Rebounding stock markets helped boost returns for North Carolina's public employee pension funds during the third quarter.
State Treasurer Janet Cowell said Monday the retirement systems recorded a 10.4 percent increase during the three months ending Sept. 30.
The uptick means pension assets grew for the quarter from $60 billion to almost $66 billion. That's still below the high of $77 billion at the end of 2007.
The North Carolina Retirement Systems benefited from a 17.6 percent increase in its equity portfolio. Cowell said bonds reported a nearly 6 percent increase, but real estate had an 8 percent loss.
Cowell's office invests pension funds for more than 820,000 public workers and retirees in North Carolina, including teachers and state employees.