Top public pension holdings at all-time highNews added by Benefits Pro on March 31, 2014
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By Paula Aven Gladych

Holdings and investments in the largest 100 public employee pension systems reached their highest level since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking this data in 1968.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, cash and security holdings totaled $3,191.5 billion. Quarter over quarter, cash and security holdings increased 4.2 percent and year-over-year they increased 12.5 percent from $2.836.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Earnings on investments totaled $165.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Corporate stocks rose 5.9 percent from $1,058.7 billion in the third quarter to $1,121.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Year-over-year, corporate stocks increased 18.1 percent from $949.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. They comprised 35.1 percent of the total cash and security holdings of major public pension systems for the current quarter.

Corporate bonds had a quarter-to-quarter increase of 4.6 percent from $322.1 billion to $337 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Year-over-year, corporate bonds decreased 1.3 percent from $341.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Corporate bonds comprised 10.6 percent of the total cash and security holdings of major public pension systems for the quarter.

International securities, which comprised nearly 21 percent of public pension holdings, saw a quarter-to-quarter increase of 4.4 percent from $637.7 billion to $665.9 billion in the fourth quarter. Year-to-year, they increased 14.2 percent from $583.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Federal government securities had a quarter-to-quarter increase of 0.3 percent, from $266.1 billion to $267 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Year-over-year, they increased 5.9 percent from $252.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Federal government securities made up 8.4 percent of the total cash and security holdings for the fourth quarter.

Government contributions had a quarter-to-quarter increase of 23.9 percent, from $22.3 billion to $27.6 billion in the fourth quarter and a 4.4 percent increase year-to-year, from $26.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Employee contributions increased 25.5 percent from $8.3 billion to $10.4 billion in the fourth quarter and a 0.8 percent increase year-to-year, from $10.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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