According to the investment report from Mississippi's defined benefit pension system, the plan's investments earned an astounding 32.71 percent in gross returns in fiscal 2021.
The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi — which is the retirement fund for most state, city and county employees — released the report after the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
PERS holdings ($35.6 billion) as of June 30 add up to 27.42 percent in U.S. stocks and 33.88 percent in non-U.S. stocks. PERS has been investing in the stock markets since August 1980, which promised larger returns than the treasury bonds that represented most pension fund investments up to that point.
PERS and most other pension funds nationwide did this at the cost of increased volatility.
For the final quarter of fiscal 2021, PERS’ investment returns earned a return of 6.71 percent. For the year, PERS investments earned 46.83 percent in the U.S. stock market and more than 40 percent globally. Private equities (non-publicly traded source of capital) earned a 58.87 percent return during the fiscal year.
Last year's investment report from the same time period in fiscal 2020 showed a rally that continued into fiscal 2021 after the COVID-19 related lockdowns. The final quarter showed 22.55 percent gains in U.S. equities (stocks), 18.22 percent in international and 19.49 percent in global equities. For the year that ended June 30, 2020, PERS investments in U.S. stock markets earned a 4.52 percent rate of return and lost 2.64 percent in international equity markets.
Some of PERS biggest holdings in the U.S. include:
- Microsoft - $414 million.
- Apple - $339 million.
- Amazon - $309 million.
- Facebook - $207 million.
- PERS also owns $82 million in Tesla stock.
On the international market, PERS owns stock in:
- Taiwan Semiconductor - $144 million.
- Samsung Electronics - $126 million.
- ASLML Holdings (which manufactures machines used to produce integrated circuits) - $104 million.