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State pension funds hits another all-time high

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the state's estimated pension fund value has reached an all-time high, thanks to several factors.

"We've been benefiting obviously from the strong public markets, the stock market's been doing well and that's a significant part of our portfolio," DiNapoli said.

"So at the end of our first quarter -- and our fiscal year starts April 1 -- so at the end of the first quarter, which ended June 30, we were up to $180.7 billion. That is an historic high for us, so we're very, very pleased about the continued growth of the fund."

DiNapoli says the pension fund's continued growth could have a trickle-down effect for New York taxpayers.

"In the very near future, we're actually finalizing the numbers now, we will have our announcement of the contribution rates charged to our government employers," DiNapoli explained.

"And I'm optimistic that we'll see a continued downward trend. I can't give you the exact number yet, we're still working on it, but that hopefully will relieve some of the pressure that's been on our municipal budgets and on our taxpayers."

The fund grew by about 3.5 percent over the last quarter, and although he doesn't have a crystal ball, the comptroller says the state is continuing to invest in a variety of areas to keep increasing the fund's total worth.

"The one thing you know for sure is that the markets will not always stay up, but we certainly hope that even if they do level off or flatten out, as long as they don't take a significant step backwards, I think we're well positioned for continued growth over the long term," DiNapoli said.

New York's pension fund is the third largest in the United States.