Assets in the country's 100 largest public-employee retirement systems passed $3 trillion for the first time since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking that figure in 1968.

Cash and security holdings totaled $3.06 trillion in the third quarter this year, a 4 percent increase from $2.94 trillion in the second quarter of 2013 and a 9.8 percent increase from $2.79 trillion in the third quarter of 2012.

Earnings on investments totaled $120.1 billion in the third quarter.

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