CalPERS Sees Best Performance in 14 Years

July 18, 2011 ( - The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) reported a 20.7% return on investments in preliminary estimates for the one-year period that ended June 30, 2011.

“This is our best annual performance in 14 years,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President, in a press release. “For the second straight fiscal year, the Pension Fund exceeded its long-term annualized earnings target of 7.75 percent.”  

The net-of-fees performance was the strongest since the 20.1% return of 1997 and the highest since the 2007-09 recession.  

As of June 30, 2011, the market value of CalPERS assets stood at approximately $237.5 billion. A year earlier, the fiscal year ended with $200.5 billion. According to the announcement asset performance gains include: global fixed income, 7%; private equity, 25.3%; public stocks, 30.2%; commodities, infrastructure, forestland and inflation-linked bonds, a combined 13.6%; and real estate, 10.2%.  

Returns for real estate, private equity and some components of the inflation-linked class reflect market values through March 31, 2011 (not June 30, 2011). Final performance including the last quarter of the fiscal year will be available after asset valuations are completed.  

“Despite the good news, we’re well aware of continuing uncertainties in the global financial markets,” said George Diehr, Chair of CalPERS Investment Committee, in the announcement. “Accordingly, our strategy is accounting for such factors as high unemployment, the depressed housing market, and financial turmoil in Greece and other debt-plagued countries. We’re moving forward with our risk-focused asset allocation strategy and developing new tools to respond to market conditions.”