U.S. Pension Funds Return 6.7 Percent; Sixth Straight Year of Gains

graphs and numbers

U.S. public pension funds saw median returns of 6.76 percent in 2014, according to Wilshire Associates. It marks the sixth consecutive year of positive investment performance for public funds in the U.S.

The country’s corporate pension plans returned 6.92 percent.

More from Bloomberg, via the Salt Lake Tribune:

U.S. public pensions reported median returns of 6.8 percent last year, the sixth year in a row of gains after the financial crisis, according to Wilshire Associates.

The gains, though, are less than the annual investment returns of 7.5 percent to 8 percent that many state and local governments count on to pay benefits for teachers, police and other employees. In the 10 years through Dec. 31, public pensions had a median return of 6.6 percent.

“A lot of the plans can’t be satisfied with a return of less than 7 percent,” said Bob Waid, a managing director at Santa Monica, California-based Wilshire, adding that a portfolio containing 60 percent U.S. stocks and 40 percent U.S. bonds returned 10 percent. “I’m a huge advocate of diversification, but you have to wonder sometimes when you see that the guy who did 60/40 beat you.”

While the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks returned 13.7 percent, public pensions were dragged down by international investments. Stagnation in Europe and a strong dollar led to losses of almost 4 percent on foreign stocks, according to Wilshire.

As Pension360 covered this week, the assets of U.S. public plans also rose to all-time highs.


Photo by Andreas Poike via Flickr CC License

Canada Pension Eyes Corporate India

India The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – the entity that manages assets for Canada’s biggest pension plan – has made a flurry of investments in India-based corporations over the past few years. And the flow of pension money to India isn’t likely to slow down – the country is a “key” part of CPPIB’s long-term plan, according to a CPPIB official. More details from Bloomberg:

Toronto-based Canada Pension Plan Investment Board […] is planning to add to the $1.5 billion it has already poured into the South Asian country since 2010, said Mark Machin who oversees its international investments division. “India is a key long-term growth market for CPPIB,” Machin said in an e-mail. “We will continue to seek investment opportunities which may include direct investments,” and will seek “smart” local partners, he said, without elaborating. […] “I can see many pension and sovereign funds coming to India,” said Khushru Jijina, managing director of Mumbai-based Piramal Fund Management Pvt., which has a $500 million realty joint venture with CPPIB. “Basically, the big boys with patient money who want to play the 8-10 year game are coming.” The Canadian pension fund, which made its first India investment in 2010, followed that up with three more in the past year. It invested $200 million in an alliance with construction conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group in November last year followed by $250 million in a venture with billionaire Ajay Piramal-owned Piramal Enterprises Ltd. (PIEL) for debt financing of residential projects in February. The third was $332 million in L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd. in June.

CPPIB manages $206 billion in assets for the Canada Pension Plan.   Photo by sandeepachetan.com travel photography via Flickr CC License