DiNapoli reports record pension fund return
Chris Bragg reports for the Times Union that state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said May 26 that New York's largest public-employee pension fund grew by 33.5 percent during the past fiscal year to $254.8 billion. That could mean lowering pension contribution rates for state and local governments, DiNapoli said. “If we can provide a rate decrease, we will try to do that, but our goal is to keep plans well-funded,” DiNapoli said in an interview. The news was a sharp turn-around from last year, when in fiscal year 2019-2020 the Common Retirement Fund went down 2.68 percent, as the stock market dropped at the beginning of the pandemic. Last December, DiNapoli said that the pension system would dump many of its fossil fuel stocks in the next five years and sell shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040. Activists are currently pressing the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System fund to end its $300 million investments in companies with substantial coal reserves. Read more about this story in the Times Union.