By Ilonka Oudenampsen
Austrian pension funds had an average return of 2.96 per cent in the first half of 2012, despite the ongoing financial crisis, the Austrian Association for Pension Funds said today.
Following the amendment to the Pension Fund Act in May, this is another positive development for the Austrian pension industry, the association said. However, the ongoing eurozone crisis, the financial situation of the United States and its upcoming presidential elections will continue to have an impact on the developments on the stock exchanges.
"The pension funds are well positioned, they invest very broadly and in long-term bonds, and have also reduced the risk at the right time," the association’s chairman Andreas Zakostelsky said.
On the outlook for the second half of 2012, Zakostelsky added: “No one can accurately predict the developments within the financial markets for the second half. Many experts expect a more sustainable recovery, as soon as the political decisions within the EU address the situation. The pension funds must at least invest some of their money in equities, in order to generate the required returns. We will proceed with caution and are confident that it is possible to maintain our long-term average investment return of 5.5 per cent per year in the future."