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NH Retirement System investments gain $812m

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Retirement System had a good year in 2013, posting investment gains of $812 million, a more than 2,000 percent increase from the returns in 2012.

Net investment income increased 14.5 percent during the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30, according to the annual financial report released by the NHRS on Tuesday.

The returns reflected a strong stock market, and they "exceeded internal benchmarks and placed NHRS in the top decile of public fund investment performance," according to the report.

The gains brought the fund's total asset value at the end of the fiscal year to $6.4 billion.

The pension fund's returns in 2013 marked the largest yearly gain since 2009, when the recession resulted in a nearly $1 billion loss from 2008 and brought total asset value down to $4.4 billion.

At the same time, total public employee and employer contributions to the system, $469 million, were outstripped by payments to retirees in 2013 by more than $130 million. Contributions were down by 1.3 percent from 2012, which the NHRS largely attributed to there being one less pay period in 2013. Based on its current assets, the state retirement system remains underfunded by 56.7 percent of "the projected amount needed to pay for both current retirees and the accrued benefit for future retirees," according to the report.

The NHRS has nearly 49,000 active contributing members, 88.1 percent of them teachers and other public employees, and 11.9 percent police and firefighters.

The system has nearly 30,000 pension recipients and more than 10,000 retirees and/or beneficiaries receiving a post-retirement medical subsidy.

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