The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board grew its defined benefit retirement portfolio’s assets by $7.9 billion in 2013 thanks to 15.2% investment return.

In an announcement Tuesday, the Boston-based agency stated that the Pension Reserves Investment Management Trust Fund ended the calendar year with about $57.9 billion. State Treasurer Steven Grossman credits the performance of global equities and private equity to exceeded its benchmark index by about 264 basis points.

“PRIM’s outstanding performance in 2013 will enable us to reduce our unfunded pension liability and is likely to increase the attractiveness of the Commonwealth’s bonds to investors,” said Grossman. “Our commitment to maximizing returns while successfully managing risk demonstrates sound fiscal leadership that will serve the interests of the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.”

Top returns for the annual period included a 24.1% for global equity, 21.1% for private equity, 12.6% for hedge funds and 10.8% for total real estate.

Over the past one, three, five and 10-year periods, PRIM reported 9.54%, 11.94% and 7.65% returns, respectively.

PRIM Executive Director and CEO Michael Trotsky stated in the Jan. 21 announcement that “PRIM has successfully modified its risk exposure to equities while still capturing very strong returns from the global equity markets.”

He added that its decisions on how to invest in hedge funds and alternatives has allowed for improved “performance while reducing risk and also dramatically reducing management fees.”

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