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NC Senate OKs more pension fund investment choice

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina lawmakers want to give state Treasurer Janet Cowell more flexibility in how to invest public employee pension funds.

The Senate voted by a wide margin Monday to change the composition of alternative investments beyond stocks and bonds in the state retirement system portfolio, valued recently at $78 billion. The bill allowing more pension funds in venture capital, hedge funds and real estate now goes to the House.

Bill sponsor Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine says Cowell sought the legislation, which attempts to simplify investment limits.

The current law says the pension fund can invest up to 34 percent in several categories, with individual caps on each category. The bill would raise the aggregate to 40 percent of market value, with caps in any category at 15 percent.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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