Canadian defined benefit plans in the RBC Investor & Treasury Services universe returned a median 6.1% in the fourth quarter and 14.2% in all of 2013, sparked by gains in equities and a weaker Canadian dollar, said Scott MacDonald, RBC managing director, pensions.
Foreign equity had the highest return, rising 11.5% in the fourth quarter and 35.8% for the year. Canadian equity was up 8.5% for the quarter and 19.4% for 2013. “2013 was a really good year for active Canadian equity management,” Mr. MacDonald said.
Fixed income was up 0.4% for the three months ended Dec. 31 and down 1.3% for the year — the largest annual decline since 1994. “In this environment, the risk-mitigating liability-driven strategies were the hardest hit on the asset side,” Mr. MacDonald said.
The RBC database comprises Canadian public and corporate DB plans with a combined C$460 billion (US$415 billion) in assets.