Pension Fund Performance and Costs: Small is Beautiful
AbstractUsing the CEM pension fund data set, we document the cost structure and performance of a large sample of US pension funds. To date, self-reporting biases and a deficiency of comprehensive return and cost data have severely hindered pension fund performance studies. The bias-free CEM dataset resolves these issues and provides detailed information on fund-specific returns, benchmarks and costs for all types of pension plans and equity mandates. We find that pension fund cost levels are substantially lower than mutual fund fees. The domestic equity investments of US pension funds tend to generate abnormal returns (after expenses and trading costs) close to zero or slightly positive, contrasting the average underperformance of mutual funds. However, small cap mandates of defined benefit funds have outperformed their benchmarks by about 3% a year. While larger scale brings costs advantages, liquidity limitations seem to allow only smaller funds, and especially small cap mandates, to outperform their benchmarks.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23556.
Date of creation: 29 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Pension fund performance; US pension funds;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-10 (All new papers)
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