The median net return of MSCI's InvestorForce Plan Universes was 0.37% during the fourth quarter. The median gross return over the period was 0.41%.
Over the trailing one-year period ended Dec. 31, the median net return was 6.7%; the annualized three- and five-year median net returns were 3.5% and 7.9%, respectively.
Taft-Hartley pension plans led both the fourth quarter and the year with 1.1% and 7.4% net returns, respectively. Corporate pension funds gained 7.4% during 2016 while public pension plans gained 7.3%. For the quarter, public and corporate DB plans returned 0.7% and -0.9%, respectively. Endowments and foundations gained 0.5% in the fourth quarter and 6.5% in 2016.
During the quarter, the Dow Jones Total U.S. Stock Market index gained 4.1%, and was up 12.6% in 2016. The MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. index declined 1.21% in the quarter, while gaining 4.8% on the year. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index fell 3% in the quarter, but was up 2.6% in 2016.
The median allocation for all trust funds as of Dec. 31 was 30.6% U.S. equities, 29.3% fixed income, 14.1% non-U.S. equity, 11% real estate, 9% hedge funds, 5.8% private equity and 1.1% cash. The allocation values are based on weighted averages and will not add to 100%.
MSCI’s InvestorForce Plan Universes include more than 2,300 plans representing more than $3 trillion in assets.