Sept 27 Coming off a best-ever quarterly
performance, pension funds for U.S. state and local government
workers were stung in April, May and June by sagging global
stock markets. The funds recorded losses of $14.2 billion for
the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau said on Thursday.
In contrast, America's largest public pensions earned $179.3
billion during 2012's first quarter, according to Census Bureau
The holdings of America's 100 largest public pensions -
stocks, bonds and other assets - slid 2 percent in value to
$2.718 trillion on June 30, compared with a year earlier.
U.S. taxpayers worry that commitments made to public
employees for retirement benefits may absorb bigger slices of
public funds as local and state governments weather America's
slowly growing economy. States and local governments face
unfunded pension liabilities of $750 billion or more, depending
Global stock markets had a rough second quarter as worries
about euro-zone finances rattled equity investors after strong
gains in early 2012. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell
3.3 percent in the second quarter.
Asian, European and emerging markets' benchmark stock
indexes posted steeper losses in the second quarter, even as
U.S. Treasuries gained on buying by anxious global investors.
In the second quarter, states as well as city, county and
other local governments throttled back on pension contributions,
which totaled $21.36 billion - down from $24.1 billion in the
first quarter, Census Bureau data showed. In 2011's second
quarter, government contributions were $22.5 billion.
In contrast, employee contributions to pension funds rose
from the first quarter's $9.3 billion to $10.3 billion in the
second quarter. Employee payments to the pensions were $10.9
billion in 2011's second quarter, according to the Census data.
Census Bureau data is based on the 100 largest
public-employee retirement systems.