UK pension funds achieved their best performance for four years in 2009, according to estimates by BNY Mellon.
The average UK pension fund returned a weighted average of 14% last year, compared to -13.6% to 31 December 2008.
Measured against the Retail Price Index (RPI) the estimated real return rises to 14.9% for 2009, and an estimated 12.8% against the National Average Earnings Index (NAEI).
The results suggest a strong turnabout in performance of UK pension funds over the last 12 months.
Commenting on the results, Alan Wilcock, BNY Mellon asset servicing performance and risk analytics manager, says: "Following the worst annual return for over 30 years in 2008, pension funds clawed back most of those losses by the end of 2009, despite the poor start to the year."
Over a three-year period to the end of December 2009, pension funds also made gains, with an estimated average return of 1.7% annually.
Results were more mixed over longer term periods with funds achieving an estimated weighted average return of 6.4% per annum over a five-year term, according to BNY Mellon.
Real returns over this period are estimated at 3.6% per annum against the RPI and 3% per annum against the NAEI.
Over 10 years to 31 December 2009 the average fund posted an estimated return of 3.2% per annum, beating the retail index by 0.6% though underperforming the NAEI by 0.5%.
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