Equities drive New York state pension’s best annual return ever

The New York State Common Retirement Fund saw the highest annual investment return in its history with a gain of 33.55% for the year ending March 31, 2021.

Driven by a record-setting stock market that had global equity portfolios gain roughly 65%, the $255 billion retirement system is touting its performance all the while State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli adds a note of caution as market volatility picks up.

“The outsized return reinforces the fund’s position as one of the strongest in the nation, but it comes with a caution,” he said in a statement. “Markets remain volatile and as unpredictable as ever. With our talented investment staff, I will continue to manage our state’s pension fund with prudence and a focus on stable, long term results that ensure continued retirement security for our members for generations to come.”

It has yet to be seen whether the equity market gains will be redistributed to the alternative investment segments of the portfolio. In 2020, the fund allocated $14.3 billion to alternative strategies, according to the Alternatives Watch Investor Compendium sponsored by Vidrio that will be released exclusively to subscribers on June 1.

The New York State’s long-term asset allocation includes an investment target allocation of 28% to alternatives and the system currently has $58 billion in alternative investment exposure, according to the Investor Compendium.

New York State Common Retirement Fund’s annualized returns for alternative asset classes

(as of March 31, 2021)

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