Icelandic pension funds hit record exposure to foreign assets
The Icelandic pension funds association said in a statement that local pension schemes have returned just over 9% in real terms on average in 2020 compared to 11.8% in 2019. Lífeyrismál added that foreign assets have soared in a quite significant way, primarily because of share prices rising abroad and the Icelandic króna weakening. Thus, at the end of November 2020, foreign assets in Icelandic pension funds amounted to 34% of all assets, which forms a record amount of foreign holdings for the local schemes. The association specified that domestic assets performed well too but value increases were smaller than for foreign assets.
Lífeyrismál recalled the impact of Covid-19 on Icelandic pension funds. During Spring 2020, the Icelandic government gave green light to a special temporary payment of private pension savings due to the coronavirus crisis, prompting special payments of ISK 24.5bn (€156m) until 7 January 2021. By March 2022, a total of ISK 28.3bn (€180m) of private pension savings will be paid out due to special Covid measures taken by the Icelandic government.