The world’s largest pension funds – 2023

World’s top pension funds see the largest assets fall in 20 years

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$20.6 trillion, having reduced by 12.9% in 2022, down from 8.9% growth the previous year
  • Volatility and uncertainty in the global economy have been at their highest in a generation. High inflation and higher interest rates disrupted equity and bond markets worldwide piling the pressure on pension funds to adapt their strategies.
  • Operating in this “all change” environment requires strong governance which is crucial for pension funds to maintain long-term stability
  • AOs have a particular reliance on the technology of their AMs. Embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) can introduce both challenges and opportunities for AOs as they seek better access to and application of decision-useful data.
  • Pension funds have continued to integrate ESG factors into their investment programs. There are resource constraints and political issues affecting their trajectory.
  • The top 20 pension funds make up 41.5% of total AUM in 2022, up from 41.0% the previous year.

As we reached the 20-year anniversary of the global top 300 pension funds study, we also looked at the evolution of the data over this period.