UK pension funds recorded their highest returns for four years in 2009 - a year which also saw FTSE 100 companies rocked by record deficits.
Returns on UK pension funds recovered to 15% in 2009 which is the highest level since 2005, according to International Financial Services London (IFSL).
However, four years of negative returns have weighed heavily on long-term figures, with real returns over the past decade only averaging 1.1% per year - well below the 4.2% for the past half-century.
The research also brings to light the challenges facing FTSE100 companies, whose pensions balance reached a record deficit of £96bn in mid-2009.
Furthermore, IFSL highlights the shift from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) schemes. The share of UK DB private sector schemes remaining open to new members has fallen from 35% in 2006 to 22% in 2009.
The UK remains the second largest pension market, accounting for 9% of total assets worldwide, adds IFSL.
The total value of pension assets managed globally rose 14% to an estimated $29.5trn in 2009, recovering from an 18% drop in 2008.
Vitality at Work scheme
Reporting to Steve Hill
Appointed on 19 September
Plans to double size in five years
Unnamed company valuation reduced