As the economy sails into choppy waters, New York's pension fund at the end of the state's fiscal year in March posted a 9.5% rate of return and hit $272.1 billion in value, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Monday said. 

The announcement comes after two straight quarters of a shrinking economy, rising inflation and concerns of an economic downturn in the United States. 

The health of New York's pension fund can reflect the broader economy given the ongoing uncertainty in the financial markets. And its impact is felt by employers -- mainly local governments -- that pay into the fund as well. 

“There has been tremendous volatility in the markets in recent months, but thanks to the state pension fund’s diverse investments, it finished the year above our assumed rate of return,” DiNapoli said. “Still, the turmoil in the markets since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the financial world with repercussions that are ongoing. With inflation and supply chain issues continuing to impact the economy, we expect a challenging investment environment for the foreseeable future.”

New York's fund paid out $14.7 billion in retirement and death benefits during the fiscal year, which runs from April1 to March 31. The long-term rate of return for the pension fund is expected to 5.9%.