New York City Retirement Systems achieved an estimated return on investments of 17.4% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said a news release issued Monday by Comptroller Scott Stringer, adviser and custodian for the five pension funds that make up the retirement system.
Assets rose 17.2% during the fiscal year, reaching an estimated $160.5 billion and establishing a record for any fiscal year-end.
Audited asset and return figures, including individual asset class returns, will be ready by late October, said Eric Sumberg, a spokesman for Mr. Stringer, in an interview. The pension system had a 12.3% return for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.
“Any year in which the pension funds achieve double the assumed rate of return is a good one in my book,” Mr. Stringer said in the release. The assumed rate of return is 7% for the system.
Mr. Sumberg said a benchmark return will be available in the fall. This benchmark represents the combined and weighted average of individual pension funds' various asset class benchmarks.
Performance for the fiscal year was “unusually strong, given the current investment environment,” said Scott Evans, chief investment officer, in the news release. “Strong growth in our equities portfolio, coupled with a diversified investment strategy, have the pension funds well positioned for the long-term.”
U.S. equities represented 40.5% of the systems' total assets as of May 31, according to data posted on the comptroller's website.
International equities accounted for 17.1% of assets, and fixed income represented 29.7%. Among the smaller components, private equity accounted for 6%; real assets, 3.4%; hedge funds, 2.1%; and cash, 1.3%.
The five pension funds in the New York City Retirement Systems are the New York City Employees' Retirement System, Teachers' Retirement System, Police Pension Fund, Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System.