Assets under management (AUM) for the eight Pensionskassen in Austria increased by 8.34% at the end of the fourth quarter last year, compared with the end of 2022, to €26.38bn, slightly below a record high of €26.98bn in 2021, according to the latest figures published by Financial Market Authority (FMA).

This means that losses caused by capital market turbulence as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine were largely compensated as a result of last year’s positive performance, FMA noted.

In Q4 2023 alone, AUM increased by 4.79%, compared with Q2, or €1.21bn, FMA added.

Equities make up the largest allocation of Pensionskassen (38.76%), followed by bonds with 33.41%, real estate with 6.5%, bank credit notes with 7.13%, loans with 2.84%, and other investments with 11.35%, the figures show.

Quarter-on-quarter the schemes have cut their exposure to bonds by 1.60%, and to real estate by 0.38%, increasing the allocation to equities by 2.49%, and credit by 0.49%, the report added.

It also disclosed that 30.71% of total assets, after currency hedging transactions, are invested in foreign currency; and 95.71% of the pension funds’ assets are held via investment funds, while the schemes directly manage mostly loans and credits, as well as held-to-maturity bonds.

Austrian Pensionskassen returned 6.41% in 2023, despite low or negative returns recorded for the most part of last year, according to FMA figures based on data of the Österreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB).

Returns were low or negative between February and October 2023, picking up in November and December, with Austrian schemes recording a 4.45% return in Q4, FMA’s report stated.

On average, over the past three, five and 10 years, Pensionskassen recorded returns of 1.14%, 3.43% and 3.20% respectively, it added.

The number of people entitled to pension benefits has increased in Q4 2023, compared with the previous quarter. Currently around 1.07 million people in Austria are entitled to pension benefits, up by 1.11% quarter-on-quarter, and 13.58% already receive occupational pension benefits, FMA said.

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