Public Pensions See Decreased Earnings in Q2

September 28, 2012 ( – For the 100 largest public-employee retirement systems in the country, total holdings and investments decreased to $2.7 trillion in Q2 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

This is a drop of 1.7% from $2.8 trillion last quarter and a year-to-year decrease of 2.1% from $2.8 trillion Q2 2011. Losses of investments totaled $14.2 billion.

Corporate stocks quarter-to-quarter decreased 3.1%, while corporate bonds fell 1.1%. International securities also saw a drop in the second quarter (7.9%). However, federal government securities increased 8.8%, reaching the highest level in over 10 years, since the first quarter of 2001.

Employee contributions also increased (10.7%) from 9.3 billion to 10.3 billion in the second quarter of 2012. There was a year-to-year decrease of 5.7% from $10.9 billion in the second quarter of 2011. Government contributions comprised 67.5% and employee contributions comprised 32.5% of total contributions.

Asset Allocation 

Corporate stocks comprised more than one-third of the total cash and securities holdings of major public pension systems for the current quarter. Corporate bonds comprised more than one-eighth (13.5%), while international securities comprised nearly one-fifth (18.7%). Federal government securities comprised less than one-tenth (9%) for this quarter.

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