Second Edition of the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark Reveals Improvements, but More Is Needed to Enhance Pension Outcomes for Members

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The second year of the Global Pension Transparency Benchmark has revealed improvements in the transparency of pension fund disclosures round the globe, but further improvement is still needed.

The Global Pension Transparency Benchmark (GPTB) is a world-first global benchmark measuring transparency of pension disclosure, bringing a focus to transparency in a bid to improve pension outcomes for members.

The GPTB ranks 15 countries on public disclosures of key value generation elements for the five largest pension fund organisations within each country. It focuses on the transparency and quality of public disclosures with quality relating to the completeness, clarity, information value and comparability of disclosures.

The overall country benchmark scores look at four factors: governance and organisation; performance; costs; and responsible investing; which are measured by assessing hundreds of underlying components.

The results of the second year of analysis reveal improvements across disclosure relating to governance and responsible investment, while cost remained the same and performance dipped slightly.

Pension funds around the world scored best on governance disclosure, while the transparency of responsible investment disclosure made the most relative improvement.

While some countries and funds scored well on certain factors, on average transparency of disclosure still needs improvement.

Relationship manager and GPTB lead at CEM Benchmarking, Michael Reid, says “We were pleased to see the year-over-year improvement in Responsible Investing disclosures. In particular, more funds chose to quantify their efforts and contrast actual results with their mid and long-term goals.”

Despite the overall disappointing results there were some notable examples of best practice. The Dutch funds were exemplary when it came to cost disclosure; the five largest Canadian funds had the highest average score for governance and organisation supporting their reputation for governance excellence; and US pension funds scored well on the transparency of performance disclosure.

The Global Pension Transparency Benchmark is the first formal collaboration between and CEM Benchmarking.

“We are passionate about improving the global pension industry and we think shining the light on these elements that drive value will do that,” says Amanda White, editor of

Transparency, or lack of it around costs and other issues, has been a problem area for pension funds over many years, and in the industry, there is room for improvement in this area.

“We continue to be disappointed at the lack of transparency around costs. Costs persist and can have a profound impact on total returns over the long-time horizons of pension plans. Stakeholders deserve better,” Reid added.

Visit to review the findings, methodology analysis of the factors and individual countries.

The Global Pension Transparency Benchmark advisory board:

  • Keith Ambachtsheer, president, KPA Advisory Services; co-founder and board member, CEM
  • David Atkin, chief executive, PRI
  • Lorelei Graye, founder, Adopting Data Standards
  • Angélique Laskewitz, director, Association of Investors for Sustainable Development
  • Neil Murphy, vice-president, communications, Investment Management Corporation of Ontario

About CEM Benchmarking (CEM)

CEM Benchmarking is the leading, independent provider of cost and performance benchmarking information for fiduciaries and managers of asset pools: defined benefit, defined contribution, sovereign wealth, and other managed assets worldwide. CEM is deeply committed to helping clients, whether directly or through advisors/consultants, run cost-effective operations that generate value for their stakeholders. With vast industry knowledge and a robust database spanning 30 years and $11+ trillion in AUM, CEM helps more than half of the world’s top 300 pension schemes understand and manage their costs and performance. CEM also facilitates better pension outcomes by both sharing cutting edge research derived from its proprietary databases and hosting annual conferences.

About is the market leading news and analysis site for the world’s largest institutional investors. It focuses on leading the global investment industry to continuous improvement through case studies of best practice in governance and decision making, portfolio construction and efficient portfolio management, fees and costs, and sustainable investing.

The publication pushes the industry to question whether status quo processes and behaviours to tackle risks and opportunities will be sufficient in the future, and actively campaigns for diversity, sustainability, transparency, innovation and better alignment of fees in the investment industry. is read by investment professionals in more than 40 countries.

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Mike Heale, Principal, CEM Benchmarking, +1 416 369 0468

Amanda White, Editor, +61 417 462 837