GLOBAL - The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) reported an increase of $3.5bn (€2.46bn) in the second quarter of 2009.

Figures from the second quarter investment report showed a total return on the fund of 12.3%, although this was still below the new benchmark preliminary return of 14.9%, which saw the value of the fund’s assets rise from $29bn at the end of March to $32.6bn by 30 June 2009.

The investment update noted the pension fund’s use of active management means over long-term periods it has outperformed the policy benchmark through “effective stock selection and periodic re-balancing of assets to maintain the fund’s long-term investment objective”.

It added the management of its assets, which includes investments in 47 countries, “continues to focus on balancing the risk and regard expectations by apportioning the fund’s assets according to goals, risks and investment horizons”. 

The positive second quarter return has pushed the value of the UNJSPF to its highest level this year, above the $31.4bn recorded at the end of 2008, as figures showed the scheme underperformed the benchmark preliminary return over a one-year period by just 0.1% with a return of -18.2%.

However over a three and five year period the scheme outperformed the benchmark - comprising 60% equities, 31% bonds, 6% real estate and 3% cash - by 0.8% in both periods with returns of -0.6% and 4.4% respectively.

At the end of June 2009 the pension fund - which covers 22 organisations and has more than 106,000 participants and 58,000 beneficiaries - had an asset allocation of 59.5% in equities, 34.8% in bonds, 4.3% in real estate and 1.4% in cash and short term assets.

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