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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

State pension fund jumps 3.7 percent in fourth quarter

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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The value of the Hawai'i Employees' Retirement System's investment portfolio jumped by $442 million in the last three months of 2009.

The pension plan for state and county workers was worth $10.2 billion at the end of the year as the portfolio enjoyed a 3.7 percent increase during the quarter.

The performance outpaced its benchmark return for the period as public equities continued to rebound from losses in late 2008.

"We beat our benchmark by roughly 0.7 percent," said Rod June, chief investment officer for what is the largest pension fund in the state. He said during the past 12 months the fund rose 17.9 percent. "We had a good performance for the year."

June said he isn't forecasting a similar gain this year given volatility in stock markets and the fragile nature of the economic recovery with respect to unemployment and foreclosures.

But he said over time the portfolio is well positioned.

"I really do believe over the long term our portfolio will continue to see some increases."