(WSJ) After three years of roller-coaster returns, state and local government pension funds are reporting a little more normalcy. For the year ended June 30, the funds› median return was 8.3%, according to Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. That’s about the average return for the past decade and above pension plans› long-term targets of around 7% per year.
This year’s stock performance drove the gains. Private equity, meanwhile, lost money for the first time since the 2008-09 financial crisis, according to a Burgiss Group index that excludes venture capital. Private equity is typically reported on a one-quarter lag. That means pension funds› June 30 figures reflected private equity performance for the twelve months ended March 31 and included poor performance in early 2022.
That contributed to missed targets at some of the largest plans. The California Public Employees› Retirement System, the nation’s biggest pension fund, reported a preliminary return of 5.8% for the year ended June 30. The second-largest, the California State Teachers› Retirement System, returned 6.3%.