Pension Fund Statistics – Q2 2023

Publication Date: 18 September 2023

Key Points

  • Total assets of the Irish pension fund sector grew by 1.7 per cent (€2.0 billion) over Q2 2023 to stand at €128 billion (Chart 1). This continues the growth observed during 2023 but assets remain down on the series high of €138 billion at end-2021. Pension fund reserves1 experienced growth of 5.6 percent (€3.3 billion).
  • Technical reserves relating to pension entitlements also increased in Q2 2023. 1 (Chart 2). Defined contribution (DC) technical reserves grew 6.8 percent as a result of growth in corresponding asset values while defined benefit (DB) technical reserves grew only slightly on the quarter. Net worth remains positive at €6.4 billion.
  • The profile of pension entitlement liabilities varies across the euro area (Chart 3). For example, in Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands they are almost all defined benefit (DB), while in Spain, Italy and other countries they are almost all defined contribution (DC). Ireland has a nearly even split between DB (52 per cent) and DC (48 per cent) as of Q2 2023. This may reflect both the recent reduction in DB technical reserve valuations due to increasing discount rates and a longer term move towards DC pension funds. In Q4 2021 this split was 61 per cent DB to 39 per cent DC.

Summary Charts

Chart 1: Assets of Irish pension funds

Assets of Irish pension funds

Chart 2: Liabilities of Irish pension funds

Liabilities of Irish pension funds

Chart 3: Pension entitlements profile euro area comparison – Q2 2023 [3]

Pension entitlements profile euro area comparison – Q2 2023 

[1] In the pension fund context pension entitlement technical reserves are liabilities relating to claims on pension funds by households while pension fund reserves are assets relating to claims on insurance corporations by pension funds

[2] Data relating to defined benefit technical reserves and net worth are reported on an annual basis (at year end), values for other quarters are estimated and subject to revision on receipt of latest annual data. Technical reserves are valued on an accounting basis.

[3] Source: ECB Data Portal

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