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Pension Funds

West Virginia returns 8.9% for fiscal year

West Virginia Investment Management Board, Charleston, reported its pension fund assets returned a net 8.9% in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to a preliminary performance report by Verus Advisory, the board's investment consultant.

The board's two biggest pensions funds — the $7.6 billion Teachers' Retirement System and the $6.7 billion Public Employees' Retirement System — each returned 8.9% in fiscal year 2018. The teachers plan had a three-year annualized return of 8%, a five-year return of 9%, a 10-year return of 7.4% and a 20-year return of 6.7%. The public employees plan had a three-year annualized return of 8%, a five-year return of 9.1%, a 10-year return of 7.6% and a 20-year return of 6.9%. In fiscal year 2017, the teachers plan returned 15.7% while the public employees plan returned 15.8%. Benchmark comparisons were not provided.

The board finished the fiscal year with $15.7 billion in pension assets, up from $14.8 billion the year prior. When adding insurance and endowment assets, the board controls $19.4 billion in assets.

In fiscal year 2018, its best best-performing asset class for all funds was private equity, which returned 15.31%, followed by domestic equity at 15.01%; real estate, 8.44%; international equity, 6.72%; hedge funds, 6.42%; opportunistic income, 3.57%; Treasury inflation-protected securities, 2.17%; and fixed income, 0.6%.

As of June 30, the board's actual allocation was 23.52% domestic equity, 23.39% international equity, 17.57% fixed income, 11.55% hedge funds, 9.26% real estate, 9.24% private equity, 2.32% opportunistic income, 2.02% TIPS and 1.13% cash.