New Mexico Educational Pension Fund Reaches New High

New Mexico's educational pension program reports strong investment returns during the past year and the fund's finances reached a historical high.

The Educational Retirement Board said the pension fund had assets valued at more than $9.7 billion at the end of September. The previous high was $9.6 billion in September 1997, shortly before the state's pension and investment funds nosedived because of a global meltdown in financial markets.

The pension system reports investment returns of 4.6 percent during the last quarter and 16 percent during the past year. It has 10-year investment gains of 8.5 percent.

About 97,000 educators and retirees are covered by the pension program.

The system's governing board is proposing higher payroll contributions by educators to help shore up the pension fund's long-term finances.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.