Pensions deliver strong returns in 2015 despite sour end to year

Average Irish managed fund delivered growth of 9.3% last year despite losses in December


Irish pension funds ended 2015 on a sour note, with sliding oil prices, doubts over the time of a Fed rate increase and volatile stock markets hitting returns.

All major Irish fund providers monitored by pensions consultant Rubicon lost money in December despite an uptick towards the end of the month. On average, managed funds reported a loss of 3.7 per cent with the best performance coming from Merrion Investment Managers – which lost 3.2 per cent. Setanta Asset Management propped up the table with a loss last month of 4.5 per cent.

However, the final quarter of 2015 was still positive for all the main players, wiht an average return of 6 per cent in the last three months of 2015 depsite the December setback.

Over 2015, as a whole, Irish pension funds delivered growth of 9.3 per cent. Within this, there was substantial divergence with Merrion adding 13.6 per cent to the value of funds invested while Kleinwort Benson Investors reported growth of less than half that rate, at 6.5 per cent.

At the end of 2015, only Merrion, Standard Life Investments and Zurich Life had consistently beaten the market average return over the past one, three, five, 10, 15 and 20 years.