UK – Pooled balanced pension funds made a median return of 11.2% in the second quarter – the best quarterly returns for almost four years - according to new data from Russell/Mellon CAPS.

“This was the strongest performance seen since the final quarter of 1999,” said Russell/Mellon CAPS, which monitors pension fund performance, in a news release.

The figures follow the IMAGE survey by HSBC Actuaries and Consultants which found that pension funds returned 11.4% in the second quarter.

CAPS added that previous poor performance meant that funds produced a negative return of –6.7% in the year to the end of June.

It said the strong performance in the second quarter was largely attributable to the significant outperformance of the equities markets compared to other asset classes.

CAPS added that the average equity weighting within funds rose to 80.5% from 78% over the quarter. The average weighting in UK stocks rose by 1.4% to 52.7%. Overseas equities rose to 27.8% of funds’ weightings, from 26.7% - the highest ever.