(updated with correction)
Assets at the 100 largest public employee retirement systems reached $2.94 trillion as of June 30, up 0.4% from three months prior and 8.4% over a year earlier, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday.
This is the highest assets have been since the federal government began tracking the information in 1968.
Investment earnings of $38.3 billion were more modest in the second quarter of 2013, following investment gains of $115.5 billion in the first quarter. For the same quarter in 2012, investments lost $16.3 billion.
Corporate stocks, which account for 34.4% of assets, increased 0.6% in the quarter and 7.4% year-over-year, to reach $1 trillion.
Corporate bonds, at 11.1% of assets, fell 1.5% in the second quarter of 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 9.0%.
International securities, which constitute 20.1% of assets, decreased 0.7% over the previous quarter but increased 16.8% in the year, to $592.6 billion. Federal government securities, which make up 9.1% of total assets, dipped 0.1% from the previous quarter to $267.1 billion, an increase of 6.9% since June 30, 2012.
Other asset classes include cash and short-term instruments at 3.4% of assets, mortgages at 0.3%, state and local government securities at 0.1%, and other securities such as loans and mutual funds not listed in other categories, representing 21.5% of assets.
Assets at the 100 largest public plans represent 89.4% of total public plan assets.
Erika Becker-Medina, chief of the bureau's employment and benefits statistics branch, cautioned against comparing some asset class results with their previous annual performance before 2012, since the Census Bureau changed some classifications.
Federally sponsored agency securities were moved from the “corporate bond” category into “federal government securities,” and private equity, venture capital, and leveraged buyouts went from “other securities” to the “corporate stocks” category.
Government contributions to the 100 largest public surveyed increased 11.8% over the previous quarter and 2.3% year-over-year, reaching $22.8 billion. Employee contributions increased 21.2% in the quarter and 11.2% over the second quarter of 2012. The ratio of government-to-employee contributions was 2-to-1 in the quarter, down from 2.2-to-1 from the previous quarter and previous year, and the lowest it has been in the last three years. Employee contributions are typically highest in the second quarter, which is the end of the fiscal year for most of the plans surveyed.
The quarterly survey was formerly known as the Finances of Selected State and Local Government Employee Retirement Systems survey.