UK - Pooled pension schemes have plummeted by nearly 25% in the past year with a net loss of £60bn across the Russell/Mellon CAPS Index.
Its latest survey shows the balanced median fell by 23.7% in the year to the end of March and by 4.4% in the first quarter.
The figures mirror the HSBC Actuaries and Consultants’ IMAGE survey, which revealed a 4.3% fall in the first three months.
Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb described the figures as “shocking” and said they highlighted “government complacency in dealing with the pensions crisis”.
But an NAPF spokesman warned against “snapshot” valuations.
He said: “It is a well-established fact that on snapshot views there are deficits in some pension schemes but pensions are a long-term investment.”
The Russell/Mellon CAPS figures reveal that during the quarter the average overall equity weighting in balanced pooled funds fell from 78.5% to 78.0%, with holdings in cash increasing.
Underlying this change, the average UK equity weighting fell by 1.5 percentage points to 51.3% – a record low for the asset class.
At the same time the average overseas equity weighting rose by 1 percentage point to 26.7%, with the largest increase occurring in North America where holdings rose by 0.8 points to 7.6%.
UK fixed interest rose by 0.2 points to 10.5%, while overseas bonds fell by the same amount to 4.8%.
The poorest performing balanced fund was the £101m St James’s Place (GAM) fund, which fell by 7.9% in the first quarter of 2003.
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