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State pension fund posted slight negative return in fiscal year ending March 31, amid pandemic

By Eric Reinhardt (


New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Common Retirement Fund generated a -2.68 percent return on investments in the state fiscal year ending March 31, as the COVID-19-induced market selloff in March and late February hurt asset values.

The fund ended its fiscal year during the early outbreak of the pandemic in the U.S. with a value of $194.3 billion, the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.

Stock markets rebounded sharply in the second quarter, amid massive monetary and fiscal stimulus and the reopening of economies.

“Despite very solid returns through February, the coronavirus sent markets into a tailspin just as we were closing the books on our fiscal year,” DiNapoli said. “The fund has already recovered much of those losses…”

As of March 31, the state pension fund had 49.07 percent of its assets invested in publicly traded stocks. The remaining fund assets by allocation are invested in cash, bonds, and mortgages (26.23 percent), private equity (11.19 percent), real estate and real assets (9.66 percent) and absolute return strategies and opportunistic alternatives (3.85 percent).

The fund’s value reflects retirement and death benefits of $13.25 billion paid out during the fiscal year.


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