Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, Tokyo, which was created in 2001, remained at the top of the list with $1.058 trillion, the only pension fund to top the $1 trillion mark. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands, remained in second place with $230.7 billion. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, remains the third largest fund in the world and the largest in the United States at $168.3 billion. (The figures used for the U.S. funds are as of Sept. 30, 2004; all of Japan's funds were estimates as of March 31, 2005, and all others are from Dec. 31, 2004.)
The Local Government Officials Pension Fund, Tokyo, moved up two notches to fourth place with $164.1 billion, and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, Washington, dropped a spot to fifth place with $141 billion. Korea's National Pension, Seoul, moved up two spots to sixth place with $134.9 billion and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, moved to seventh place with $117.5 billion, after finishing fifth in 2003.
Mr. Urwin said most plans stayed the course on their investments: "Not much changed in asset allocation terms. We still had a situation where there was an even split in equities and bonds, with continued interest in alternative assets. It is a continuation of previous trends."
Regarding asset allocation strategies in the U.S., Mr. Crane said changes were relatively modest in 2004. Most plans continued to have an average of 65% of total assets allocated to equity. "Some plans are beginning to look at alternative strategies like portable alpha and hedging strategies," Mr. Crane said, adding some plans also are paying closer attention to integrating assets and liabilities. On a country-by-country basis, the U.S. and Japan retained the first and second place rankings.