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A pension fund, also known as a superannuation fund in some countries, is any program, fund, or scheme which provides retirement income.

Pension funds typically have large amounts of money to invest and are the major investors in listed and private companies. They are especially important to the stock market where large institutional investors dominate. The largest 300 pension funds collectively hold about USD$6 trillion in assets.[1] In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that pension funds worldwide hold over $33.9 trillion in assets (and were expected to grow to more than $56 trillion by 2020), the largest for any category of institutional investor ahead of mutual funds, insurance companies, currency reserves, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, or private equity.[2]

The Australian National Superannuation Scheme, which oversees $2.57 trillion in assets, is the world's largest public pension fund.


Open vs. closed pension fund

Open pension funds support at least one pension plan with no restriction on membership while closed pension funds support only pension plans that are limited to certain employees.[3]

Closed pension funds are further subclassified into:

Public vs. private pension funds

A public pension fund is one that is regulated under public sector law while a private pension fund is regulated under private sector law.

In certain countries, the distinction between public or government pension funds and private pension funds may be difficult to assess. In others, the distinction is made sharply in law, with very specific requirements for administration and investment. For example, local governmental bodies in the United States are subject to laws passed by the states in which those localities exist, and these laws include provisions such as defining classes of permitted investments and a minimum municipal obligation.[4][5]

Largest pension funds

The following table lists largest pension funds by total assets by the SWF Institute.[6]

Country Fund Assets US$ (in billions) Reporting
Inception Origin
 Australia Australian National Superannuation Scheme $2568[7] 2022 1992 Employer & Employee Contribution
 United States Federal Old-age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (Social Security) $2557[8] 2023 1935 Taxation
 Japan Government Pension Investment Fund $1790[9] 2020 2006 Non-commodity
 Norway Government Pension Fund of Norway $1356[10] 2021 1990 Oil
 United States Military Retirement Fund $1321[11] 2023 1984 Employer Contribution
 United States Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund $1028[12] 2023 1920 Employer & Employee Contribution
 United States Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) $737[13] 2022 1986 Employer & Employee Contribution
 Canada Canada Pension Plan and CPP Investment Board (CPPIB) $570[14] 2022 1965 Non-commodity
 Netherlands Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (ABP) $498[15] (€460) 2022 1922 Non-commodity
 South Korea National Pension Service (NPS) $462[16] 2017 1988 Non-commodity
 Canada (Quebec) Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (The Caisse, or CDPQ) $402[17] 2022 1965 Non-commodity
 United States (California) California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) $389[18] 2020 1932 Non-commodity
 China National Social Security Fund $251[16] 2015 2000 Non-commodity
 Singapore Central Provident Fund $348[19] 2019 1955 Non-commodity
 Canada (Ontario) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) $247[20] 2022 1989 Non-commodity
 United States (California) California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) $282[21] 2021 1913 Non-commodity
 Malaysia Employees Provident Fund $226[19] 2019 1951 Non-commodity
 Netherlands Stichting Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW, formerly PGGM) $183[22] (€162) 2022 1969 Non-commodity
 Chile AFP $160[23] 2014 1980 Non-commodity
 India Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) $228[24] 2019 1952 Employer & Employee Contribution
Russia Russia Russian National Wealth Fund $125 [38] 2020 2008 Oil
 Denmark Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (ATP) $106[25] 2023 1964 Employee Contribution
 Canada OMERS (Ontario) $124[26] 2022 1962 Non-commodity
 South Africa Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) $112 (ZAR1426b) 1996 Non-commodity
 Brazil Caixa de Previdencia dos Funcionários do Banco do Brasil (PREVI) $80[27] 1904 Finance
 United States (Ohio) State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio) $79.8[28] 2017 1919 Defined Benefit Pension
 France AGIRC - ARRCO $70[16] 2015 2001 Non-commodity
 India National Pension System (NPS) $85[29] 2021 2004 Non-commodity
 France Pensions Reserve Fund (France) (NPRF) $56[30] 2001 Non-commodity
 Ireland National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) $30[31] 2001 Non-commodity

By country


Main article: Superannuation in Australia


Industry (not-for-profit)












Hong Kong











The pension system in Romania is made of three pillars. One is the state pension (Pillar I – Mandatory), the second is a private mandatory pension where the state transfers a percentage of the contribution it collects for the public pension, and the third is an optional private pension (Pillar III – Voluntary).

The Financial Supervisory Authority – Private Pension is responsible for the supervision and regulation of the private pension system.[39]

Saudi Arabia






Social Security Institution was established by the Social Security Institution Law No:5502 which was published in the Official Gazette No: 26173 dated 20.06.2006 and brings the Social Insurance Institution, General Directorate of Bağ-kur and General Directorate of Emekli Sandığı whose historical development are summarized above under a single roof in order to transfer five different retirement regimes which are civil servants, contractual paid workers, agricultural paid workers, self-employers and agricultural self-employers into a single retirement regime that will offer equal actuarial rights and obligations.


OYAK (Ordu Yardımlaşma Kurumu/Armed Forces Pension Fund) provides its members with "supplementary retirement benefits" apart from the official retirement fund, T.C.Emekli Sandığı/SSK, to which they are primarily affiliated.

In addition to the retirement benefit, OYAK pays "disability benefits" to the members on duty when they become partially or fully disabled as well as "death benefits" to the heirs of the deceased member if the death occurs during the member's subscription to the foundation.

OYAK is incorporated as a private entity under its own law subject to Turkish civic and commercial codes. OYAK, while fulfilling its legal duties, as set in the law, also provides its members with social services such as loans, home loans and retirement income systems.

The initial source of OYAK's funds is a compulsory 10 percent levy on the base salary of Turkey's 200,000 serving officers who, together with 25,000 current pensioners, make up OYAK's members.

Some other Turkish private pension funds:

United States

In the United States, pension funds include schemes which result in a deferral of income by employees, even if retirement income provision is not the intent.[42] The United States has $19.1 trillion in retirement and pension assets ($9.1 trillion in private funds, $10 trillion in public funds) as of 31 December 2016.[43] The largest 200 pension funds accounted for $4.540 trillion as of 30 September 2009.[44]


Main article: Public employee pension plans in the United States

See also


  1. ^ "Location Selector". Willis Towers Watson.
  2. ^ "Asset Management 2020 - A Brave New World" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-04-23. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  3. ^ OECD
  4. ^ For examples, see "Local Government Law Library". Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  5. ^ "The 20 largest pension funds of the globe". 27 October 2017. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  6. ^ Top 100 Largest Public Pension Rankings by Total Assets
  7. ^ Superannuation Statistics, March 2022. Value as of March 2022. Retrieved April 17, 2022
  8. ^ Budget of the United States Government, FY2025, published March 11, 2024. Value as of September 30, 2023 Office of Management and Budget Retrieved March 11, 2024
  9. ^ 2020年度第3四半期運用状況 GPIF
  10. ^ "Market Value of the Government Pension Fund of Norway". Norges Bank Investment Management. 2021-10-21. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  11. ^ Budget of the United States Government, FY2025, published March 11, 2023. Value as of September 30, 2023. Office of Management and Budget Retrieved March 11, 2024
  12. ^ Budget of the United States Government, FY2025, published March 11, 2024. Value as of September 30, 2023. Office of Management and Budget Retrieved March 11, 2024
  13. ^ Financial Statements of the Thrift Savings Fund December 31, 2022 and 2021, released August 2023. Value as of December 31, 2022. Thrift Savings Fund. Retrieved March 11, 2024
  14. ^ "CPP Fund Net Assets Total $570 Billion at 2023 Fiscal Year". Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  15. ^ "Default". Retrieved 2023-08-29.
  16. ^ a b c "Annual Survey of Large Pension Funds and Public Pension Reserve Funds" (PDF). OECD. 2016-04-21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  17. ^ "Page d'accueil". Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec | Investisseur institutionnel de long terme | Gestionnaire d’actif.
  18. ^ "CalPERS Reports Preliminary 4.7% Investment Return for Fiscal Year 2019-20". Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  19. ^ a b "The world's 300 largest pension funds – year end 2014". Willis Towers Watson.
  20. ^ "Performance - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan".
  21. ^ "Current Investment Portfolio -". Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  22. ^ "Kwartaalberichten | PFZW". Archived from the original on 2014-12-26. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
  23. ^ "Conozca las 10 empresas donde más invierten las AFP en la Bolsa chilena". 25 January 2015.
  24. ^ Asher, Mukul (22 January 2021). "How the EPFO can improve as India's largest social security provider". Moneycontrol.
  25. ^ "Annual Announcement of Financial Statements 2023".
  26. ^ "OMERS - 2020 Annual Report Highlights". Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  27. ^ Official WebSite of PREVI - English Version
  28. ^ "STRS Ohio's Impact".
  29. ^ "Assets Under Management & No.of Subscribers | NPS Trust".
  30. ^ "FRR 2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-12-15.
  31. ^ "NPRF". Archived from the original on 2017-02-10. Retrieved 2020-05-03.
  32. ^ "Choose an Industry SuperFund". Industry Super.
  33. ^ Official Website of PREVI
  35. ^ "Official website of Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority".
  36. ^ EPF
  37. ^ PFRDA
  38. ^ "ECENTRAL". Archived from the original on November 2, 2010.
  39. ^ [bare URL]
  40. ^ "Pension and Disability Insurance Fund of the Republic of Serbia - Republički fond za penzijsko i invalidsko osiguranje Republike Srbije". Archived from the original on 2019-05-07. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  41. ^ "Armed Forces Pension Fund". Archived from the original on 2017-10-22. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
  42. ^ 29 USC § 1002 - Definitions | Title 29 - Labor | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2013-07-18.
  43. ^ Federal Reserve Statistical Release, Financial Accounts of the United States, Fourth Quarter 2016 Archived 2018-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, see pp.94-99. Values as of December 31, 2016. Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Reported March 9, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017
  44. ^ "P&I Online". Archived from the original on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2010-07-17.