The 100 largest U.S. public pension funds had a combined $3.218 trillion in cash and securities as of March 31, up 0.5% from three months earlier and 9.4% higher than a year earlier, the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions showed.
The asset total was the highest since the survey was first conducted in 1968. The public plans reaped $73.2 billion from investment earnings in the first quarter.
Corporate stocks, which make up 34% of all holdings, decreased 3.1% in the quarter, to $1.095 trillion. That asset amount was up 8.3% for the year.
Corporate bonds, at 10.8% of all holdings, totaled $347 billion, a 2.6% increase from Dec. 31 and a 6.8% increase from March 31, 2013.
International securities, at 21% of all holdings, were a combined $675 billion, rising 2.1% from three months earlier and 12.9% from the end of the first quarter of 2013.
U.S. government securities, at 8.5%, totaled $274 billion, up 3.3% for the quarter and 1.8% for the year.
The breakdown of total contributions for the quarter was 70.3% provided by government sponsors and 29.7% from employees. Government contributions totaled $25.7 billion, down 7.5% for the quarter and up 15.1% for the year. Employees contributed a combined $10.9 billion, a 5.4% increase for the quarter and 7.8% for the year.
The top 100 funds comprise 89.4% of U.S. public pension fund assets.