The total volume of assets managed by Spanish pension funds reached E55.5bn at the end of last year, representing an increase of 15% on the year.
According to figures published by Inverco, the Spanish Investment and Pension Funds Association, the total volume of assets managed by Spanish pension funds reached E55.5bn at the end of last year. This represents an increase of 15% over the figure a year earlier, while total membership increased by 12.5% to 7.3m.
The increase in assets was driven by an 18.9% growth in funds in the sistema individual (third pillar schemes) to E31.3bn. These have the lion’s share of the membership with 6.6m members at the end of last year, an increase of 12.6% over 2002.
The sistema de empleo is the other main type of pension plan which equates to second pillar provision. At the end of 2003 they had a total of E23.5bn under management but covered just under 700,000 members.
In terms of the structure of the funds one of the most significant developments has been the decreasing share of foreign stocks. At the end of last year they accounted for 32% of total funds compared with 36% a year earlier and 39% at the end of 2001.
Within domestic stocks there is a gradual shift to corporate bonds and equities whose share has in creased from 22% to 26% and from 12% to 15% respectively between the end of 2002 and 2003.
Last year Spanish pension funds generated much improved returns thanks largely to the return to growth of equities. The total return for all pension plans was 5.42% although the cumulative averages for the last three and five years are still negative. The sistema de empleo outperformed the market with a return of 6.73%.