Irish Economy
Irish pension managed funds index up only 0.12% in March 2014
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Apr 2, 2014 - 9:04 AM

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LCP Ireland

Aon Hewitt on Tuesday released pension fund investment performance figures for the month of March 2014 and the Aon Hewitt Managed Fund Index, an index of traditional Irish pension managed funds, rose by 0.12% in March. This has contributed to the index delivering a positive return of 2.39% since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile LCP Ireland said: "Developed World equities increased by 0.7% over the month, with Emerging Market equities up 4.1%. Long dated AAA Eurozone bonds were up over the period, with bond yields falling."

Aon Hewitt said the ISEQ Index experienced a negative month, returning -3.3%.

"Heightened tensions in the Ukraine caused the price of risky assets to fall at the beginning of March. These concerns eased towards month end, and as investor nervousness over the Crimean tensions receded, the global equity market delivered positive returns for the month overall," commented Evelyn Ryder, investment director with Aon Hewitt.

Eurozone government bonds posted positive returns again in March, as the ECB president Mario Draghi reiterated his willingness to "take additional monetary policy measures" if required. The German 10 year bund yield was down 5 bps (basis points) to 1.58%. The French and Dutch 10 year yields also fell 10 bps to 2.10%and 1.75% respectively. Spreads on the peripheral Eurozone bond yields continued to contract over the month, with the Italian and Spanish 10 year bond yields 3.31% and 3.24% respectively at month end . The Irish 10 year bond yield fell 8 bps to 3.02%.

LCP Ireland said that the estimated funding level (i.e. the ratio of assets to liabilities) of a sample defined benefit scheme decreased by approximately 0.1% in March (and increased by 1.1% over the last 12 months) to stand at 91.0%.

The assets of the sample scheme increased by 0.7% during the month primarily due to the positive returns from equities. while liabilities (estimated using a minimum funding standard proxy) increased by 0.8% during the month as AAA bond yields continued to decline.

LCP Ireland Investment Summary March 2014

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