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Largest public pension fund earns dismal 1 percent

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The nation’s largest public pension fund reported a dismal 1 percent return on its investments, a figure far short of projections that will likely add pressure on California’s state and local governments to contribute more, officials said Monday.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported its returns for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The 1 percent return is well below its projected annual return of 7.5 percent.

“The last 12 months were a challenging period for all investors as the ongoing European debt crisis and slowing global economic growth increased market volatility and reduced equity returns,” said chief investment officer Joe Dear. “It’s a clear reminder that we must remain focused on performance, risk and internal controls in today’s financial environment.”

CalPERS, which has yet to recover from the recession, runs a $234 billion pension system for more than 1.6 million state employees, school employees and local government workers.

The returns are even lower than the teacher pension fund, which earned 1.8 percent from investments.



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