Institutional Returns Negative for First Time Since 2003

August 14, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - For the first time since March 2003, the one-year performance of institutional portfolios was negative across the board, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS).

A Wilshire announcement said the median performance of all master trusts for the year ended June 30, 2008, was -4.49%. The median performance of corporate pension plans was -5.20% for the year.

Public pension funds posted a median performance of -4.51% for the year, while the one-year performance for foundations and endowments was -4.70%. Taft Hartley funds’ median performance was -3.55% for the year ended June 30. Non-profits saw a median performance of -4.67%.

Returns of institutional portfolios were also negative across the board for the second quarter of 2008. The median performance of all master trusts was -0.74%.

The second quarter median performance was -0.87% for corporate plans, -0.93% for public funds, -0.49% for foundations and endowments, -0.72% for Taft Hartley funds, and -0.37% for non-profits.

“Even the larger plans with a greater allocation to alternatives were not immune from the impact of worldwide market volatility during the past year,” said Hilarie C. Green, CFA, managing director and head of Wilshire Analytics’ Performance Reporting division, in the announcement. “All sizes and type of plans saw their performance falter during the last year with asset allocation unable to mitigate overall performance as it had done recently.”

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