Top pension funds see total assets near $15 trillion - research

LONDON, Sept 2 Tue Sep 2, 2014 5:56am EDT

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LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The world's 300 biggest pension funds saw their combined assets rise 6.2 percent to $14.9 trillion in 2013, research from Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson showed.

The pace of growth in assets under management had slowed slightly, however, at 6.2 percent from 9.8 percent in 2012.

North American funds remained the largest region for AuM, at 41.4 percent of the total, with the 126 U.S. funds in the list accounting for 36 percent. Japan has the second largest share, at 13 percent, with the Netherlands third with 7 percent and Norway and Canada next, both with more than 6 percent.

Countries adding most funds to the list over the last five years, however, include Australia, with three funds, and South Korea, Russia, Poland, Colombia and Canada with two funds.

The United States contributes most funds to the list, with the UK next highest with 26 funds, followed by Canada with 19, Australia with 16, Japan with 14 and the Netherlands with 13.

Sovereign and public sector pension funds accounted for 67 percent of the total assets, and 140 out of the 300 funds.

The proportion of assets held in defined benefit, or final salary, schemes, fell to 66.7 percent of total assets from 68.5 percent.

On average, the top-20 funds in the list invested 40.6 percent of their assets in fixed income securities and 42.7 percent in equities. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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