The 100 largest U.S. public employee retirement systems had $3.398 trillion in assets as of March 31, a 1.6% increase from three months earlier, said the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest quarterly survey of public pension funds.
The increase was due primarily to $80.2 billion in earnings on investments and $34.3 billion in contributions, partially offset by $61.8 billion in benefit payments in the first quarter.
International securities saw a small increase in the first quarter, the first rise in international assets since the first quarter of 2014, up to $624.6 billion as of March 31, up 1.9% from Dec. 31. Despite the increase, it’s still significantly below the historical high of $679.1 billion as of March 31, 2014.
Federal government securities, however, declined for the third straight quarter, down to $279.7 billion, a 2.1% drop from Dec. 31.
Corporate stocks rose 2.8% to $1.252 trillion from three months earlier, and corporate bonds rose 1.4% to $407.4 billion from three months earlier.
The 100 public pension systems represent 88.4% of all U.S. public pension fund assets.