The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System was among the five top-performing U.S. public pension funds in its private equity assets, according to a study released this week by the American Investment Council, an advocacy group made up of leading private equity and growth capital companies. The 2022 public pension study showed that private equity as a class of investments delivered the strongest returns for public pension portfolios — a median annualized return of 15% over a 10-year period. IPERS had a 10-year annualized private-equity return of 18.3%, making it No. 5 among the 10 funds with the highest private equity returns. The study analyzed 176 U.S. public pension funds representing nearly 34 million public sector workers and retirees. Eighty-nine percent of public pensions in the sample had some exposure to private equity. On a dollar-weighted basis, private equity makes up 11% of public pension portfolios. In December, IPERS officials outlined plans to commit up to $3.125 billion to private market investments in calendar year 2022, including up to $1 billion to private equity investments. IPERS reported a 29.6% overall investment gain in fiscal 2021, increasing its trust fund to a record $42.85 billion market value.