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Article | Global Pension Finance Watch

Global Pension Finance Watch: Fourth quarter 2019

Positive fourth quarter index results


By Nathan Pavlik and David Finn | January 27, 2020

Favorable investment returns and increasing discount rates drove up index results over the fourth quarter in almost all regions.

Brazil was the only region that saw a decrease in the pension index due to the declining discount rate in Q4, driving liability value up for this region only. For the full year, sharply declining discount rates were broadly offset by robust asset returns in most locations. With the exception of the U.K., all regions experienced positive returns in the fourth quarter. Particularly strong were the U.S. and Japan.

About this report

Global Pension Finance Watch, published quarterly, reviews how capital market performance affects defined benefit pension plan financing in major retirement markets worldwide, with a focus on linked asset/liability results. We cover defined benefit pension plans in Brazil, Canada, the Eurozone, Japan, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. Specific plan results will vary based on such factors as liability characteristics, contribution policy, portfolio composition and management strategy.

The impact of capital markets on these pension plans is twofold:

  • Investment performance on fund assets
  • Changes in economic assumptions on plan liabilities (as measured under international accounting standards)

If you have questions or comments about this report, please contact our Willis Towers Watson experts.

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Global Pension Finance Watch: Fourth Quarter 2019 PDF .2 MB
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