State of Wisconsin Investment Board employees will share $11.9 million in bonuses as a reward for the performance of the investments made by SWIB money managers over the past five years.

That’s down 10.5 percent from the record $13.3 million in incentive payments issued a year ago, but it is the second highest pot of rewards.

The Investment Board’s trustees approved the funds on Wednesday. Individual allocations will not be released until the agency’s 142 employees are notified, by April 15. The bonuses supplement the staff’s regular pay.

“SWIB operates in a highly competitive industry and seeks to hire and retain talented professionals, then compensates them based on their ability to meet aggressive targets and add value to the trust funds,” executive director Michael Williamson said, in a statement.

SWIB manages more than $106.2 billion in assets, as of Feb. 28, mainly, the Wisconsin Retirement System’s funds.

Over the past five years, SWIB staff decisions have added $1.4 billion above their benchmarks to the Retirement System’s trust funds, after costs. The trust funds provide benefits to more than 590,000 current and past public employees and their families.

SWIB met its one-year benchmark and beat its benchmarks for five and 10 years for the Core Fund, which is the main source for public pensions.

Benchmarks are based mainly on the performance of market indexes.

The Core Fund had a return of 5.7 percent for 2014 while the smaller Variable Fund’s return was 7.3 percent.

The Core Fund had a 9.3 percent five-year return and its 10-year return was 6.7 percent while the Variable Fund’s five-year return was 12.7 percent and 10-year return was 7.1 percent.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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