With a total fund return, net of fees, of 9.0% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, NYSTRS posted gains exceeding the System’s 7.25% assumed rate of return for the sixth time in nine years.
The System’s 30-year and 25-year rates of return at 6/30/2018 were 9.2% and 8.5%, respectively. 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 98% using an actuarial valuation of assets and 100% 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 issued Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017. The report is available at NYSTRS.org in Annual Reports.
Also found on that web page is an eight-page summary of the full report. The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), which uses graphics and brief narratives, is designed to be more user-friendly to those without a background in public finance.
“Building a strong pension plan is a collaborative effort,” said NYSTRS Board President David P. Keefe. “Steady income from three sources of funding — member contributions, employer contributions, and investment returns — has resulted in NYSTRS being one of the most secure and best-funded pension plans in the country. Pooling employee and employer contributions and then prudently investing those funds for long-term growth has proven to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to provide for workers in retirement.”
Other items of note found in the CAFR include:
- System investments appreciated $7.7 billion in 2018 (pg. 25).
- NYSTRS paid out $7.1 billion in benefits in 2018 (pg. 25).
- The System’s net position at June 30, 2018 was $119.9 billion (pg. 25).
- 80% of benefits are paid to residents of New York state (pg. 131).
- More than half of those receiving a NYSTRS benefit worked 30 years or more to earn it (pg. 133).
- Over the past 30 years, investment returns have accounted for 85% of NYSTRS’ income (pg. 137).