U.K. pension plans domestic equity holdings hit their lowest levels since 1984 as of June 30, when they fell to an average 48.2% of total plan assets, according to figures published today by the WM Co. Overseas equity holdings were at 25%, their highest level since WM started measuring performance of U.K. pension plans in the late 1970s. U.K. funds moved nearly £4 billion ($5.6 billion) out of U.K. equities during the second quarter, compared with an increase in equity investment of £1.3 billion in the first quarter.
"Funds appear to be moving out of the traditional markets such as the U.K. into overseas equities, seeking higher returns. £1.8 billion went into overseas equities spread across the U.S., continental Europe and emerging markets, said Peter Warrington, WM executive director.
The average return on total fund assets for U.K. pension plans was 0.2% during the second quarter.