NETHERLANDS - Dutch pension funds Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn's (PFZW) investments in structured credit and interest rate and inflation mandates helped push a return of 5.2% in the first quarter.
In a report released today, the €90.8bn (US$120.7bn) pension fund manager said: "After a weak start in the first few weeks of the year, optimism about the economic recovery led to an upturn in the financial markets, which particularly benefited Equities, Structured Credit and High Risk Bonds. A decrease in European interest rates led to a positive result from the investments made to provide partial hedging of interest-rate and inflation risks."
The scheme's 1.4% allocation to structured credit returned 12.2% in the first quarter while it's 21% allocation to interest rate and inflation mandates returned 10.1% in the same period.
Total returns on investments in 2009 were 17.7%.
Officials said they will continue to focus on responsible investments going forward.
The report said: "At the end of 2009, 33 companies and five countries [government bonds] were excluded. The number f excluded companies therefore rose by three compared to 2008, while the number of excluded government bonds remained unchanged. The pension fund achieved a higher percentage of voting at shareholders' meetings, more self-initiated dialogue projects and more targeted ESG investments."
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will develop and test new ways to include 4.8 million self-employed workers in pension savings.
Opt-out rates at the end of June 2018 "remained consistent" with levels before the April contribution rate increase, according the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has appointed Charles Counsell as its new chief executive, who will take over from Lesley Titcomb next year.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) should be abolished and audit and advisory businesses should be split into separate entities to improve the sector for both savers and investors, two reports published today say.