Nevada PERS reports double-digit gains for fiscal year

Nevada’s public employee retirement system reported double-digit returns on its investments in the fiscal year ending June 30, its highest return since 1986, the fund’s investment officer said Friday.

The fund’s assets grew by $4.3 billion during the year and ended the fiscal year with a total value of $25.2 billion, compared with $20.9 billion on June 30, 2010.

Ken Lambert, investment officer with the Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System, attributed the gains to a “continued recovery in the markets from the recession in 2008 and 2009.”

The 21 percent return in fiscal year 2011 follows a 10.8 percent return in fiscal year 2010. The retirement fund, which has about 102,000 active members, reported a 15.8 percent loss in 2009.

The unfunded liability as of June 30 totaled $9.1 billion. Lambert said the long-term unfunded liability will not be recalculated until November.

Lambert said the fund was well-diversified with 55 percent invested in stocks, 35 percent in bonds and 10 percent with private equity and private real estate.

“We stay focused on the long term,” he said. “The recent volatility doesn’t feel good … but we see this as an opportunity to add profits to the fund.”

Most public pension funds have reported better-than-expected results.

The $28 billion Arizona State Retirement System reported a gain of 24 percent for the fiscal year ended June 30.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, earned
$37 billion, a return of 20.7 percent. It was CalPERS’ highest return in 14 years.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System earned $29 billion, 23.1 percent, for the year ended June 30, its best return in 25 years.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@review or 702-477-3893.

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