ipe(IPE) Dutch pension funds made an average return of 9.5% after costs in 2023, according to calculations by consultancy Bell. Two small company schemes that invest heavily in equities reported the best performance.

Bell based its conclusions on returns data of 177 pension funds that were published last month by pension regulator DNB. Though all pension funds reported positive returns, these ranged from 1.5% to 17.7%. Pension funds recovered somewhat from a disastrous 2022, when they made an average return of -23.3%.

Total pension assets under management in the Netherlands also increased, from €1.44bn at the end of 2022 to €1.57bn by the end of last year. But this is still quite some way off the record of over €1.8bn reached at the end of 2021.

The five largest pension funds all underperformed the 9.5% average, as these funds invest relatively more in unlisted assets, which posted rather meagre returns last year.