Pension funds boosted 21pc by equity market rally
PENSION funds ended 2009 up 21pc on the previous 12 months, but over the past three years the average fund is down 8pc.
Human resources company Hewitt Associates said its monthly managed fund index rose 4.4pc in December.
The positive return for December has brought the total return for 2009 on the average Irish managed fund to +20.7pc.
Hewitt's Brian Delaney said 2009 had been a good year overall for Irish pensions, after a disastrous 2008. "Pension managed funds have gained 28pc since the March lows though they still have a long way to go to recover to the position that funds held in 2007," he said.
The performance of the average Irish managed fund over the past 10 years now stands at +1.1pc per annum, lower than the Irish inflation rate of +2.8pc a year over the same period.
Over a five-year period, the average performance for Irish pension managed funds has been +1.5pc a year, just in line with inflation.
Equity markets have rallied strongly since March, reflecting investor confidence in the economic recovery, Mr Delaney said. "Global equity markets have rebounded 60pc on average since March and this has helped the performance of Irish pension funds greatly," the pensions consultant added.