GLOBAL - Total assets of the world's 300 largest pension funds fell 12% in 2001, according to the annual survey by Pensions & Investments and consultants Watson Wyatt.
Assets totaled US$5.43trn last year, compared with US$6.17trn in 2000 - a sharp contrast to the 8.5% growth reported year-end 2000.
The US, Japan and the UK retained the three top spots in terms of total pension fund assets, with US$3.44trn, US$427.5bn and US$423.8bn respectively. The US suffered a 15% fall on 2000, and Japan saw assets drop by 22%. But the UK’s overall assets slid only 8%, doing better than the average fund, according to the survey.
The top five pension fund slots were held by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) (US$144bn); Dutch fund ABP (US$130bn); New York State Common (US$106bn); Japan’s Local Government Officials (US$99bn), and California State Teachers (US$96bn) in that order.* According to the survey the largest UK pension fund was the BT fund - at number 37 - with around US$40bn in assets under management.
But the biggest surprise came from the Taiwan’s Postal Savings Fund moving into the top 10 - into seventh place - in 2001 with a 20% increase in assets to US$91bn. The fund was the only one to gain on returns.
Some other emerging market countries held strong performance from their pension funds, including Korea’s National Pension Fund (US$57bn), Brazil’s Previ pension fund (US$16bn), and Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (US$51bn).*
*These figures have been rounded up to the nearest billion.
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