VRS Achieves 4.7 Percent Return for Fiscal Year 2015

October 2, 2015

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) achieved a 4.7 percent net return on its investment portfolio for fiscal year 2015, ending the year with $68.1 billion in assets, setting a new high for the fund.

“Fiscal year 2015 saw fluctuations in the markets attributable to the concern about the state of the global economy,” said Chief Investment Officer Ronald D. Schmitz. “However, the VRS fund exceeded the benchmark set by the Board of Trustees. We continued to take a more conservative approach with an eye toward protecting the fund, which resulted in a return that exceeded our expectations even during a more volatile market.”

During fiscal year 2015, the major asset classes performed as follows:

• Real assets program returned 11.8 percent
• Private Equity program returned 8.3 percent
• Public Equity program returned 5.5 percent
• Strategic Opportunities Portfolio program returned 2.9 percent
• Fixed Income program returned 1.9 percent
• Credit Strategies program returned 1.1 percent

The portfolio included approximately $7.7 billion in real assets, $5.1 billion in private equity, $28.4 billion in public equity, $818 million in strategic opportunities portfolio, $12.3 billion in fixed income and $12.2 billion in credit strategies as of June 30, 2015.

“Based on current economic conditions, the VRS fund outperformed this year,” said VRS Board Chairman Robert L. Greene. “The staff did an impressive job of navigating a changing global market while taking advantage of opportunities to add value but also minimize risk. We will, however, continue to work toward the goal of providing over time a policy-targeted return to meet the actuarially assumed rate of return, which is 7 percent on an annualized basis.”

VRS ranks as the 22nd largest public or private pension fund in the U.S. and 49th largest in the world, serving approximately 660,000 members, retirees and beneficiaries. The active employees include about 146,000 teachers, 105,000 local government employees and 89,000 state employees. In addition, VRS provides benefits to more than 185,000 retirees and beneficiaries.

VACo Contact: Erik Johnston, CAE

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