CANADA - Canadian pensions marked their lowest quarterly returns since the start of the financial crisis on the back of world-wide market uncertainty, said RBC Dexia.
Canadian pension assets fell 5.5% in the three months ending 30 September 2011, bringing year-to-date performance within the C$340bn ($337.9bn) RBC Dexia universe down to -3.2%.
RBC Dexia director of advisory services, Don McDougall said: "Ongoing uncertainty over Europe's sovereign debt crisis, a US downgrade and mounting fears of slower global economic growth drove pensions to their lowest quarterly result since the 2008 financial crisis."
The MSCI World index dropped by almost 10% with the decline led mainly by weakness in European banks.
"Exchange rates were a key this quarter as a weaker Canadian dollar against most major currencies - particularly the US dollar, helped reduce the loss to Canadian investors," said McDougall.
Canadian equity was the worst performing asset class for Canadian plans as the S&P TSX Composite lost 12% in the quarter and 11.9% year-to-date.
Bonds performed well as investors sought refuge, with an increase of 2.5% year-to-date.
"Fixed income strength continued to come from declining long-term bond yields as the DEX Long Term bond index had its best three-month showing in 20 years, advancing by 9.8% over the quarter," he said.
An unnamed London-based employer has been hit with a £350,000 fine from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to fully comply with its pension duties.
XPS Pensions has enhanced its fiduciary management selection service in order to help trustees through initial selection and mandatory re-tendering.
One in five defined benefit (DB) schemes are in The Pension Regulator's (TPR) weakest two categories, analysis by Hymans Robertson has revealed.
State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) has been selected as the first index manager for the Asset Management Exchange's (AMX) passive funds.