Boosted by stocks and real estate, CalPERS' investments bounced back strongly last year.
The big pension fund said Monday it earned a 13.3 percent profit on its portfolio in calendar 2012.
That's significantly higher than the California Public Employees' Retirement System's official investment forecast of 7.5 percent.
It's also a major improvement on the fiscal year that ended last June 30, when CalPERS earned just 1 percent.
The $252 billion pension fund's investment returns are crucial to the finances of state and local governments. The more money it earns, the less likely it is to press its member agencies for higher annual contributions. The state contributes around $3.5 billion a year to CalPERS.
The higher investment returns were spread across a broad category, with spokesman Joe DeAnda citing "strong gains in global stocks and real (estate) assets."
Stocks gained 17.2 percent. Real estate gained 12.8 percent, as the portfolio continues to rebound from huge losses suffered during the housing market meltdown.
CalPERS has restructured its real estate portfolio to focus on more conservative holdings, such as leased-up office buildings and industrial sites.
The private equity portfolio, consisting of investments in companies that aren't publicly traded, earned a 12.2 percent return.
The results were announced at a CalPERS board meeting in Monterey.