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The New York pension fund took a hit in the volatile market

The New York Pension Fund posted a negative return for the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year amid a volatile national and global financial scene.

The Office of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said Friday that the fund posted a negative return of 8.24% for the first three months of the fiscal year beginning April 1.

The fund’s value fell to $246.3 billion from $272.1 billion at the end of March after $3.69 billion was paid out to beneficiaries and retirees. Benefits for retirees and members remain secure, DiNapoli said.

“The first three months of the fiscal year brought turmoil to financial markets amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising inflation and supply chain issues that continue to impact the economy,” DiNapoli said. “The fund’s prudent management and diverse holdings have helped make it one of the best funded public pension funds in the country, and it remains well positioned to weather the ups and downs of the markets. The benefits of pensioners and members remain secured.”

But inflation, supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine have added to the overall market woes. The development also comes as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration revised estimates for next year’s tax revenue and projected budget gaps as spending is expected to outpace a slowing economy.

Hochul previously told her cabinet to consider tightening the belt ahead of next year’s budget, while touting cash reserves that could offset any fall in sales.

In the past, market slumps have caused municipalities and other public employers to pay more into the fund.

DiNapoli’s office estimated the long-term yield at 5.9%.

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