New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, is lowering its assumed rate of return to 7% from 7.5%, said Nikki Jones, spokeswoman for Thomas DiNapoli, state comptroller and sole trustee of the $182.5 billion pension fund.
Mr. DiNapoli also announced a decline in employer contribution rates for fiscal year 2016, which began April 1.
“For the third year in a row, there will be a decline in pension contribution rates as a result of solid investment returns,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a news release. “Lowering the assumed rate of return is fiscally prudent and will better position the state pension fund for the future. This strategic decision is consistent with the tougher investment climate ahead.”
Within the pension fund, the Employees’ Retirement System’s average contribution rate will decrease to 15.5% of an employer’s payroll from 18.2%, and the Police and Fire Retirement System’s average contribution rate will decrease to 24.3% from 24.7%.
It is the second time since Mr. DiNapoli took office in 2007 that he has reduced the pension fund’s assumed rate of return. In September 2010, he dropped it to 7.5% from 8%, citing at the time that economic forecasts did not justify the 8% return assumption.