COLUMBUS -- A big year for investment returns has provided a strong boost for Ohio's public pension funds serving roughly 1.7 million people.
The Dayton Daily News reports that the largest of the five funds had a return of 13.9 percent last year. That gave the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System a record $88.6 billion in assets.
Its director said state pension law changes in 2012 also bolstered the system's fiscal strength.
"The strong performance of our investments in 2013 illustrates the professional, prudent manner in which the OPERS pension and health care portfolios are managed," director Karen Carraher said. She said a long-term goal is average returns of 8 percent. "These strong returns surpass that goal, and allow us to continue to be well-funded."
The fund was led by nearly 34 percent returns on U.S. domestic stock investments.
The Ohio Police & Fire Fund's portfolio was worth $14.1 billion after a 16.5 percent return. The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio made 17.4 percent, hitting $72.3 billion in assets. The School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, which serves non-teaching staff and other school workers such as janitors, logged $21.1 billion after a 16.1 percent return. The Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System earned 18.8 percent, leaving it with $810 million in assets.
The five pension systems service retirees, active workers and former government employees. Together, they have some $188 billion in assets.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com