Irish pension managed funds fell by 9.2% on average during October as a result of recent market volatility and have lost over a third of their value (33.4%) over the past twelve months.
Eagle Star was the best performing manager over the month with a return of -8.5%. Irish Life Investment Managers delivered the worst performance over the month, with a return of -10.5%. So far this year, pension funds have declined a worrying 29.4% on average.
The average managed fund has shown an extremely disappointing return of -6.0% per annum over the past three years. The five year returns to the end of October are little better, with the average managed fund delivering a return of just 1.1% per annum over this period. Irish group pension managed fund returns over the past ten years have been a very disappointing 1.9% per annum on average, well below the Irish inflation rate of 3.8% per annum over the same time horizon. Indeed, of the managers surveyed, only Merrion Investment Managers outperformed inflation over this period.
The majority of Irish private sector workers - more than one million - have no occupational pensions. Those who have a pension, have been hit by the decimation in equity values. In contrast, Irish politicians and public sector workers, have one of the best pension schemes in the world, which is not only unrelated to markets but indexes pensions for life to the last position worked.
Fiona Daly, Managing Director, Rubicon Investment Consulting commented: "In spite of recent declines, it is important, when considering these returns, to remember that the investment horizon of most pension schemes is generally over 25 years, and that equities have historically provided significantly higher returns over the long-term than bonds, property or cash, although at the cost of greater volatility."