A see through piggy bank with money coins

Employer pension plans in Canada saw their assets under management (AUM) decline in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017 driven by a drop in the value of their bond holdings, according to new data from Statistics Canada (StatsCan).

The latest data on employer pension plans from the national statistics agency shows that AUM declined by 0.6% from the previous quarter to $1.77 trillion. Although AUM declined during Q3, the total was still up by 3% from Q3 2016.

Overall, bond AUM declined by 2.5% during the quarter to $589 billion. Conversely, stock holdings increased by 1.2% in the quarter to $501.3 billion. Pension funds’ mortgage assets increased by 6.8% in Q3, yet real estate holdings dropped by 4.5%.

StatsCan reports that pension plans’ foreign investments grew by 0.2% in the quarter to $613.5 billion, with foreign stocks gaining 0.3%, and bonds dropping 2.4% to $69.4 billion.

Pension fund revenue increased by 7.4% during the quarter as profits on the sales of securities rose 25.4% and investment income dropped by 11.2%.