“In a quarter when the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index(SM) was up 0.10 percent and the Barclays U.S. Aggregate was up 0.21 percent, it was impressive to see median returns for the fourth quarter ranging from a low of 0.39 percent for Taft Harley Health and Welfare Funds to 2.45 percent for Public Funds with assets greater than $5 billion,” stated Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Associates. “The median quarterly return for all plans was 1.70 percent,” he added.
“’All Plans with assets greater than $5 billion’ was the top performing category with a median 2012 return of 13.45 percent. All plan types had a median return of 12.38 percent making this the fourth year in a row of positive median returns,” Waid said. “Three of those four were double digit gains. Nine out of the last ten years all plan types had positive returns; six of them double digits, for an annualized ten-year return similar to most actuarial plan targets of 7.55 percent. Leading the way, Foundations and Endowments with assets greater than $500 million had the best 10-year median return at 8.22 percent.”Among Public Funds, large plans (plan assets greater than $1 billion) and mega plans (plan assets greater than $5 billion) out-performed small plans—not only for the quarter but also for the one- and ten-year periods. Larger plans also had larger median exposures to international equity and alternatives.