Connecticut’s combined pension funds and trusts had one of the 10 best investment performances among its peers in the nation for fiscal year 2017, according to the Pensions and Investments news site.
The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds grew by more than $3 billion in portfolio value during Fiscal Year 2017, posting an all-time fiscal year-end net asset value record of nearly $32.6 billion as of June 30.
The two largest pension funds – the Teachers’ Retirement Fund and the State Employees’ Retirement Fund – saw their net market values grow by $1.5 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.
Pensions and Investments reported that the funds placed 10th among public pension plans, with a net investment return of nearly 14.2 percent for the year ending June 30. The Teachers’ Retirement Fund, with a net investment return of nearly 14.4 percent for the fiscal year, would have tied for 8th place if it had been ranked separately, and would have been one of just five teachers’ pension plans nationally to earn a return above 14 percent.
The teachers’ fund significantly outperformed both its benchmark by 114 basis points and its 8 percent assumed rate of return.
Other strong fund performances for fiscal year 2017 were those of the State Employees’ Retirement Fund, at 14.3 percent – surpassing its benchmark by 115 basis points – and the Connecticut Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund, at 13 percent, ahead of its benchmark by 98 basis points.
The benchmark overperformance, in dollar value, was $177.7 million for the teachers’ fund, $122.3 million for employees’ fund, and $21.7 million for Connecticut Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund.
State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier voiced her appreciation for the findings. “What’s more important than any ranking, however, is the growth in the value of the pension plans that will inure to the benefit of both the more than 200,000 beneficiaries of the plans and the state’s taxpayers,” she said.
Nappier also said that more needs to be done to improve the funding status of the pension plans, and that Connecticut cannot solely rely on robust investment returns.
“Capital market returns are expected to remain below long-term historical averages going forward,” she said. “Nonetheless, we remain optimistic that the investment program will continue to take advantage of strategic opportunities that the markets provide in times of uncertainty.”