HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's pension funds have returned to their pre-recession market value.

The state Board of Investments learned Thursday that the state's nine pension funds posted a net gain of just over 13 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, and now have a total value of $8.54 billion.

The funds were valued at $8.5 billion in October 2007, before losing a quarter of their value in the 2008 financial meltdown.

Board of Investments Executive Director David Ewer tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that the funds benefited from strong stock market returns. They were valued at 7.583 billion a year ago.

Before the 2013 Legislature convened, the funds had a combined potential shortfall of $4.3 billion. Lawmakers passed bills to slightly increase contributions to and slightly reduce benefits paid by the pension plans.