By Dean Starkman
June 25, 2015

  • CalPERS investment chief said fund returned only 3% over 10 months
  • The performance, which trails the broader stock market, has implications for city and state finances

The nation’s biggest public pension fund is falling far short of its annual investment goals.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System earned only 3% in the 10 months ending April and will likely fall short of its 7.5% annual target when the fiscal year ends this month, the pension giant’s investment chief said.

Absent a “remarkable rally in the global stock market,” said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS’ chief investment officer, the ground to make up in two months is too great to avoid a likely shortfall.

“We don’t like to get too excited about any one-year return,” Eliopoulos said. “As the board is well aware, we would like to look at longer time periods as they are much more meaningful in measuring our performance.”

Eliopoulos’ remarks came in a prepared statement to the CalPERS board last week. A video of the meeting was posted on YouTube but not yet on CalPERS’ website. CalPERS posted monthly financial data Thursday.

Eliopoulos noted that the fund returned 18.4% in the fiscal year ended last June 30. He said the fund’s total value stood at $304.9 billion at the end of April.

The performance of CalPERS is closely watched in the financial world and has broad implications for California taxpayers.

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