Most U.S. pension plans, foundations and endowments that are Northern Trust clients posted modest gains in the second quarter, said Joe Nardulli, product manager of Northern Trust Investment Risk and Analytic Services. Roughly 75% of the pension plans posted gains of at least 2% for the second quarter, while about 60% of foundations and endowments that are clients reported gains of at least 2%. ERISA pension plans posted a median return of 2.3%, while the median return for public pension funds was 2.4%. Foundations and endowments gained a median 2%. The gains compare with first-quarter median returns of -1%, -0.8% and -0.25% for ERISA plans, public plans and foundations and endowments, respectively. Mr. Nardulli cited a turnaround for domestic equity and fixed income during the second quarter as a factor in the improved returns.
Northern Trust used data from about 315 pension plans, foundations and endowments, including 250 with more than $100 million in assets.