Returns for funds under the Central Provident Fund Investment Scheme (CPFIS) eked out meagre gains in the third quarter.
Average returns came in at 0.75 per cent for the three months to Sept 30, research firm Lipper noted yesterday
Unit trusts fared better, up 1.28 per cent on average, while returns for investment-linked insurance products (ILPs) rose 0.44 per cent.
Among CPFIS funds, those focused on equities performed best, with average returns of 0.95 per cent, while mixed-asset products rose 0.65 per cent. Money market funds were up 0.29 per cent and bonds inched ahead 0.08 per cent.
By comparison, the MSCI All-Country Asia ex-Japan Index, a widely cited measure of Asian equities, slipped 1.24 per cent over the same three months, and the FTSE World Government Bond Index fell 1.41 per cent.
CPFIS-included funds posted an average increase of 3.18 per cent returns for the 12 months to Sept 30, while unit trusts climbed 3.85 per cent and ILPs rose 2.8 per cent.
The benchmark MSCI All-Country Asia ex-Japan Index rose 2.37 per cent over the same period, and the FTSE World Government Bond Index fell 0.93 per cent.
Equity funds rose 4.45 per cent on average, mixed assets were up 2.37 per cent and money market funds posted 0.9 per cent returns. Bonds fell 0.84 per cent.
Mr Xav Feng, Lipper's head of Asia-Pacific research, said: "The recent sell-off in tech stocks is impacting the rest of the markets while sliding oil prices are triggering concerns over a continued global economic recovery."