NHRS Realizes 8.2% Investment Return in Fiscal Year 2023

Trust fund assets stood at $11.51 billion as of June 30, 2023

Nov 07, 2023
  • Investments

For Immediate Release: November 7, 2023

Contact: Marty Karlon, Director of Communications & Legislative Affairs, (603) 410-3594; public_relations@nhrs.org

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) realized an 8.2% return on investments in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. 

The three-year, five-year, 10-year, and 25-year returns for the periods ended June 30, 2023, were 9.6%, 7.1%, 7.9%, and 6.5%, respectively.  All returns are net of fees. The retirement system’s assumed rate of investment return is 6.75%.

“Like all investors, NHRS has faced a challenging economic landscape,” said NHRS Executive Director Jan Goodwin. “This year’s return reflects the diligent efforts of the Independent Investment Committee (IIC) and NHRS staff to navigate the uncertainties posed by market volatility, inflation, and geopolitical instability. We continue to emphasize that our primary focus is to meet or exceed the retirement system’s assumed rate of return of 6.75% over the long term.”

At the close of the fiscal year, the retirement system’s unaudited net position held in trust was $11.51 billion, an increase of approximately $750 million from the prior fiscal year, which stood at $10.75 billion.

Over the past decade, NHRS trust fund assets have increased by approximately $4 billion, despite paying out more than $7 billion in pension and medical subsidy benefits over that same period. Nearly four out of five benefit recipients continue to reside in New Hampshire, which means most of these payments remain in state, helping support the local economy.

Compared to the members in the Callan Public Fund Sponsor – Large Universe (greater than $1 billion), which contains 85 public pension plans, NHRS performed better than two-thirds of its peers in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 and better than 80% over the past decade.

The FY 2023 return stands in contrast to the prior fiscal year, when global financial volatility led to the retirement system’s first negative net return since the great financial crisis of 2008-09.

“As long-term investors we know that we will see returns above and below our assumed rate of return in any given year,” Goodwin said. “Because investment results are smoothed on a five-year rolling average, no single fiscal year is recognized all at once, which helps stabilize employer contribution rates.”

The 8.2% return trailed the total fund benchmark of 9.8%.  NHRS has a diversified investment portfolio which, in any given year, can diverge from market indices.

The retirement system pursues a long-term investment strategy designed to meet its funding requirements and to reduce risk and mitigate volatility. Investment decisions have always been – and will continue to be – made solely in the interest of its participants and beneficiaries. The Board of Trustees, with research and input from NHRS investment staff, outside experts, and a recommendation from the IIC, sets an investment policy that includes asset allocation targets and ranges.  The IIC continuously monitors and evaluates performance, and makes determinations regarding the hiring and retention of fund managers.

Further information on the retirement system’s investment performance is available here.

Detailed FY 2023 financial and investment information will be included in the retirement system’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) and Comprehensive Annual Investment Report (CAIR), both due out in December.

About NHRS

NHRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its eligible members and their beneficiaries.  The State of New Hampshire and more than 460 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers.  NHRS has approximately 48,500 active members and 42,000 benefit recipients. NHRS administers a defined benefit plan qualified as a tax-exempt entity under sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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