State, Local Pension Funds Rose In 2011

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Census Bureau said state and local government pension plans rose in value by 13.2 percent from 2010 to 2011.

In 2010, state and local government pension plans were worth $2.7 trillion. That had grown to $3 trillion by 2011, the bureau said.

In real dollars, the pension funds rose by $351.9 billion, compared to a rise of $288.7 billion from 2009 to 2010.

The pension systems changed their investment strategies year to year. Pension funds increased holdings of corporate stocks by 12.5 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2011. That put stocks at 34.6 percent of all of their holdings, the bureau said.

Ownership of corporate bonds fell 0.2 percent to $424 billion. In total, 14 percent of pension fund holdings were made up of corporate bonds.

The big jump was in foreign and international securities, which rose by 24 percent from 2010 to 2011, to reach $523 billion.

U.S. government securities rose by 3.8 percent to $240.9 billion, bringing government securities to 8 percent of their holdings, the bureau said.

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