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Value of employer-sponsored pension funds jumps 5.8 per cent in fourth quarter

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada reports that the market value of Canadian employer-sponsored pension funds totalled $1.3 trillion at the end of December 2013, up 5.8 per cent from the end of September and up 11.9 per cent for the full year.

A major reason for the big jump in the final three months of 2013 was the pension funds’ investments in stocks, which increased in value by 9.4 per cent compared with the end of the third quarter.

Statistics Canada says stocks in the fund portfolios had a total value of $425.5 billion as of Dec. 31, and represented 31.7 per cent of the funds’ total value.

Bonds comprised 34.6 per cent of the funds’ total value at $464.5 billion, but the rate of growth in that asset class was slower at 3.6 per cent compared with the end of September.

Apart from the increased value of their investment assets, the funds generated a total of $14.9 billion from the sale of securities and received $14.6 billion from contributions in the fourth quarter.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, the total market value of employer-sponsored pension funds was up from cent from a revised $1.197 trillion, with the stock portion up 15.4 per cent and bond holdings up about 4.1 per cent.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version referred to incorrect figures for 2012 results.