The median return of all plans in the BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust Universe was 4.47% in the third quarter, a vast improvement from the -0.05% median return in the second quarter.
Only six of the 613 plans in the universe had a negative return for the quarter. Forty-eight percent of plans matched or outperformed the custom benchmark for the quarter, which returned 4.56%.
For the year ended Sept. 30, the median return was 11.63%.
For the quarter, public pension funds barely edged out foundations with a 4.89% median return, compared to 4.88%. Taft-Hartley pension funds had a median 4.62% return, followed by corporate pension funds, 4.42%; and endowments, 4.22%.
For the year ended Sept. 30, foundations took the top spot with a median return of 13.16%, followed by endowments, 12.43%; public plans, 12.25%; Taft-Hartley, 10.44%; and corporate, 10.1%. The custom benchmark had an 11.95% return.
For the quarter, international equity had a median return of 9.9%, followed by domestic equity, 6.8%; real estate, 3.46%; international fixed income, 2.04%; and domestic fixed income, 0.69%.
The median asset allocation saw slight changes from the previous quarter. Domestic fixed income increased to 26% from 25%; alternatives increased to 24% from 23%; international equity decreased to 17% from 18%; and international fixed income dropped to 1% from 2%. Domestic equity, real estate and cash remained the same at 28%, 3% and 1%, respectively.
The 613 plans have a combined market value of $2.3 trillion, with an average plan size of $3.8 billion.