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CalPERS Announces Preliminary Net Investment Return of -6.1% for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year

Tumultuous global markets played a role in CalPERS’ first loss since the global financial crisis of 2009, as the System today announced a preliminary -6.1% net return on investments for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2022. Assets stood at $440 billion at the end of the fiscal year.

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Challenging global public markets, strong private market returns lead to varied performance

Tumultuous global markets played a role in CalPERS’ first loss since the global financial crisis of 2009, as the System today announced a preliminary -6.1% net return on investments for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2022. Assets stood at $440 billion at the end of the fiscal year.

“We’ve done a lot of work in recent years to plan and prepare for difficult conditions,” said CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Marcie Frost. “Despite the market conditions and their impact on our returns, we’re focused on long-term performance and our members can be confident that their retirement is safe and secure.”

Volatile global financial markets, geopolitical instability, domestic interest rate hikes, and inflation all have had an impact on public market returns. CalPERS’ investments in global public stocks returned -13.1%, while fixed income investments returned -14.5%. Public market investments make up roughly 79% of the CalPERS’ total fund. CalPERS’ private market investments fared much better, with private equity and real assets sectors returning 21.3% and 24.1%, respectively.

“This is a unique moment in the financial markets, and we’ve seen a deviation from some investing fundamentals,” said CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco. “For instance, our traditional diversification strategies were less effective than expected, as we saw both public equity and fixed income assets fall in tandem. But despite a challenging year, we were able to outperform our total fund benchmark by 90 basis points and provide strong returns from our private market asset classes. These are bright spots that we can build on as we implement our new strategic asset allocation and increase our exposure to private market assets.”

Total fund annualized returns for the 5-year period ending June 30, 2022 stood at 6.7%, the 10-year period at 7.7%, the 20-year period at 6.9%, and 30-year period at 7.7%.

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* Private market asset valuations lag one quarter and are as of March 31, 2022.

With CalPERS’ discount rate of 6.8% and this year’s preliminary return of -6.1%, the estimated overall funded status stands at 72%.

The official total fund performance numbers go through multiple layers of review and oversight. View the Total Fund and Benchmark Performance Calculation – Wilshire Associates (PDF) for more information.

CalPERS’ 2021-22 final fiscal year investment performance will be calculated based on audited figures and will be reflected in contribution levels for the State of California and school districts in fiscal year 2023-24, and for contracting cities, counties, and special districts in fiscal year 2024-25.

The ending value of the fund is based on several factors and not investment performance alone. Contributions made to CalPERS from employers and employees, monthly payments made to retirees, investment fees, and the performance of its investments, among other factors, all influence the ending total value of the PERF.

Next Finance , July 21

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