By Dale Kasler
Published: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 – 11:35 pm

CalPERS reported its best annual investment gains in a decade Monday, a development that could alter the political climate as another fight looms over pension reform.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System said its portfolio grew by 16.2 percent in 2013, boosted by a whopping 25 percent run-up in stock prices. The performance was substantially better than CalPERS’ official forecast of 7.5 percent, and marked an improvement over the 13.3 percent the pension fund earned in 2012.

Despite those gains, CalPERS is still in a huge financial hole, largely the result of catastrophic losses suffered during the 2008 market crash. While it has plenty of cash to pay its bills for the foreseeable future, the pension fund is facing a long-term shortfall of $103 billion as of June 2012, the latest figures available.

To pump more money into the system, the governing board of the $282 billion fund will consider an increase in contribution rates next month.

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