In a year when the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index returned more than 7.2% and the Nasdaq stock market rose more than 48%, pension funds had unprecedented performance.
The top-performing corporate pension funds in the year ended June 30 had investment gains of almost 50%, according to research by Piscataqua Software Inc., Portsmouth, N.H.
The three best performing funds for the period each gained 48%. They were: Roadway Express Inc., Akron, Ohio, which had $116 million in investment gains; Fruit of the Loom Ltd., Chicago, with a $92 million gain; and UNOVA Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., $148 million.
Next in line were: ReliaStar Financial Corp., Minneapolis, $110 million, or 45%; and Commercial Intertech Corp., Youngstown, Ohio, $90 million, or 44%.
In dollar terms, the best performing pension fund was the Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. pension fund based in The Hague, Netherlands, with $9.6 billion gain, or 24%, according to Piscataqua.
The best-performing pension fund during the 10 years was Weyerhaeuser Co., Tacoma, Wash., with an annualized return of 20%, while the worst performer was CNA Financial Corp., Chicago, with a 10-year annualized return of 6%.
Piscataqua has a web-based pension fund database, which gives the performance of more than 2,000 corporate pension funds. The firm also sells a software package to analyze the investment performance of pension fund assets.