DENMARK - PKA generated an overall return of -6.3% for its eight pension funds in 2008 as equity results offset positive fixed income performance.

Figures from the occupational pension fund administrator showed the average return for the eight schemes, which have 90% female members, on pure investment assets - such as equities, bonds and property but excluding interest rate hedging - was -13.9%.

That said, within the eight pension schemes total returns for 2008 ranged from a positive 6.9% in the social workers' pension fund, to a less pleasing -11.1% for the office staff pension scheme.

Meanwhile, the midwives fund and the diet and nutrition officers scheme both produced positive results of 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, although this was offset by a -10.4% result from the medical secretaries scheme.

At the same time, the occupational therapists and physiotherapists fund yielded -5.8%, the laboratory technicians returned -8% and the scheme for registered state nurses produced -9.3%.

Bonds performed well across all the schemes with returns varying between 4.9% and 5.1%, as interest rates fell around the world, however the pension fund's returns on listed equities ranged from -44.1% and -44.7%.

Large losses of over 50% were recorded on Danish equity investments and over 40% on global equities, although the reports noted that while all regions were hit, emerging markets were severely affected.

PKA said the results were dominated by the financial crisis, however it said total premium income increased to DKK4.3bn (€582m), while despite paying benefits of DKK2.9bn to 30,000 pensioners the organisation revealed costs of administration declined to around DKK400 per member.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PKA, acknowledged 2008 was a difficult year, but said the firm was satisfied the eight pension funds are able to continue with their "broad and long-term strategies".

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