Pension plans, non-profits, foundations and endowments in the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service generally posted negative returns for the fourth quarter but better returns for all of 2007. The median investor plans investments lost 0.58% in the fourth quarter but returned 7.6% for the year, according to Wilshire.
The median corporate plan returned -0.73% for the quarter and 7.66% for the year; public pension funds, -0.71% for the quarter and 7.43%; foundations and endowments, -0.56% and 9.03%; Taft-Hartley funds, -0.46% and 6.99%; and non-profits, -0.51% and 8.19%.
The negative returns for the quarter are not surprising given the performance of the U.S. equity markets, said Hilarie Green, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics' performance reporting division, in a release. In the fourth quarter, the S&P 500 index was down 3.33% but up 5.5% for the year.
Foundations and endowments and non-profits with assets greater than $1 billion were the only segments that had positive returns for the quarter, with 0.13% and 0.14%, respectively. These plans had higher-than-average allocations to real estate and alternative investments, which helped returns, Ms. Green said in an interview. The median foundation and endowment with assets greater than $1 billion invested 4.31% of its portfolio in real estate and 20.65% in alternatives; non-profits of the same size invested 2.24% in real estate and 22.46% in alternatives.