Canadian pension funds achieved returns more in line with long-term expectations for the first quarter of the year.

According to Mercer Investment Consulting’s Pooled Fund Survey, the Canadian pooled balanced pension fund median return was 1.7% for the quarter.

“Most pension plans in Canada would have seen little change by the end of the quarter in the financial position to the end of 2006,” says Peter Muldowney, business leader for Mercer Investment Consulting in Canada. “Both the assets and the liabilities are likely to have grown by a similar amount.”

International equities were the strongest performing major asset class in Q1, with the MSCI EAFE returning 3.2%.

The next best performing asset class was Canadian equities, which returned 2.6%. In bonds, the Scotia Capital Overall Universe Bond index returned 0.9% during the quarter.

However, the median active U.S. equity return was -0.2%, matching the S&P 500 return.

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