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PENSIONS & INVESTMENTS: Florida Retirement System posts preliminary 17.4% return

By Timothy Pollard - Florida Retirement System returned a preliminary 17.4% for the fiscal year ended June 30, surpassing its benchmark by 38 basis points, the Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, announced Tuesday.

The board said audited financial figures will be released later in the year.

The pension fund ended the fiscal year with a value of $149.1 billion, up $16.7 billion from a year earlier after net distributions of $5.9 billion to participants during the year, according to a news release.

Global equity led all asset classes with a 23.5% return, followed by private equity, 19.9%; real estate, 14.9%; strategic investments, 13.2%; fixed income, 3.8%; and cash, 0.2%.

“While recovery of the financial markets continues and we are certainly pleased with our current performance, we can't lose sight of the fact that it is the long-term performance that matters most. The 20- and 25-year periods have generated (annualized) returns of 8.83% and 9.02%, respectively,” said Ashbel C. Williams Jr., executive director and chief investment officer, in the news release.

The board also released returns for its FRS Investment Plan, the state's 401(a) investment plan. The one-year return based on aggregate employee fund selection was 15.51% vs. a 15.05% benchmark return. The plan's year-end assets totaled $9.04 billion, up 14.7% from a year earlier.

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Copyright © 2014 Crain Communications Inc.

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