Pension fund assets under management increased 9% in 2005 to reach a new high of US$18.6 trillion, according to a report by International Financial Services Limited.

Since 2001, assets have jumped 37%.

“Steady growth in assets has been based on expansion in funding aided by pension reform and a recovery in equity markets,” states the report.

Pension funds sourced from the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan account for more than 80% of global pension assets.

Some of the biggest increases in pension assets between 2001 and 2005 have occurred in countries that have put reforms in place. Assets have increased five-fold between 2001 and 2005 in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.

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