N.J. Pension Fund Posts 13.31% Return Fiscal Year to Date

New Jersey’s public pension fund returned 13.31 percent over the ten months of the fiscal year that began July 1, boosted by stock gains.

Domestic equities in the fund’s portfolio returned 20.52 percent through April 30, while non-U.S. equity gained 24.58 percent. The fund’s assets are valued at $75.3 billion, up from $71.8 billion a year earlier.

The total return missed the fund’s 14.54 percent benchmark, partly because of a reporting lag from alternative investments such as hedge funds. The return may be as much as 14 percent, according to a report by Tim Walsh, director of the state’s investment division. Treasuries and Treasury inflation-protected bonds, or TIPS, underperformed equity and credit markets, while emerging market exchange-traded funds also hurt performance, he said.

“We continue to watch markets, we continue to diversify, we continue to try to make the best decisions we can, even in a volatile world, on behalf of the pension-fund beneficiaries,” Bob Grady, chairman of the State Investment Council, said at a meeting in Trenton today.

New Jersey’s seven public-employee pensions cover more than 780,000 working and retired teachers, police officers and government workers. The funds, minus one for police and firefighter mortgages that are reported on a lag, gained 1.78 percent in April.

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