The market value of assets held by Canadian trusteed pension funds followed global financial markets and continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Statistics Canada. They add that growth in the fourth quarter was driven by performance in equities, up 3.6 per cent, bonds which increased 3.3 per cent, real estate which rose 5.7 per cent and infrastructure which increased 6.9 per cent.

Four asset classes decreased in the quarter, including other short-term funds, government of Canada treasury bills, accrued interest and dividends receivable, and notably, life insurance annuity contracts which decreased 15 per cent.

During the quarter, foreign investments outperformed domestic mandates, as foreign assets rose five per cent, while domestic assets were flat and mixed in their performance. The largest domestic asset category, equities, fell slightly, while real estate performed best domestically, increasing 4.2 per cent.

Overall, they say the value of assets held by both public and private sector plans rose in the fourth quarter, with the public sector posting a five per cent increase, while private sector holdings rose 1.8 per cent. Public sector assets, now at $1.78-trillion, accounted for 78.1 per cent of the total assets held by trusteed pension plans at the end of the fourth quarter. Private sector plans came in at $498.3-billion.