Wisconsin state retirement funds grow in 2016

The primary investment fund for Wisconsin state employees and retirees has grown 8.5 percent over the past year.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board reported Tuesday that based on preliminary numbers the $89 billion “Core Fund” grew 8.5 percent for the year. The five-year return is 8.1 percent. The gain last year came after a slight dip in 2015.

Payments to the roughly 184,000 retirees and beneficiaries investing in the “Core Fund” are leveled out over a five-year period to avoid large jumps in annuity payments or contribution rates.

The more volatile “Variable Fund,” which is less diverse than the “Core Fund” and comprised entirely of stocks, gained 10.6 percent in 2016. Its five-year return is 12.1 percent.

Annuity payment rates are set in March.