Trusts in the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service returned a median 1.13% in the first quarter of 2016, down from 2.41% the previous quarter.
The first quarter of 2016 also marked the third consecutive quarter in which the median plan type underperformed the classic 60% equity/40% bonds portfolio, which returned a median 1.91% in the three months ended March 31.
The best-performing plan type for the first quarter was corporate defined benefit plans, which returned 1.68%, followed by Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds at 1.44%; public DB plans, 1.24%; Taft-Hartley DB plans, 1.07%; and foundations and endowments, 0.55%.
“Strong bond returns could not overcome weak U.S. and falling developed market equity returns,” said Robert J. Waid, managing director at Wilshire Associates, in a news release.
The Wilshire 5000 Total Market index returned 1.17% for the first quarter and MSCI EAFE, -3.01%.
On the flip side, the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index returned 3.03% for the quarter and the Wilshire U.S. Real Estate Securities index, 5.3%.
Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds had the highest median U.S. bond allocation for the quarter at 42.78%. Corporate DB plans had a median bond allocation of 39.05%. Taft-Hartley DB plans had the highest median global equity allocation at 56.88%.
For the 12 months ended March 31, all plan types posted negative returns, with the exception of Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, which returned 0.11%. Foundations and endowments had the lowest one-year return at -2.2%, followed by Taft-Hartley DB plans at -1.04%; public DB plans, -0.78%; and corporate DB plans -0.6%. The universe returned a median -1.17% for the year, and annualized returns of 5.51% and 6.14%, respectively, for the three- and five-year periods ended March 31.
Wilshire TUCS includes more than 1,200 plans with more than $3.6 trillion in assets.