SWITZERLAND - Swiss pension funds returned 3.4% for the first half of 2009, according to calculations made by Watson Wyatt for the Swiss pension fund association ASIP.

ASIP reviewed 70 pension funds with combined assets of CHF150bn (€99bn) and found returns for the first half differed greatly, as some funds returned only 1.4% while others generated 8.5% on investments.

The positive performance was mainly thanks to the considerable recovery of foreign equities, a moderate recovery of Swiss equities and bonds as well as gains in the performance indirect Swiss real estate, said ASIP.

In contrast, foreign real estate performed slightly negatively while commodities recovered in the first half and foreign bonds saw good returns too.

Watson Wyatt calculated that the Swiss pension fund median return over the last five years was 1.9% per annum, with returns of between 0% at the low end of the scale and 4% at the top.

That said, over one, two and three years the median return remained negative at -6.4%, -6.7% and-1.6%.

The average asset allocation in the funds also remained similar to that seen at the end of 2008.

Swiss bonds: 24.8% (end-2008: 25.7%) Foreign bonds: 21.5% (20.2%) Swiss equity: 6.5% (6.2%) Foreign equity: 19% (17.5%) Real Estate: 10.8% (14.8%) Commodities: 1.1% (0.8%) Hedge Funds: 3% (3.4%) Liquidity: 7.6% (7.2%) Others: 5.7% (4.2%)

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com