California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, paid more than $200 million in fees to private investment advisors who handled its riskiest investments, The New York Times reports.

As the nation’s largest pension fund, CalPERS’ moves are closely watched by other pension administrators, and, in this case, weigh heavily on the question of whether to invest public money in hedge funds and other types of alternative investments.

Figures released this week after shareholder advocates won a court fight for more transparency show the public pension juggernaut invested $13.5 billion in 415 private investment firms specializing in alternative investments. The fund allocated $21.1 billion to such investments but slightly more than one third of that sum is currently sitting on the sidelines.

Morningstar calculates the alternative investment fees annual amount to 1.48% of the fund’s assets under management, more than twice the average annual fee charged by equity mutual funds. CalPERS previously lumped the reporting for its separate alternative investment holdings into total fees and combined returns.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.