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U.S. Public Pensions Post Worst Returns Since Market Crash

  • Government-worker retirement plans had 0.36% return last year
  • Underperformance may lead to higher bills for states, cities
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U.S. state and city pensions posted the lowest investment returns since the credit crisis, falling far short of targets the funds count on and raising the specter of growing taxpayer contributions to keep them afloat.

The government workers’ retirement systems effectively had no gains last year, eking out a median increase of 0.36 percent, the smallest advance since 2008, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The returns were depressed by slowing global growth, falling oil and commodities prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar.