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Gains by trusteed employer pension plans outstripped shares on the TSX, says Statistics Canada.

The value of funds’ equity investments grew 4.8% in Q1, compared to a 4.6% increase in stock prices on the TSX. Pension-held bonds increased 5.1% in value, while real estate investment values grew 3.8%.

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The market value of these trusteed pension funds totaled $1.4 trillion at the end of March 2014. Compared to the last quarter of 2013, employer-sponsored pension plans grew 5.3% in Q1.

Foreign investments contributed 33.9% of the value pension assets in Q1, an increase of 5.2%.

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But pension fund revenue fell 6.9%, to $39.3 billion, because workers and their employers contributed less. The funds also had less investment income than at the end of last year.

“Pension fund revenue typically increases in the fourth quarter, with special payments made by employers to cover pension liabilities and the receipt of year-end dividend payments,” explains Statistics Canada.

More than 6.2 million Canadians are part of employer-sponsored plans, says Statistics Canada. Of those, the investments of 5.2 million workers are managed by trusteed funds.

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Originally published on Advisor.ca

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