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The market value of assets held by Canadian employer pension plans increased to $2.12 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

It found while private sector assets saw a year-over-year increase of 4.6 per cent to $654.3 billion, public sector assets nearly reached $1.47 trillion. Stocks posted the largest increase at 5.8 per cent, followed by mortgages at 5.1 per cent, real estate at 2.7 per cent and other assets, up two per cent. Bonds were relatively flat with a 0.2 per cent increase, while short-term assets decreased by 6.4 per cent.

Read: Canada’s DB pension plans post 9.2% return in 2020

Domestic assets rose 1.5 per cent over the previous quarter and had a year-over-year increase of 6.6 per cent, while the market value of domestic bonds and miscellaneous assets were down 0.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. However, this decrease was more than offset by gains in bond funds (2.4 per cent), real estate (2.1 per cent) and equity funds (5.6 per cent).

Foreign assets rose 3.2 per cent to $713 billion on the strength of pooled assets and stocks, up 3.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively. However, foreign bonds were down 2.4 per cent and foreign short-term investments fell 26 per cent in the third quarter. Overall, foreign assets experienced a year-over-year decrease of $1.5 billion.

Net income returned to pre-pandemic levels at $31.1 billion, following a $6.1-billion loss in the first quarter of 2020 and a $7.7-billion rebound in the second quarter. Total revenue rose to $55 billion from $19.1 billion in the second quarter, driven mainly by higher profits on the sale of securities as markets recovered.

While total contributions were down 1.7 per cent, a 2.3 per cent increase in employer contributions partially offset the 7.8 per cent drop in employee contributions. Expenditures fell by $4.3 billion to $23.9 billion, the result of a decline in the level of losses on the sale of securities ($158.5 million), compared with losses of $3.9 billion in the previous quarter.

Read: Canadian DB pensions return 3.13% as markets rebound