Pensions Caixa 30, the employees’ pension scheme of Spain’s Caixabank (La Caixa), has returned 3.1% on its investments for the 2015 calendar year, following the previous year’s return of 9.1%.

This takes the average annual return for the three years to 31 December to 7.2%, with 6.4% for the five years to that date.

The pension fund – the largest corporate scheme in Spain, with €5.8bn-worth of assets – had 35,799 active members, 2,898 deferred members and 8,292 retirees.

During 2015, fixed income made up an average 47.1% of the scheme’s investments, with 39% in equities and 13.9% in alternatives.

Over the year, fixed income returned 3.1%, with equities returning 7.6% and alternatives 3.9%.

In its commentary on the results, the scheme said that, while emerging markets equities made losses, developed market equities fared well.

Alternatives suffered from the poor performance of commodities, the worst-performing of all the asset classes in the scheme’s portfolio. 

Pension Caixa 30’s control commission decided to lower the scheme’s benchmark equity exposure for 2016 from 34% to 30%, while reinforcing the use of options to hedge against volatility and extreme risks.

The report said the market turbulence in January 2016 proved this measure to be justified.

The benchmark weighting for fixed income is being raised from 48% to 50%, allowing diversification into public debt outside the euro-zone.

Meanwhile, an increase from 18% to 20% in the benchmark weighting for alternatives will give greater exposure to capital risk and real assets, in the search for lower volatility in income, the scheme said. 

“At global level,” it added, “we will continue to diversify, establishing new asset classes, such as frontier market equities, corporate debt for non-euro-zone countries and emerging markets, and alternative credit.

“In contrast, we will reduce exposure to soft currencies, following two years of appreciation in the US dollar, pound sterling and Japanese yen.”