Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System, Oklahoma City, returned 23.5% on its investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, according to a news release from the $9 billion fund.
“The strong performance of the fund is particularly gratifying in light of a very volatile market,” Executive Director James Wilbanks said in the news release.
The news release attributed the return to a “larger-than-average commitment to higher-returning asset categories” but didn't detail the high-performing asset classes. Mr. Wilbanks could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Ohio School Employees Retirement System, Columbus, returned 20.9% in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to a news release.
All of the $10.6 billion system's asset classes outperformed their benchmarks according to the release, with U.S. equity leading at 33.8%, followed by non-U.S. equity at 25.7% and real estate at 25.2%.
The system's actual allocation as of May 31 was U.S. equity, 25.9%; non-U.S. equity, 25.4%; global fixed income, 17.4%; global hedge funds, 12.7%; global real estate, 9.1%; global private equity, 7%; and cash, 2.5%.
System spokesman Tim Barbour was unable to provide further information.
Hawaii Employees' Retirement System, Honolulu, returned 20.7% on its investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, below its policy benchmark of 21.4%, said Wesley Machida, administrator of the $11.6 billion pension fund.
He said the fund began the fiscal year with total assets of $9.8 billion. “We grew significantly over the past year,” Mr. Machida said in a telephone interview. “Unfortunately for everyone, the market has been so volatile since then.”
The Hawaii fund returned an annualized 3.7% for the three-year period ended June 30, outperforming its policy benchmark of 3.6%, and an annualized 4.8% for the five-year period, meeting its policy benchmark.
With 19.91%, the $23.16 billion Iowa system, Des Moines, underperformed its customized benchmark's return of 20.15% for the same period.
In Virginia, the Richmond-based system's 19.1% return on investments brought fund assets to $54.5 billion.
“On a risk-adjusted basis, last year's performance was outstanding,” said Charles W. Grant, VRS chief investment officer, in a statement issued Aug. 24. “We are pleased with last year's results, especially in light of steps taken in recent years to better diversify the fund.”
During fiscal 2011, the fund's public equity program returned 27.2%, private equity returned, 17.6%; fixed income, 5.8%; real estate, 23.2%; and credit strategies, 14.7%.