The world’s largest pension funds – 2022

Growth headwinds test financial and sustainability mandate resilience

The global top 300 pension funds is an annual study conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute, in conjunction with Pensions and Investments. The research highlights high-level trends in the pension fund industry and provides information on how the characteristics of these top funds have changed.

Key findings

  • Assets Under Management (AUM) of the top 300 pension funds total US$23.6 trillion, having grown by 8.9% during the year, down from 11.5% growth the previous year
  • The industry has pushed forward with its sustainability agenda in a fast-changing and challenging macro environment. While sustainability is not the primary goal, it remains a prime goal of the industry
  • The industry is stepping up its ESG and pension funds are pursuing more strategic engagements, building more effective coalitions and implementing more sophisticated portfolio solutions. Whilst most of the industry is managing climate-related risk in portfolios, the shift to real-world impact is still in its embryonic stages
  • Pension funds boards are seeking to redefine their investment models aligned with systems-thinking, by adopting the concepts of Total Portfolio Approach, 3D investing and Universal Ownership ​
  • The top 20 pension funds make up 41.0% of total AUM, down from 41.8% the previous year. Around US$170 billion is the entry level for this top grouping, which are championing technology, culture and governance as a means to successfully manage the transformational change that is coming.

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