IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/23556.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pension Fund Performance and Costs: Small is Beautiful

Author

Listed:
  • Bauer, R.M.M.J.
  • Cremers, K.J.M.
  • Frehen, R.G.P.

Abstract

Using 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bauer, R.M.M.J. & Cremers, K.J.M. & Frehen, R.G.P., 2010. "Pension Fund Performance and Costs: Small is Beautiful," MPRA Paper 23556, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23556
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23556/1/MPRA_paper_23556.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Acharya, Viral V. & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2005. "Asset pricing with liquidity risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 375-410, August.
    2. Jacob Bikker & Jan de Dreu, 2006. "Pension fund efficiency: the impact of scale, governance and plan design," DNB Working Papers 109, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-591, July.
    4. Martijn Cremers & Antti Petajisto & Eric Zitzewitz, 2008. "Should Benchmark Indices Have Alpha? Revisiting Performance," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2452, Yale School of Management, revised 26 Jan 2010.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    6. Louis K. C. Chan & Hsiu-Lang Chen & Josef Lakonishok, 2002. "On Mutual Fund Investment Styles," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1407-1437.
    7. Swamy, P A V B, 1970. "Efficient Inference in a Random Coefficient Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 311-323, March.
    8. Dermine, Jean & Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 1992. "Economies of scale and scope in French mutual funds," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 83-93, March.
    9. Jeffrey A. Busse & Amit Goyal & Sunil Wahal, 2010. "Performance and Persistence in Institutional Investment Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 765-790, April.
    10. K. J. Martijn Cremers & Antti Petajisto, 2009. "How Active Is Your Fund Manager? A New Measure That Predicts Performance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3329-3365, September.
    11. Chan, Louis K C & Lakonishok, Josef, 1997. " Institutional Equity Trading Costs: NYSE versus Nasdaq," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 713-735, June.
    12. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    13. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2003. "Liquidity Risk and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 642-685, June.
    14. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green, 2004. "Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1269-1295, December.
    15. Chan, Louis K C & Lakonishok, Josef, 1995. " The Behavior of Stock Prices around Institutional Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1147-1174, September.
    16. Keim, Donald B. & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. "Transactions costs and investment style: an inter-exchange analysis of institutional equity trades," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 265-292, December.
    17. Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Ming Huang & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2004. "Does Fund Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? The Role of Liquidity and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1276-1302, December.
    18. Lakonishok, Joseph & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The Structure and Performance of the Money Management Industry," Scholarly Articles 10498059, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    19. Coggin, T Daniel & Fabozzi, Frank J & Rahman, Shafiqur, 1993. " The Investment Performance of U.S. Equity Pension Fund Managers: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 1039-1055, July.
    20. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
    21. Sensoy, Berk A., 2009. "Performance evaluation and self-designated benchmark indexes in the mutual fund industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 25-39, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lang, Gunnar & Shen, Yu & Xu, Xian, 2014. "Chinese pension fund investment efficiency: Evidence from CNCSSF stock holdings," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-007, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Aglietta, Michel & Brière, Marie & Rigot, Sandra & Signori, Ombretta, 2012. "Rehabilitating the role of active management for pension funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 2565-2574.
    3. Dirk Broeders & Arco van Oord & David Rijsbergen, 2015. "Scale economies in pension fund investments: A dissection of investment costs across asset classes," DNB Working Papers 474, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Andonov, Aleksandar & Eichholtz, Piet & Kok, Nils, 2015. "Intermediated investment management in private markets: Evidence from pension fund investments in real estate," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 73-103.
    5. Broeders, Dirk W.G.A. & van Oord, Arco & Rijsbergen, David R., 2016. "Scale economies in pension fund investments: A dissection of investment costs across asset classes," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 147-171.
    6. V. Bouvatier & S. Rigot, 2013. "Pension funds' allocations to hedge funds: an empirical analysis of US and Canadian defined benefit plans," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(26), pages 3701-3710, September.
    7. Helen Higgs & Andrew C. Worthington, 2010. "Economies of Scale and Scope in Australian Superannuation Funds," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201015, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    8. Jacob Bikker, 2013. "Is there an optimal pension fund size? A scale-economy analysis of administrative and investment costs," DNB Working Papers 376, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Sluchynsky, Oleksiy, 2015. "Defining, measuring, and benchmarking administrative expenditures of mandatory social security programs," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 95198, The World Bank.
    10. Dirk Broeders & Arco van Oord & David Rijsbergen, 2017. "Does it pay to pay performance fees? Empirical evidence from Dutch pension funds," DNB Working Papers 561, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pension fund performance; US pension funds;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23556. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.