NETHERLANDS - A study of over 100 Dutch pension funds has found the average pension fund saw a "partial recovery" in 2009 thanks in the main to a rise in the value of assets, led by equities, rather than from a decrease in liabilities.

Research conducted by State Street Investment Analytics discovered its pool of 104 respondents - with collective assets worth €216bn - fared slightly better in terms of performance last year than other pension funds, as the average coverage ratio rose to 111% by the end of the year, compared with the 109% documented by pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). (See earlier IPE story: Dutch pensions sector recovery is still far off - DNB)

Findings suggest the average Dutch pension fund saw a 32.5% return on equity investments in 2009, while corporate bonds drove an average 14.1% gain in fixed income.

Similarly, any changes to the WM Universe Dutch pension fund asset mix were more likely to be as a result of market movements, than any clear decision to shift asset allocation, as the DNB has also suggested.

That said, there were small adjustments to asset allocation through market activity so the average equity exposure increased from 27.6% in 2008 to 32.5% by the end of 2009 and fixed income holdings dropped from 53.7% to 50%, according to State Street.

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