The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, which manages the $8 billion pension fund for some 36,000 active and retired county workers, said March 8 that the fund generated an annual return of 6.31 percent for the calendar year ended Dec. 31.

The fund gained a net of more than $200 million in the fourth quarter to bring its total to $8.2 billion, according to a report that SDCERA’s retirement investment board is considering at its March 15 meeting.

The fund outperformed both the pension fund’s own benchmark of 5.47 percent, and that of most public pension funds of more than $1 billion in assets, according to SDCERA.

The median return for public funds over $1 billion in 2011 was 0.86 percent, the report said.

The fund’s performance was significant because it was achieved by taking on less risk than most other public pension funds, SDCERA said.

Mike Allen