Annual Report: NYSTRS Remains Strong and Secure


NYSTRS' strength and status as one of the largest and best-funded public pension funds in the country has been reaffirmed by a recently released financial report.

The System’s net assets totaled $137.2 billion and the total portfolio returned 9.0% net of fees as of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023, according to NYSTRS’ 2023 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR).

Benefits paid to the System’s retirees and beneficiaries totaled $8.2 billion for the fiscal year – up from $8 billion for the previous fiscal year. 

Leading indicators of pension plan strength are found in a plan’s long-term returns and funded status. NYSTRS’ 10-year and 30-year annualized net rates of return were 8.5% and 8.3%, respectively. The System’s funded ratio is 99.3% based on the actuarial value of assets as of June 30, 2022, the most-recent calculation available. (A funded ratio is a comparison of the actuarial value of assets to the accrued pension benefit liability.)  

NYSTRS Executive Director and CIO Thomas K. Lee said, "As the ACFR demonstrates, NYSTRS’ Board and staff are committed to fulfilling our mission of providing our members with a secure pension. Our retirement plan was solidly built to endure the up and down cycles of the economy." 

Lee continued, "Required member and employer contributions are consistently collected in full and without fail. Those contributions are then prudently invested in a diversified and risk-controlled portfolio with a focus on long-term returns. The result of this proven investment philosophy has enabled the System to provide retirement security to New York’s public educators since 1921."

By late December the System will also publish a 2023 Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), which is a graphical summary of the longer ACFR. Both the ACFR and PAFR are available on the Annual Reports page. Visit the Infographics page to peruse a host of graphics displaying NYSTRS’ facts and figures.

Highlights from the 6/30/23 Financial Report 

  1. NYSTRS paid out approximately $8.2 billion in benefits to members and beneficiaries. 

  2. Nearly 80% of benefits are paid to New York state residents. 

  3. The System serves nearly 449,000 people. Active members total 268,058; retired members and beneficiaries total 180,727. 

  4. NYSTRS’ net position has increased nearly five fold over the past 30 years despite paying out almost four times as much in benefits as contributions collected from employers and members over the same period. 

  1. Over the past 30 years, investment income has made up 85% of NYSTRS’ funding. Employer and member contributions make up 13% and 2%, respectively. 

  1. The System is 99.3% funded based on the actuarial value of assets as of June 30, 2022, the most-recent calculation available.  

  1. NYSTRS’ investments are broadly diversified among 11 primary asset classes to minimize investment risk and promote stability. 

  2. About 57% of System assets are managed internally, which keeps administrative costs low and leaves more money for paying benefits and future investments.