The New York City Retirement Systems posted an estimated 18% return on investments for the seven months ended Jan. 31, said a report Tuesday from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The pension information is contained a periodic review of the city's finances by Mr. DiNapoli.
"In FY 2020, the financial markets were volatile, and the pension funds earned 4.4% on their investments, less than the actuarial target of 7%," said the report referring to the fiscal year that ended June 30. "As of the first seven months of FY 2021, the city's pension systems had earned an estimated 18 percent on their investments."
The state's pension analysis uses several estimates, Mark Johnson, a spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli wrote in an email. "We estimate the year-to-date gains/losses to the city's pension systems based on the investment performance of several index funds that cover the major investment asset classes," he said.
"Since the investment performance of the index funds are published online each day, we can estimate the investment performance through the most recent trading day closed," Mr. Johnson explained. "This approach allows us to estimate gains/losses through first seven months with reasonable accuracy instead of relying on reports published by the city comptroller, which are heavily lagged."
Mr. DiNapoli's report didn't identify the amount of assets in the city pension system, which has five independent pension funds. Mr. Johnson referred questions to the city comptroller's office. A spokeswoman for city comptroller Scott Stringer, the fiduciary for the pension funds, didn't immediately respond.
The city comptroller's website says the pension system had $239.8 billion in assets as of November. The website doesn't provide aggregate return data, but it said the returns for the individual pension funds ranged from 12.2% to 13.35% from July 1 through Nov. 30.
"In the aggregate, the pension systems had enough assets on hand to fund (on a market value basis) 78% percent of their accrued liabilities at the end of FY 2020, a decline of 1 percentage point since FY 2019," Mr. DiNapoli's report said. "The unfunded net liability for all five systems increased by $3.1 billion to $46.4 billion."