(Updates to include CalPERS' denial) US - CalPERS has denied a magazine article saying the fund plans to raise its allocation to hedge funds.

Alpha magazine had quoted the California Public Employees' Retirement System’s chief investment officer Mark Anson as saying he wants to raise CalPERS’ hedge fund allocation to up to five percent of its global equity allocation.

"We currently have a one billion-dollar hedge fund program and have spent a little more than half of that commitment," said Brad Pacheco, spokesman for the 166 billion-dollar scheme. “We have no current plans to raise the allocation.”

“Mark was simply asked about future goals and the reporter did some back of the paper math to get a number. Again, we have no current plans to raise the allocation.”

Anson was quoted as saying by the magazine: "Doing things right takes time. People associate hedge funds with risk, and we've deliberately set out to invest in a way in which there is actually less risk than in our traditional equity pool."

The scheme’s hedge fund investments returned 16.7% in 2003, less than the 19.3% return on its customized hedge fund benchmark, the article added.

"We trailed our benchmark last year because we took less risk - one-fifth the risk of the market instead of the_planned one half," Anson told Alpha.