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Pension Funds

European occupational retirement assets drop in past year – PensionsEurope

European occupational retirement plan assets stood at €3.54 trillion ($4.22 trillion) in December, down 2.2% from €3.62 trillion a year earlier, said a statistical update by PensionsEurope on Thursday.

Defined benefit fund assets increased 13.7% in the year to €3.14 trillion. They constituted 88.9% of total assets, said PensionsEurope, which represents the interest of occupational plans in Europe.

Defined contribution plan assets decreased 44% to €378 billion from €854 billion a year earlier. PensionsEurope said U.K. DC assets fell to 4% of total U.K. retirement assets from 30% the year before. No explanation for the drop was provided. DC assets constituted 10.7% of all assets in 2017. Assets in hybrid plans stood at €14 billion.

The Netherlands and the U.K. remain the top countries in terms of total asset size. In the Netherlands, plan assets rose to €1.27 trillion from €1.14 trillion a year earlier, while U.K. assets decreased to €1.14 trillion from €1.35 trillion.

PensionsEurope also said in a note accompanying the statistical update that European plans invested 30% in equities and 8% in real estate, in line with allocations in 2016. Investments in alternatives increased to 13% from 9.4% a year earlier at the expense of fixed-income allocations and cash deposits.

Fixed-income investments stood at 46% in so far this month, down from 48.2% in December 2016, while cash deposits constituted 3% of total allocations, decreasing from 3.7% a year ago.