BELGIUM - Belgian pension funds returned an average of 0.99% on their investments in the first half, according to the Belgian Association of Pension Institutions.

It surveyed 39 funds representing €8bn of assets or more than two thirds of the sector, including small, medium and large pension funds.   

The average investment portfolio was, on average, composed of 48.32% equities, 38.45% in bonds and 10.76% in real estate.

There was 4.89 % in liquid assets and 3.5% in various.

"Although one can observe a slight decrease of the percentage of investments in equities and bonds, this asset allocation is consisted with the allocation as observed during the last survey of the Association at the end of 2005," the body stated.

"In the majority of the cases, the last year's strategic asset allocation has been maintained. However, some pension funds report a decrease of investments in stocks and an increase in bonds and real estate and, to a certain extend, in commodities and liquidities. 

"The further investigation of the results of these funds show that the proportion of equity and bonds during the first six months of 2006 had little influence on the average return.

"However, a slight positive effect is perceivable in relation with the investments in real estate and liquidity.    

Elsewhere, JP Morgan Asset Management released a study of European pension funds. It found that only 6% of the plans studied were over funded - down from the high of 41% in 1999.

And some 89% of the European corporations surveyed made some contribution to their pension plan in 2005, however small. 

In 2004 though, the equivalent figure was 86%.