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Global pension assets reach all-time high as retirement plans change tack

Published on Jan 31, 2013 9:11 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Pension fund assets in the world's biggest markets rose by 8.9 per cent last year, as retirement schemes shifted their attention to alternative investments to cope with economic volatility, a study showed.

Institutional pension fund assets in the 13 major markets grew by 9 per cent, reaching a new high of US$30 trillion (S$37 trillion), while British pension fund assets hit an all-time high of 1.7 trillion pounds (S$3.3 trillion) last year, a 5 per cent increase from last year, the report by Towers Watson found.

The growth in pension assets in the 13 countries, including Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States, was attributed to hiring more qualified people to manage pensions, outsourcing portfolios and better investment choices.

Towers Watson, a consultancy that advises institutional investors, including pension funds, on investment and risk management, said the countries' pension assets accounted for 78.3 per cent of the gross domestic product of their economies, below the 2007 level of 78.8 per cent but above 2011's 72.2 per cent.

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