New York City should invest more of its pension funds in international equities and other assets as improving returns would help the city with its soaring contributions, Deputy Mayor Robert Steel said on Thursday.

Steel, addressing a Citizens Budget Commission breakfast, estimated that the current mix of investments was about 70 percent U.S. equities and 30 percent fixed income.

A spokesman for Comptroller John Liu, whose office oversees pension investments, could not immediately confirm Steel's estimate of the asset mix.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Liu and the unions all appoint members to the boards that run the five funds, which were valued at $119 billion on June 30.

(Reporting by Joan Gralla, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)