According to a news release, 100% of the plans in the universe posted positive results for the quarter and year ending December 31, 2010.
Canadian equity portfolios posted a median one-year return of 16.5%, making it the strongest asset class of the year. The U.S. equity asset class achieved a 9.07% return in Canadian dollars over the same period. Meanwhile, Canadian fixed income was the only asset class to not end the quarter in positive territory, posting a median return of -0.6%. Canadian fixed income did end the year with a strong median return of 8.3%, versus the DEX Bond Universe Index return of 6.7%.
The Non-North American equity asset class posted the lowest performance for the year, with a median return of 4.7%. Pension plans were able to outperform the MSCI EAFE Index returns of 3.3% and 2.6% in both the fourth quarter and during the year, respectively.
Pension plans with assets greater than $1 billion dollars fared slightly better than the broad plan market, posting a median return of 4.3% for the quarter and 10.6% for the year ending December 31.
“Canadian pension plans continued to benefit from high allocations to, and strong performance from, the Canadian equity markets this year. Since the end of 2008, the median pension fund’s Canadian equity portfolio has achieved a return of nearly 25% — more than 15 percentage points higher than the next strongest asset class,” said Catherine Thrasher, managing director of BNY Mellon Asset Servicing Canada, Performance & Risk Analytics, in the news release.
With a market value of $165 billion and an average plan size of $1.9 billion, the BNY Mellon Canada Total Fund Universe is a fund-level tracking service that can be used to make peer comparisons of both performance and asset allocation results.