AUSTRIA - The second quarter brought a major shift into positive territory for Austrian pensionskassen with a return of 3.74%.

After a first quarter result of -1.04%, favourable markets catapulted the 19 pensionskassen into positive returns as they closed the second half at 2.7%.

Assets in the pensionskassen now stand at around €11.8bn, compared to €13bn at year-end 2007. However Fritz Janda, head of the pensionskassen federation FVPK, sees signs that the crisis may be easing.

“The fact asset management experts acted quickly during the crisis, as well as the current optimism on the capital markets, both contributed to the positive half-year results,” he noted.

At the end of March the pensionskassen had around 25% in equities, 72% in bonds and 3% in real estate according to statistics by the Austrian control bank ÖKB.

Last year the pensionskassen averaged a return of around -13%, although the long-term average since 1997 is 2% per annum. (See earlier IPE article: Austrian funds average 13% loss) 

On average the over 500,000 members of Austrian pensionskassen, both multi-employer and company specific, receive €490 per month in supplementary pension payments.