Florida’s $160.4 billion state pension fund showed a preliminary return of 8.99 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30, marking the ninth straight year the retirement fund has shown a positive gain.

Ash Williams, executive director of the State Board of Administration, which oversees the fund that pays retirement benefits for teachers, county workers, law enforcement officers, state workers and higher-education employees, said he expects the final number to be even higher.

“Preliminary figures for the Florida Retirement System pension plan project returns for fiscal-year 2017-18 just shy of 9 percent,” Williams said. “Fiscal year-end valuations for our private market assets — real estate, private equity, etc. — have not yet been posted, which should further improve the return.”

The initial estimate, according to the State Board of Administration, was .71 percent above the various indexes and benchmarks the financial managers use to gauge the performance of the investments, which include domestic and foreign stocks, bonds, real estate, other financial instruments and cash.

The nine-year positive run began after the fund plunged more than 19 percent in 2008-09 as Florida was dealing with the impact of the Great Recession. Since then, the fund had two years where the

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