UK - The value of UK pension funds has continued to plunge and could lead to a decline in equity investment and an increase in bonds, WM Company claims.
The performance measurement firm said the figures highlighted that total pension fund assets fell 7.1% in September and were down 10.4%for the third quarter.
UK equities – which have a collective pension fund weighting of 46.4% – returned -9.4%for September and were down 13.5% for the third quarter of 2001.
Overseas equities – the second largest collective UK pension fund weighting at 23.9% fared even worse returning -11.9% last month and down 19.9% for the third quarter.
WM Company executive director Graham Wood said UK pensions funds had been through a difficult period over the last two years because of the burst of the technology bubble and the terrorist attacks in the US last month.
He added: “Overall, the figures are startling and show that there have been very significant falls – particularly in the equities markets. This has led to an erosion of pension schemes’ capital values.”
The figures showed only two asset classes which enjoyed positive returns for September – cash which was up 0.4% and 1.2% for the quarter and property which rose 0.5% and 1.5% for the quarter.
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