Global pension fund assets grew by 12% last year, to US$26trn, an all-time high, according to a new study from consultancy Towers Watson. Despite this performance, pension fund balance sheets improved only marginally. The asset/liability indicator constructed by the consultancy improved by 2% in 2010, but remains some 25% lower than it was in 1998. This is because liabilities have grown more than twice as fast as assets over the past 12 years, opening a hole that may take many more trillions of dollars to fill.

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