Investment returns for most U.S. pension plan investments were flat in the third quarter. The median ERISA plan gained 10 basis points; the median public fund gained 43 basis points; and the median foundation/endowment gained eight basis points, according to data from Northern Trust. Year-to-date, the median gain for all U.S. plans was 3.5%, but for the year ended Sept. 30, the median ERISA plan returned 13.1%; the median foundation/endowment returned 13.4%; and the median public fund returned 12.8%.
For most plans, fixed-income gains were offset by higher allocations to equities, which did not perform as well; plans with larger allocations to private equity and real estate generally posted better gains, Paul Finlayson, vice president, investment risk and analytics services at Northern Trust Corp., said in a news release.
Northern Trust tracks the performance of more than 300 institutional investment plans in its universe with a combined asset value of more than $390 billion