Performance persistence of Dutch pension funds

This paper studies the investment performance of pension funds with a focus on their ability in implementing their intended investment strategy. We use a sample of Dutch industry-wide pension funds, which are obliged by law to report their investment performance according to the so-called z-score. The z-score is a risk-adjusted performance measure where the benchmarks are chosen a priori preventing manipulation in the score calculation. We find that pension funds as a group cannot beat their self-selected benchmarks and show no performance persistence. It reflects that pension funds on average do not add value in implementing their investment strategy. Cross-sectionally, it turns out that large funds are better able to beat their benchmarks persistently than small funds.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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