Large Plans Bested Small Ones in Q2

August 11, 2014 ( – Large retirement plans outperformed small plans in the second quarter of 2014.

This performance propelled the median return for all institutional assets tracked by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS) to 3.43%.

Wilshire TUCS is a cooperative effort between Wilshire Analytics, the investment technology unit of Wilshire Associates Inc., and various custodial organizations. The groups provide a benchmark for the performance and allocation of institutional assets, covering nearly 1,700 plans and tracking about $3.5 trillion in assets.

“This is the fourth positive quarter in a row that combined to make the median one-year return 15.71%, which in turn helped move the 10-year median return to 7.01%,” says Robert J. Waid, managing director at Wilshire Associates, based in Santa Monica, California. “This is the first time the 10-year median return has been above 7% since the third quarter of 2013.

“In a quarter where the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index and Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index returns are a solid 4.86% and 2.04%, respectively, it isn’t surprising to see that overall plan returns are also strong,” adds Waid. “Taft Harley Health and Welfare Funds are the lowest performing plan type for the fourth quarter in a row with a median return of 2.23%. Foundations and endowments follow with a median return of 3.42%, while large corporate funds with assets greater than $1 billion have a median return of 4.15%.”

Wilshire TUCS also finds that the median returns for all large plan types, except foundations and endowments, outperformed the classic 60/40 portfolio. Conversely, the median return for small plan types underperformed the generic 60/40 portfolio. In addition, similar to the first quarter of 2014, corporate funds delivered the largest size spread, with the median return for small and large corporate funds 3.41% and 4.15%, respectively.

Wilshire Associates is an investment consulting and services firm, providing consulting services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries.