Trust funds in the InvestorForce Plan Universe posted a median return of 4.39% during the third quarter of 2013.
One-, three- and five-year median returns for all funds through Sept. 30 were 10.4%, 8.93% and 7.59%, respectively.
Institutional investors' portfolios benefited from the continued tailwinds in global equity markets — the Russell 3000 index returned 6.35% and the MSCI ACWI IMI ex-U.S. rose 10.51% during the quarter.
Among asset owner types, endowments and foundations posted the highest return during the quarter at 4.73%. Public defined benefit funds returned 4.69% in the quarter and Taft-Hartley plans gained 4.57%.
At 4.1%, corporate DB plans fared the worst during the quarter, given their derisking profiles and fixed income's performance during the quarter.
The median allocation to fixed income for corporate DB plans in the InvestorForce universe was 36.3%, the highest among all universes. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate index was up 0.57% for the quarter.
However, corporate DB plans had the highest returns over the long term. Their five-year return of 8.48% was 50 basis points higher than the return of their public plan counterparts, 82 basis points over the returns of endowments and foundations (7.66%) and 123 basis points higher than Taft-Hartley plans (7.24%).