Euro area pension fund statistics: third quarter 2021

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22 December 2021

  • Total euro area pension fund assets stood at € 3,252 billion in the third quarter of 2021, slightly higher than in the second quarter of 2021
  • Total pension rights of euro area pension funds reached € 2,756 billion in the third quarter of 2021, up € 11 billion from the second quarter of 2021
  • From this press release, the statistics for pension funds in the euro zone include the assets and liabilities of French institutions resulting mainly from reclassifications or from operations of insurance companies.

The total assets of euro area pension funds increased slightly to reach 3,252 billion euros in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 3,250 billion euros in the second quarter of 2021. Investment fund shares represented 47, 8% of total assets in the pension fund industry in the third quarter of 2021. The second largest asset category was debt securities (25.5%), followed by equities (10.1%) (see respective transactions in Figure 1).

Equity holdings of investment funds fell to € 1,554 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2021, from € 1,567 billion at the end of the previous quarter. Net sales of investment fund shares amounted to 34 billion euros in the third quarter of 2021, while prices and other changes amounted to 22 billion euros. If we consider the main types of UCITS units, UCITS units amount to 489 billion euros for a turnover of 13 billion euros.

With regard to pension funds’ holdings of debt securities, these increased to 831 billion euros at the end of the third quarter of 2021, compared to 816 billion euros at the end of the previous quarter. Net purchases of debt securities amounted to € 15 billion in the third quarter of 2021, while prices and other changes amounted to € 0 billion. On the asset side, euro area pension fund holdings increased to € 328 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2021, from € 326 billion at the end of the previous quarter . Net sales of shares amounted to € 1 billion in the third quarter of 2021, while prices and other changes amounted to € 3 billion.

Graph 1

Transactions in the main assets of euro area pension funds in the third quarter of 2021

(quarterly transactions in billions of euros; not seasonally adjusted)

Data on the main assets of euro area pension funds

At the level of main liabilities, the total pension rights of pension funds amounted to 2,756 billion euros in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 2,745 billion euros in the second quarter of 2021. Defined benefit pension plans amounted to € 2,248 billion, or € 81.6 billion. % of total pension rights. Defined contribution pension plans amounted to 508 billion euros, representing 18.4% of total pension rights in the third quarter of 2021. Net purchases of defined benefit plans amounted to 6 billion euros in the third quarter of 2021, while those of defined contribution plans 4 billion euros. Prices and other changes in total pension rights amount to € 1 billion.


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Remarks:

  • “Defined benefit plans” include hybrid plans.
  • “Investment funds” include money market funds and non-money market funds.
  • Hyperlinks in the main body of the statistical publication and in the appendix table lead to data which may change with subsequent publications due to revisions. The figures presented in the annex table are a snapshot of the data at the time of current publication.
  • The creation of a pension fund sector in France is linked to the implementation of the Sapin II Law.


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