NU Online News Service, Aug. 27, 3:15 p.m. – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Sacramento, Calif., says it ended its latest fiscal year with $143 billion in assets, down 5.9% from a year earlier.

If CalPERS had not benefited from a 12% return on real estate holdings, a 15.3% return on international bonds and a 5.9% return on U.S. bonds, the asset shrinkage would have been worse, because CalPERS’ private stock holdings lost about 7.8% of their value, CalPERS says.

CalPERS’ fiscal year ended June 30.

CalPERS, a nonprofit organization that provides pension and health benefits for 1.3 million California public employees, retirees and dependents, says 30% of the public agencies that participate in CalPERS will have to send more cash to CalPERS to make up for the asset shrinkage.

CalPERS tried to put the asset shrinkage into perspective by pointing out that all U.S. public pension systems with more than $10 billion in assets lost more than 6% of their asset value during the 12-month period that ended June 30.