The market value of assets held by Canadian trusteed pension funds increased 4.2 per cent to $2.27 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from $2.18 trillion in the previous quarter, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
Within trusteed plans, public sector assets grew five per cent to $1.78 trillion, accounting for 78 per cent of overall assets, while private sector assets rose 1.8 per cent to $498.3 billion.
Total revenue rose to $80.8 billion, mainly due to an increase in net realized gains on the sale of securities, which grew by $13.4 billion. Net income also rose by 86 per cent to $56.5 billion from $30.4 billion in the third quarter.
Expenditures fell 18 per cent to $24.3 billion, mainly due to a 39.3 per cent decline in other disbursements and losses, as well as an 18.9 per cent decrease in pension payments out of funds and a 6.8 per cent decrease in cash withdrawals. The only two expenditure categories that rose in the fourth quarter were transfers to other pension plans and administration costs, which increased by 87.2 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively.
While the total value of domestic holdings was up $23.1 billion in the fourth quarter, there were decreases in short-term investments (negative 1.4 per cent) and equities (negative 0.1 per cent). Domestic real estate increased by 4.2 per cent, followed by bonds (3.7 per cent) and infrastructure (1.7 per cent).
Foreign assets also rose five per cent to $1.06 trillion, with all asset categories increasing in value except for short-term investments (negative 2.2 per cent). Assets of nationality unknown accounted for 10.6 per cent of all assets, up from 10.2 per cent in the third quarter.