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New York City to make additional pension fund contributions due to low returns

New York City will contribute an additional $120 million to the $170.8 billion New York City Retirement Systems, in fiscal year 2018 in light of the retirement system’s weaker-than-expected investment performance in fiscal year 2016, said an announcement Thursday on the city’s website.

The city’s fiscal year 2019 and 2020 pension contributions are also expected to rise by $241 million and $361 million, respectively, because of the underperformance. Total contributions for fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020 are now projected to be $9.8 billon, $10.1 billion and $10.2 billion, respectively, said a city spokeswoman in an e-mail. The city’s total contribution for fiscal year 2017, which started July 1, is $9.4 billion.

The retirement system, which encompasses five city pension funds, returned a combined 1.5% net of fees in fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30, below its 7% assumed rate of return. In fiscal year 2015, the pension system returned a net 3.2%.

The city is required to contribute more to the retirement system when returns fall below the 7% assumed rate.