Dutch pension fund assets decreased from €1.8trn at the end of last year to €1.5trn at the end of the second quarter of 2022, according to statistics published by regulator DNB.

Total pension assets decreased by €190bn, or 11%, in Q2. The drop came after a €108bn decrease in Q1. Total losses for the first half of the year amounted to €299bn, a 16.5% drop. Total pension assets are now back at levels last seen at the start of 2020.

The decrease in assets was caused primarily by crashing equity and bond markets in response to global monetary policy tightening in the face of rising inflation.

Since early 2009, close to the end of the financial crisis, pension assets have shown a record increase from €556bn to €1.8trn at the end of last year. The decline in assets since then seems to have broken the long-standing trend.

Last week, the five largest pension funds in the Netherlands reported a €103bn loss in the first half of 2022 with returns varying between -11.9% for civil service fund ABP and -23.4% for metals industry scheme PMT

While assets took a hit, the average funding ratio of a pension fund rose from 114% to a post-2008 high of 122%, because the 22% decrease in liabilities thanks to higher interest rates was larger than the fall in assets under management.

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