Assets held by Canadian trusteed pension funds slumped in market value by 0.7 per cent during the third quarter of 2018, falling to just under $1.9 trillion. Asset value did, however, grow by 7.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis, since the third quarter of 2017.

Real estate investments accounted for the bulk of the growth for the quarter, at 2.3 per cent, coming to $191.1 billion. Bonds took the hardest hit, down 3.1 per cent to $591.4 billion, while equity losses were less pronounced, dropping 0.9 per cent to a total of $569.9 billion.

Foreign bond investments shed 9.2 per cent in value to $80.5 billion. Stocks from foreign markets also declined, but only by one per cent, falling to $344.2 billion. Overall, foreign investments inched down 0.5 per cent, coming to a value of $707.2 billion across asset classes, which represents 37.3 per cent of total holdings for Canadian trusteed plans.

In total, pension income was down for the quarter from both investments and contributions. Investments led the decline, heading 11.3 per cent lower, to $13.2 billion, with revenue from contributions also down 8.5 per cent to $14.9 billion. Overall, revenue was down 1.3 per cent, which was mitigated to some extent by an increase in securities sales of 22.6 per cent, totalling $13.5 billion.

Expenses also rose for pension funds by 0.5 per cent during the quarter. Payments were up 0.2 per cent to $16.3 billion, while administrative costs grew by 2.7 per cent to $1.8 billion.