China’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF), reported its first annual loss since its founding eight years ago, losing 6.79% on its investments in 2008, state media reported. Realized gains in 2008 stood at US$3.86 billion, against a nominal loss of US$14.26 billion, the NSSF said. In 2007, the NSSF enjoyed a return rate of 43.19%. The NSSF had total assets of US$82.39 billion at the end of 2008, an increase of US$17.99 billion from 2007. Despite last year’s loss, the average annual return from investment for the past eight years hit 8.98%. An unnamed NSSF official told state media the fund plans to improve its risk control and invest more prudently this year, cutting down on fixed income products and expanding its investment in private equity funds. Dai Xianglong, chairman of the NSSF has stated that the fund plans to invest in three to five private equity funds this year.