After Q1 loss, R.I. pension fund earns $450M in April rebound

THE RHODE ISLAND pension system earned $450 million in April after losing $900 million in the first quarter, bringing the fund’s total value to $8.3 billion, according to the R.I. Office of the General Treasurer. / COURTESY R.I. OFFICE OF THE GENERAL TREASURER

PROVIDENCE – After a $900 million loss in the first quarter of 2020, the state pension fund is starting to rebound.

Pension investments earned $450 million in April, a 5.75% monthly return that brings the fund’s total value to $8.3 billion, according to the R.I. Office of the General Treasurer.

At the start of the year, the fund stood at $8.8 billion but dropped precipitously in March amid a volatile stock market. Even with a first-quarter hit to earnings, Rhode Island continues to outperform a majority of other public pension plans nationwide, according to a recent analysis, which the Treasurer’s Office credited to its crisis protection strategy.

Implemented in 2016, the 12.4% allocation to U.S. Treasury Department bonds and “trend-following” assets are designed to shield against volatile markets.

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The system also continues to outperform annualized target benchmarks, as well as returns expected under a traditional 60-40 split of stocks and bonds.

Nancy Lavin is a staff writer for PBN. Contact her at Lavin@PBN.com.

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