BOSTON (SHNS) – The Massachusetts state pension fund hit another all-time high when the most recent quarter ended March 31, capping a one-year period that saw a return of 30 percent and an investment gain of $21 billion with $90.1 billion in assets now under management.
The Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund outperformed its benchmark by more than 4 percent during that period, and the fund’s three-, five-, and 10-year returns each beat their benchmarks as well, Michael Trotsky, executive director and chief investment officer of the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, reported to the PRIM Board on Wednesday.
“We are extremely proud to have added $21 billion to the pension fund in a period we will not soon forget, a period in which so many in the world and in our communities have suffered. Our strong return should be viewed as pension security for our beneficiaries in this time of so much struggle and uncertainty, and we believe it also goes a long way to shore up the finances of the entire Commonwealth after a very difficult year,” Trotsky wrote in a report included in meeting materials. “The carefully constructed PRIT Fund continues to perform well in both strong periods, like the last year, but more importantly, in weak markets, too, like we had a year ago with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The retirement funds of state employees, teachers and many municipal employees in Massachusetts are invested through PRIM.
The PRIT Fund paid out a net $1.5 billion in benefits to retirees during 2020. The PRIT Fund shed 9.9 percent during the first quarter of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the global economy, but it ended the calendar year having produced a return of 12.1 percent, beating its benchmark of 10.8 percent.
The largest six-month return in the fund’s history helped drive it to what was an all-time high of $86.9 billion at the end of 2020.