Belgian funds posted an average -0.07% return in 2000, according to the Belgian Association of Pension Funds' latest annual performance report, the third lowest total since the report began 16 years ago.
The report, which consists of 135 pension funds, shows that despite the negative return in 2000, the average over three years is still positive (+10.52%). The figure increases to 12.68% over the previous five years.
Average contribution rates from employees and employers fell 16% to EUR417m in 2000 due to the positive returns of the past few years.
The report also found that smaller funds - with less than EUR25m in assets - performed the best last year with an average return of 0.21%. Medium sized funds - with between EUR25m to EUR125m in assets - did the worst, with a -0.64% return and larger funds - worth over EUR125m - had a -0.07% return.
The survey also found that funds increased their number of bond holdings reflecting the downturn in the equity markets. The weighting in bonds rose to 40.3%, up from the 1999 figure of 33%. Equities fell to 49.9%, down 3.1% from the previous year. Real estate was down 0.5% to 3.9% in 2000, whilst other asset classes were down from 9.6% in 1999 to 5.9%.
By Geoffrey Ho
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