Stat of the Month: 42%

The proportion of pension fund assets invested in equities.

by MT Staff

Whether in relation to strikes or 'golden goodbyes', pensions have dominated the headlines in recent months. And pension funds, responsible for dishing out the money, have come under the microscope. They dominate the stock markets, but crises in both the eurozone and the US have made them nervous. The National Association of Pension Funds, with 1,200 members holding £800bn in assets, says investment in equities has fallen by almost a third in the past five years. In 2006, 60% of their investments were in equities; now it's just 42%. Prospects for UK equities are looking particularly gloomy: the proportion of assets in UK equities fell from 17.1% in 2010 to 12.2% in 2011. With bank lending tight, that means less money for companies to invest in jobs and growth. Instead, funds are turning to gilts and bonds as safe havens. Infrastructure projects also look attractive: secure, long-term and paying a guaranteed return. Pension funds provide our retirement income, so their movements are watched closely. But as the retirement age keeps rising, who knows how long you'll have to wait to get yours.

Source: NAPF

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