NETHERLANDS - The €5bn pension fund for the housing corporations (SPW) has returned 13.8% on investments last year, its preliminary figures suggested.

During the last quarter of 2009, the scheme returned 2.6%, beating its benchmark by 10 basis points, officials said.

Equities was the best performing asset class as it delivered a 7.4% return, while fixed income, alternatives and property returned 1.6%, 4.3% and -0.6% respectively.

Officials further revealed that the effect of the scheme’s interest rate hedge on liabilities was zero over the year, and a hedge on its equity risk generated a loss of 0.3 percentage points during the fourth quarter.

SPW saw its cover ratio rise from 103% to 106%. However, an additional financial provision has been set aside to cover the impact of increased longevity, and this in turn reduced its funding ratio to 104% by the end of 2009.

The housing corporations pension funds also revealed it has outsourced its asset management to Algemene Pensioen Group (APG) for six years, following the merger of its current asset manager Cordares with the €240bn asset manager APG.

APG is the asset manager for the €200bn civil service pension fund ABP and now services 25 others clients under the APG brand.

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