NETHERLANDS - Dutch pension funds returned 14.6% in 2009 on the back of strong equities performance, data by State Street Investment Analytics revealed.
The firm said equity holdings of the funds of the WM Universe gained 32.5%, beating the FTSE World Index which produced a return of 30.2%.
Fixed income assets were up 14.1% mainly driven by corporate bond investments, while lower risk investments such as government bonds and cash provided modest returns.
State Street said changes in Dutch pension funds' asset mix over 2009 were largely due to relative market movements. Equity exposure increased from 27.6% at the end of 2008 to 32.5% at the end of the current year. Fixed Income exposure fell from 53.7% to 50%.
Funding levels also improved. The average coverage ratio increased to 111% by end of last year from 99% at the start of 2009.
However, State Street noted the average coverage ratio remained below the regulatory required level of 126%.
The firm surveyed 104 Dutch pension funds, which are collectively valued at €216bn (US$290.9bn). The WM Universe does not include the two largest Dutch pension funds.
The first specialist independent firm advising pension schemes on bulk annuities or moving to a consolidator has been set up with ambitions to shake up the market.
The UK Statistics Authority's (UKSA) "refusal" to fix a long-standing error in the retail prices index (RPI) is "untenable" and demonstrates a need to commit to one measure of inflation.
Tim Sharp warns the DWP's plans for collective DC risk establishing an inhospitable environment for the lay trustee
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.