NYSTRS Posts 12.5% Return


The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) posted a total fund return, net of fees, of 12.5% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, easily outpacing the System’s 7.5% assumed rate of return. It was the third time in five years that NYSTRS posted double digit returns.

The System’s 30-year and 25-year rates of return were 8.8% and 8.7%, respectively. As a long-term investor with liabilities generally not accrued for two or three decades, long-term returns are one of the best indicators of pension plan health.

Another indicator of plan health is its funded ratio. NYSTRS’ funded ratio is 97.9% using an actuarial valuation of assets and 98.4% using a market valuation of assets, making the plan among the best-funded in the nation.

These figures are among the many found in NYSTRS’ recently released Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Years Ended June 30, 2017 and 2016. The report is available in the Library at NYSTRS.org (Library > Publications > Annual Reports).

Other items of note include:

  • System investments appreciated $10.7 billion in 2017 (pg. 25).
  • NYSTRS paid out $6.9 billion in benefits in 2017 (pg. 25).
  • 80% of benefits are paid to residents of New York state (pg. 127).
  • 56% of those receiving a NYSTRS benefit worked 30 years or more to earn it (pg. 129).
  • Over the past 20 years, investment returns have accounted for 83% of NYSTRS’ income (pg. 133).
  • The System’s net position at June 30, 2017 was $115.5 billion (pg. 26).

Current and previous CAFRs are found on the Annual Reports page of this website.

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