The $300 billion pension fund, the nation's largest, provides retirement and health benefits to 1.6 million Californians. Eliopoulos said the hedge fund investment was only $4 billion, or a little more than 1 percent of its portfolio.
Read MoreQ2 investment returns improve for public pensions
"For us, in making our hedge fund decision, we looked at the relatively small scale of the hedge fund program and its real inability to have a meaningful impact on our total portfolio," he said.
"We also looked at the cost and complexity of the hedge fund program and decided that it just was not practical or beneficial for us to scale up the portfolio to a size that would be meaningful to our portfolio."
The CalPERS decision, made Sept. 15, caused a stir and led some to speculate about whether it would spark a movement. However, other pensions, investment consultants and money managers have since dismissed the idea that other public retirement plans will follow suit.
Read MorePensions stick with hedge funds despite CalPERS exodus