Canadian pension plans hold 5% of the globe’s pension fund assets—the fourth largest share in the world—according to a recent study by Towers Watson and Pensions & Investments.

The survey of the world’s 300 largest pension funds found the U.S. remains the country with the largest share of assets at 34%, although this has declined steadily over the last five years.

Japan was ranked the second largest with 19%, the Netherlands was in third position with 6% and Canada and the U.K. were tied for fourth at 5%.

Total assets of the world’s largest pension funds grew by 11% in 2010 (8% in 2009) to a record high of US$12.5 trillion, up by approximately US$1.2 trillion from last year’s figure. However, despite last year’s growth in total assets, annualized growth of all funds during the past five years has fallen to just over 6%.

By region, Europe has the highest five-year growth rate, at 11%, compared to Asia (9%) and North America (1%).

The research also shows that the world’s top 300 pension funds represent more than 47% of global pension funds assets.

DB funds account for 70% of assets. DB assets grew by 8% in 2010, compared to 13% for DC funds and 21% for reserve funds.

“The world’s largest pension funds have changed their asset mix during the past five years to be more defensive partly due to ongoing volatility and an unpredictable growth environment,” says Carl Hess, global head of Investment at Towers Watson, “with the top 20 funds, on average, now having equal amounts in equities and bonds (c. 40% each) and the rest in alternatives and cash.”

The top 300 ranking includes 19 Canadian pension plans:

  • CPP (8)
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (20)
  • OMERS (47)
  • Quebec Government and Public Employees Retirement Plan (67)
  • Public Service Pension Plan (80)
  • Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan (81)
  • QPP (89)
  • B.C. Municipal Pension Plan (112)
  • Local Authorities Pension Plan (173)
  • B.C. Public Service Pension Plan (184)
  • B.C. Teachers’ Pension Plan (192)
  • Canada Post Pension Plan (205)
  • Canadian National Railway Pension Plan (206)
  • Bell Canada Pension Fund (210)
  • Ontario Pension Board (216)
  • Hydro-Quebec Pension Plan (220)
  • OPSEU (239)
  • Quebec Construction Industry Pension Plan (266)
  • Air Canada Pension Plan (270)

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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