Total assets of the world’s largest 300 pension funds grew by over 6% in 2013 (compared to around 10% in 2012) to reach a new high of almost US$15 trillion (up from US$14 trillion in 2012). The P&I / Towers Watson global 300 research is conducted in conjunction with Pensions & Investments, a leading US investment newspaper.

Latin American and African funds had the highest five-year combined compound growth rate of over 16% (albeit from a low base) compared to Europe (12%), North America (around 6%) and Asia-Pacific (around 5%).

Defined benefit (DB) funds account for 67% of total assets, down from 75% five years ago. During 2013, DB assets grew by around 3%, compared to reserve funds  (15%), defined contribution (DC) plans (over 9%) and hybrids (over 8%).

Sovereign funds continue to feature strongly in the ranking with 27 of them accounting for 28% of assets and totalling around US$4.2 trillion. The 113 public sector funds in the research had assets of US$5.8 trillion in 2013 and account for 39% of the total. Private sector industry funds (61) and corporate funds (99) account for 14% and 19% respectively of assets in the research.