Pooled pension funds make solid returns

Pooled pension funds make solid returns

Pension funds extended their gains to nine consecutive months in the second quarter of 2005, the longest unbroken period of gains since the mid-1990s, according to research company Russell/Mellon on Friday.

Funds classed in the pooled balanced category achieved a median positive return of 4.7 percent, led by strong performance in stock markets, it said.

Pooled pension funds hold assets on behalf of several pension portfolios and run them as a single pot.

“This recent run of positive performance also brings pension funds that bit closer to where they were before the bear run at the start of the decade,” Daniel Hall, Russell/Mellon’s publications and statistics manager, said in a note.

On one measure, a typical balanced fund — holding a mix of bonds, stocks, cash and other assets — would be worth about 98 percent of its asset value at the end of 1999, he said.

Positive returns were achieved across all major asset classes, with UK equities returning 5.0 percent and overseas stocks logging 6.7 percent gains. UK bonds recorded a return of 4.7 percent, and property returned. 4.5 percent.

Pension fund managers shifted out of domestic UK equities and bonds over the quarter, continuing a trend seen in recent years. UK equity weightings fell by 0.6 percent to 50.6 percent.