Total assets of the world’s largest 300 pension funds grew by over 3% in 2014 (compared to around 6% in 2013) to reach a new high of over US$15 trillion according to Pensions & Investments (P&I) and Towers Watson research. Ten years ago total assets at the world’s largest pension funds grew by 27% in that year to reach US$8.4 trillion and move above the previous high of US$6.6 trillion reached in 2003.
The P&I / Towers Watson global 300 research, conducted in conjunction with Pensions & Investments, a leading US investment newspaper, shows that by individual region North America had the highest five-year combined compound growth rate of around 8% compared to Europe (over 7%) and Asia Pacific (around 4%). The research also shows that the world’s top 300 pension funds now represent around 43% of global pension assets.
The world’s top 300 pension funds constitute around 43% of global pension assets*
Defined benefit (DB) funds account for 67% of total assets, down from 75% five years ago. During 2014 defined contribution (DC) assets grew the most, by almost 5%, followed by defined benefit plans assets (almost 4%) and reserve funds (over 1%) while hybrid plan assets decreased by over 2%.
Sovereign pension funds continue to feature strongly in the ranking with 27 of them accounting for 28% of assets and totalling around US$4.2 trillion. The 114 public sector funds in the research had assets of US$6.0 trillion in 2014 and account for 39% of the total. Private sector industry funds (60) and corporate funds (99) account for 14% and 19% respectively of assets in the research.