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ASIP estimates 10% average return for Swiss pensions funds in 2014

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Swiss pension funds have achieved a 9.6% median return over the last year, according to estimates by Towers Watson.

The consultancy’s annual prognosis is based on the first-half asset allocations for the Swiss pension fund association’s (ASIP) members.

The actual returns will be available in February.

Last year’s results were boosted in particular by returns in August and November, with the second half generating a 5.2% return for the portfolios of Pensionskassen.

ASIP said this was the best half-year performance over the last five years, and that the annual performance was the second best since the financial crisis, after Pensionskassen returned 11.8% in 2009.

The pension fund association said “neither the crisis in the Ukraine, or the struggling economic performance of the euro area or the bad summer weather were able to damped these results”.

Neither did the short duration of bonds or the increase in volatility on the equity markets have an overly negative effect, it said.

Most Pensionskassen in the sample have an exposure to Swiss equities in the 3-17% range, while foreign equities make up between 12% and 45% of portfolios.

The annual return could have been even better were it not for the “relatively high level of liquidity”, at up to 15%.

Since the estimate first was calculated in 2000, the annualised median return now stands at 3%, ASIP said.

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