Jan 23 Pennsylvania's public pension fund for
state employees reported on Wednesday that it earned about 12
percent on its investments in 2012, according to an early
The rate would put Pennsylvania's State Employees'
Retirement System well above its 7.5 percent target and add
about $3 billion to the $25 billion fund, according to a
statement from Anthony Clark, the funds' chief investment
The system ended its fiscal year on Dec. 31, while most
major public pension funds ended their fiscal years on June 30.
A 12 percent return could be a sign that large public
pension funds are recovering from the heavy blows they took on
investments during the 2007-2009 recession.
For many major public pension funds, 2012 was challenging.
The $150.6 billion California Teachers pension fund, or CalSTRS,
earned 1.8 percent in fiscal 2012.
Various New York City pension funds reported an annual
return of 1.7 percent and Florida's $122.7 billion fund grew
just 0.29 percent.
Pennsylvania's state employee fund has more than 228,000
Despite the "cautiously good news" about a preliminary 12
percent rate of return, Pennsylvania's system still has an
unfunded liability of more than $14 billion, Clark said.
"We remain committed to implementing our strategic
investment plan, reducing investment fees and taking whatever
other steps we can to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the
system," he said.
The fund's board also voted on Wednesday to grant Clark an 8
percent pay raise, effective April 6.
Pennsylvania maintains a separate, $48 billion pension fund
for public school employees. That fund returned 3.4 percent in
its fiscal year, which ended on June 30.
State budget secretary Charles Zogby warned in November that
a combined $41 billion unfunded state pension liability puts
even core public services at the risk of being cut.