U.S. pension plans, endowments and foundations in the Northern Trust universe had a median investment gain of about 14% in 2010, spurred on by active management and the performance of U.S. equities, confirmed spokesman Newton Sears.
Corporate pension plans had the best performance with a median 13.9% return, followed by public plans with a median 13.6%, and foundations and endowments with a median 12%.
In the fourth quarter, public pension funds had a median return of 6.2%; corporate funds, 5.8%; and foundations and endowments, 5.6%.
The median U.S. equity portfolio in the universe had a one-year return of 18.4% as of Dec. 31. The Russell 3000 index returned 16.9% during the same period.
The universe tracks about 300 large pension plans, foundations and endowments with combined assets of about $650 billion.