(Reuters) - U.S. public pension funds investments saw their growth rekindle, rising to $3.34 trillion in the fourth quarter after suffering a slight setback in their rise the previous quarter, U.S. Census data showed on Thursday.

The latest results, fueled by higher earnings, were just shy of the $3.37 trillion all-time high set in the second quarter of 2014.

Cash and security holdings for the nation's 100 largest public pension systems in the fourth quarter increased 4.8 percent compared to the same quarter of 2013, the data showed.

Since the third quarter of 2012, public pension assets had been steadily increasing, setting record highs every three months.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Hay)