The median return for Canadian defined benefit plans for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was a gross -0.1%, outperforming the typical benchmark portfolio, according to a news release announcing quarterly results from plan administrator LifeWorks.
LifeWorks also estimated that the pension funds in its universe saw their funding ratio increase by 0.6 percentage points during the third quarter, due to the rise in interest rates used to calculate liabilities.
The news release Tuesday cited the negative returns for third quarter of -1.4% and -0.1%, respectively, for the Canadian S&P/TSX Composite index and the MSCI World index, as drivers for the returns. The news release also noted that the -0.1% median return topped the benchmark portfolio of 55% equities and 45% fixed income, which returned -0.2% for the period.
By asset class, the median return for fixed income was 0.7% for the three months ended Sept. 30, while the median return for Canadian equities within the universe was -1%. Pension funds also posted a median return for U.S. equities of 1.6%, above the S&P 500 index return of 1.2% for the third quarter.
For the year ended Sept. 30, the universe's median return was -9%, above the -11.1% return for the benchmark portfolio of 55% equities and 45% fixed income.