Taft-Hartley plans returned a median 5.94%, the top performers in the fourth quarter among institutional master trusts in the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.
Corporate pension plans returned 5.64%; public plans, 5.31%; and foundations and endowments, 4.64%.
The return for all master institutional trusts for the quarter was 5.07% and for the year, 1.05%. Corporate plans had the highest returns for the year ended Dec. 31 at 2%. Public plans returned 1.02%; Taft-Hartley plans, 0.86%; and foundations and endowments, -0.73%.
The fourth quarter was all about allocations to U.S. equity, said Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Analytics. The Wilshire 5000 Total Market index rose 12% while international equity indexes increased by less than 4%. Real estate had the second best median returns.
Smaller plans with larger allocations to domestic equities had the best fourth-quarter returns, but larger plans fared better for the year. “Large plans tend to have the resources to go into alternative classes that tend to (perform) well,” Mr. Waid said. “Large plans have done historically better because they are diversified within and across asset classes.”