Pension funds ditch 'risky' investments

27 January 2006
In the past year, a third of pension funds have shunned shares in favour of safer options, according to new figures.

Around 30 per cent of them cut the proportion of shares that were in their portfolio, according to the National Association of Pension Funds (Napf).

A further 25 per cent upped their bond holdings, the figures showed.

In order to reduce their equity exposure, one in eight schemes turned to the property market, while 11 per cent look to other methods such as hedge funds and commodities.

"These findings add to the growing body of evidence that pension funds are becoming more risk-averse in their investment patterns," Napf chief executive Christine Farnish commented.

"There are a variety of factors at work here, including greater longevity, lower interest rates, new accounting standards and a tighter regulatory climate."

She added that these developments are causing the country's pension funds to ditch higher risk investments such as equities and towards safer options "in order to match their liabilities more effectively".

On average, pension funds invest 63 per cent of their resources in shares and 29 per cent in bonds.

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