CalPERS earns 12.5% on investments over the past year

CalPERS posted a 12.5% return on its investments in the year that ended June 30, officials said Monday. Above, Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear at a CalPERS board meeting in 2009.
(Robert Durell / For The Times)

The nation’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, posted a 12.5% return on its investment portfolio in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The fund’s assets stand at nearly $258 billion, according to Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear, who reviewed the figures Monday at a meeting of the system’s governing board.


The gains were led by strong returns in the global public equity and real estate investments, officials announced Monday.

Investments in publicly traded equity holdings yielded a 19% return. The value of its real estate holdings rose 11.2%.

Some parts of CalPERS’ investment portfolio did not fare as well. It lost 1.6% on its fixed income holdings.

“CalPERS is a long-term investor and we try to not focus too much on one year of performance,” said Henry Jones, chair of CalPERS Investment Committee. “But obviously 12.5% is a great number and we’re pleased with the performance.”

CalPERS’ investment results have been volatile in the past five years. The system’s holdings lost 23% in 2009, but gained almost 21% in 2011. Last year, its investment returns were only 1%.

CalPERS administers retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million current and retired California public employees.


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