"Oregon invests for the long term, in up and down markets," said Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

PHOENIX - The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund earned returns of 2.1% in 2015, and ended the year with a balance of $68.7 billion.

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler announced the year-end numbers in a statement Friday. The Oregon fund ranked in the 89th percentile for returns with 2.1%, meaning it outperformed 88% of its peers with assets under management of $10 billion or more, according to Callan Associates, the general consultant for the Oregon Investment Council. OPERF's target rate was 1.57%.

"Oregon invests for the long term, in up and down markets, and Oregonians are better off because of the due diligence of Treasury to better manage risk and diversify for down cycles," said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

Including 2015, the fund has returned an average annual performance of 6.27% for the past decade. That puts Oregon in the 84th percentile of to peer funds for the same period, according to Callan. Oregon has been significantly revising its investment strategies in recent years, targeting more investments in an asset class called "alternatives." Those include infrastructure, agriculture, and timberland. Returns on these investments are less correlated to traditional stocks and bonds and thus improve overall fund diversification, state officials have said. The Oregon Investment Council announced the most recent round of those moves in December.

The state manages the fund on behalf of almost 339,000 current and future public sector retirees, the Treasurer's office said. OPERF posted a 7.3 percent return in 2014.

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