The median plan in the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe returned -5.18% in the first quarter, the worst since the second quarter of 2002 but still 15 basis points ahead of the -5.33% for the universes custom composite benchmark.
Of the 551 corporate, public and Taft-Hartley plans, foundations, endowments and health-care funds in the universe, 95% had negative returns for the quarter. The median corporate plan returned -5.49%, while the median foundation returned -5.18%; Taft-Hartley, -5.12%; public plan, -5.11%; and endowment, -4.94%. For the one-year period ended March 31, endowments outperformed all plan types with a 3.33% return.
International fixed income led all asset classes for the quarter with a median return of 3.04%. Funds with greater fixed-income exposure benefited during the equity downswing, while those with heavier equity allocations, such as corporate plans, paid the price, Greg Stewart, first vice president with BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, said in a news release.
The average plan size in the universe is $2.7 billion. The average asset allocation was: 34% domestic equity, 26% domestic fixed income, 19% international equity, 8% alternative investments, 3% real estate, 2% cash, 1% international fixed income and 7% other investments.