According to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS), the third quarter 2013 performance spread for median plan type returns was small, from 4.08% for corporate plans to 4.97% for public funds with assets greater than $5 billion. The exception was the conservative Taft-Hartley health and welfare funds, with a lagging 2.7%. Even so, 98% of all plans had positive returns for the quarter, with the median quarterly return of 4.42%.
“Performance differences can be attributed to exposure to the U.S. equity extended market given the 10.48% return of the Wilshire 4500 Completion Index versus the 6.03% return of the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index,” said Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Associates, based in Santa Monica, California.
Waid added, “International equity also contributed to the plan performance difference, with the MSCI AC World ex-U.S. checking in with 10.09%. The top performing universe, public funds with assets greater than $5 billion, also had the largest exposure to international equities with a median exposure of 20%.”
Unlike the first two quarters in 2013, said Waid, most plan type medians beat the 3.8% return of the classic 60% equities/40% bonds default asset allocation portfolio for the third quarter.
Wilshire TUCS is a cooperative effort between Wilshire Analytics, the investment technology unit of Wilshire Associates Incorporated and custodial organizations. Wilshire Associates is an investment consulting and services firm. It provides consulting services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries.