UK - Pension funds returned an unspectacular 1.1% for the second quarter, figures from performance measurement specialist the WM Company show.
Its survey, which covers more than two-thirds of the UK pension fund market, reveals that returns for the six months to the end of June were 2.6%.
WM Company said the second quarter returns - down from 1.5% last year - were driven primarily by the performance of equities. It said that European equities, which on average make up 9.1% of schemes’ portfolios, returned 3.8% for the quarter, while North American equities, which account for 8.7%of asset allocation, returned 2.9%.
UK equities continue to dominate schemes portfolios and the WM Company said that the average weighting to the asset class, which returned 2%, was 37%.
Japanese, Pacific ex-Japan and other international equities were down for the second quarter; however, the firm attributed this to currency weakness relative to sterling.
At the same time, schemes continued to move money out of equities and into fixed income, which has been hit due to fears that interest rates will rise.
While cash returned 2% for the quarter, UK bonds were down 1.2%, overseas bonds returned -0.8%, and index-linked gilts returned -0.4%.
The results mean that for the year to date, UK bond performance has been flat while returns from UK equities stand at 2.8%.
Property was the best performer during the second quarter, returning 4.9% and has the best performance record over three, five and 10 years.
WM senior consultant Graham Wood said: “In current market conditions it is proving difficult to find sources of incremental return. Pension funds continue to mark time as they wait for global markets to demonstrate a clear sense of direction.”
Enhanced powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to prosecute and fine company directors who "wilfully or recklessly" put their defined benefit (DB) pension scheme at risk will be hard to enforce, commentators say.
Melrose has pledged to contribute up to £1bn to GKN's pension schemes as part of a final offer to acquire the engineering business.
Existing master trusts will be forced to pay £41,000 when applying for authorisation under the upcoming regime, the government has confirmed.
UPDATE 2 - DWP publishes DB white paper: Stronger powers for TPR, DB chair statements to be introduced
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be given the power to fine company bosses who deliberately puts their defined benefit (DB) schemes at risk, the government has confirmed.