PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Retirement System's assets dropped slightly in the past year after modest investment gains were offset by the cost of paying benefits to retirees.

State Investment Officer Matt Clark says his office earned $142 million on a return of 1.9 percent in the year that ended June 30. But he says after benefits were paid to retirees, the value of the Retirement System's assets dropped by about $90 million during the year.

However, Retirement System director Rob Wylie says South Dakota's system in much better shape than public retirement systems in most other states. He says the South DakotaRetirement System's $7.8 billion in assets means it is nearly fully funded to cover future benefit payments.

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