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Ranked: The Worldโ€™s 100 Biggest Pension Funds

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Despite economic uncertainty, pension funds saw relatively strong growth in 2021. The worldโ€™s 100 biggest pension funds are worth over $17 trillion in total, an increase of 8.5{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} over the previous year.

This graphic uses data from the Thinking Ahead Institute to rank the worldโ€™s biggest pension funds, and where they are located.

What is a Pension Fund?

A pension fund is a fund that is designed to provide retirement income. This ranking covers four different types:

  • Sovereign funds: Funds controlled directly by the state. This ranking only includes sovereign funds that are established by national authorities.
  • Public sector funds: Funds that cover public sector workers, such as government employees and teachers, in provincial or state sponsored plans.
  • Private independent funds: Funds controlled by private sector organizations that are authorized to manage pension plans from different employers.
  • Corporate funds: Funds that cover workers in company sponsored pension plans.

Among the largest funds, public sector funds are the most common.

The Largest Pension Funds, Ranked

Here are the top 100 pension funds, organized from largest to smallest.

Rank Fund Market Total Assets
1 Government Pension Investment Fund ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $1.7T
2 Government Pension Fund ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway $1.4T
3 National Pension ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea $798.0B
4 Federal Retirement Thrift ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $774.2B
5 ABP ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands $630.4B
6 California Public Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $496.8B
7 Canada Pension ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $426.7B
8 National Social Security ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China $406.8B
9 Central Provident Fund ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore $375.0B
10 PFZW ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands $315.5B
11 California State Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $313.9B
12 New York State Common ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $267.8B
13 New York City Retirement ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $266.7B
14 Local Government Officials ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $248.6B
15 Employees Provident Fund ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia $242.6B
16 Florida State Board ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $213.8B
17 Texas Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $196.7B
18 Ontario Teachers ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $191.1B
19 National Wealth Fund ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia $180.7B
20 AustralianSuper ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $169.1B
21 Labor Pension Fund ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan $168.9B
22 Washington State Board ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $161.5B
23 Public Institute for Social Security ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ Kuwait $160.0B
24 ATP ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark $155.4B
25 Wisconsin Investment Board ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $147.9B
26 Future Fund ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $147.9B
27 Boeing ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $147.2B
28 Employees’ Provident ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India $145.0B
29 New York State Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $144.4B
30 North Carolina ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $137.1B
31 Alecta ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden $136.7B
32 GEPF ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa $129.1B
33 California University ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $125.3B
34 Bayerische Versorgungskammer ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany $122.0B
35 Ohio Public Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $121.6B
36 AT&T ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $119.5B
37 Public Service Pension Plan ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $117.9B
38 National Federation of Mutual Aid ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $117.1B
39 Metaal/tech. Bedrijven ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands $115.8B
40 IBM ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $115.4B
41 Universities Superannuation ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK $111.2B
42 Virginia Retirement ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $110.0B
43 Pension Fund Association ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $109.8B
44 Raytheon Technologies ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $108.9B
45 Michigan Retirement ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $108.0B
46 Aware Super ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $107.5B
47 New Jersey ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $104.5B
48 Minnesota State Board ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $102.9B
49 PFA Pension ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark $102.7B
50 Kaiser ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $101.0B
51 Georgia Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $100.9B
52 Oregon Public Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $100.4B
53 Massachusetts PRIM ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $98.5B
54 Qsuper ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $96.5B
55 General Motors ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $96.1B
56 Ontario Municipal Employees ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $95.7B
57 Ohio State Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $95.1B
58 AP Fonden 7 ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden $94.4B
59 Healthcare of Ontario ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $90.5B
60 General Electric ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $90.5B
61 Employees’ Pension Fund ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India $89.5B
62 Bouwnijverheid ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands $88.5B
63 UPS ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $86.8B
64 United Nations Joint Staff ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $86.2B
65 Lockheed Martin ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $85.7B
66 Quebec Pension ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $81.4B
67 National Public Service ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $79.9B
68 Tennessee Consolidated ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $79.0B
69 Royal Bank of Scotland Group ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK $78.3B
70 Bank of America ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $76.3B
71 BT Group ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK $74.3B
72 Keva ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland $73.3B
73 Ford ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $72.8B
74 PME ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands $72.7B
75 Los Angeles County Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $72.7B
76 Quebec Government & Public ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $72.4B
77 UniSuper ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $72.1B
78 Northrop Grumman ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $72.0B
79 Pennsylvania School Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $70.4B
80 Lloyds Banking Group ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK $69.7B
81 Ilmarinen ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland $69.1B
82 Colorado Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $68.6B
83 Maryland State Retirement ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $68.5B
84 AMF Pension ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden $67.3B
85 Varma ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland $67.1B
86 Wells Fargo ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $66.0B
87 Sunsuper ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia $66.0B
88 Verizon ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $64.1B
89 Illinois Teachers ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $64.0B
90 J.P. Morgan Chase ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $62.8B
91 Electricity Supply Pension ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK $62.5B
92 FedEx ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $60.7B
93 Nevada Public Employees ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $58.8B
94 B.C. Municipal ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada $58.7B
95 AP Fonden 4 ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden $57.7B
96 Missouri Schools & Education ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $57.0B
97 AP Fonden 3 ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden $55.9B
98 Social Insurance Funds ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam $55.7B
99 Organization for Workers ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan $55.6B
100 Illinois Municipal ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. $54.9B

U.S. fund data are as of Sep. 30, 2021, and non-U.S. fund data are as of Dec. 31, 2021. There are some exceptions as noted in the graphic footnotes.

Japanโ€™s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is the largest in the ranking for the 21st year in a row. For a time, the fund was the largest holder of domestic stocks in Japan, though the Bank of Japan has since taken that title. Given its enormous size, investors closely follow the GPIFโ€™s actions. For instance, the fund made headlines for deciding to start investing in startups, because the move could entice other pensions to make similar investments.

America is home to 47 funds on the list, including the largest public sector fund: the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), overseen by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. Because of its large financial influence, both political parties have been accused of using it as a political tool. Democrats have pushed to divest assets in fossil fuel companies, while Republicans have proposed blocking investment in Chinese-owned companies.

Russiaโ€™s National Wealth Fund comes in at number 19 on the list. The fund is designed to support the public pension system and help balance the budget as needed. With Russiaโ€™s economy facing difficulties amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the government has also used it as a rainy day fund. For instance, Russia has set aside $23 billion from the fund to replace foreign aircraft with domestic models, because Western sanctions have made it difficult to source replacement parts for foreign planes.

The Future of Pension Funds

The biggest pension funds can have a large influence in the market because of their size. Of course, they are also responsible for providing retirement income to millions of people. Pension funds face a variety of challenges in order to reach their goals:

  • Geopolitical conflict creates volatility and uncertainty
  • High inflation and low interest rates (relative to long-term averages) limit return potential
  • Aging populations mean more withdrawals and less fund contributions

Some pension funds are turning to alternative assets, such as private equity, in pursuit of more diversification and higher returns. Of course, these investments can also carry more risk.

Ontario Teachersโ€™ Pension Plan, number 18 on the list, invested $95 million in the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The plan made the investment through its venture growth platform, to โ€œgain small-scale exposure to an emerging area in the financial technology sector.โ€

In this case, the investmentโ€™s failure is expected to have a minimal impact given it only made up 0.05{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} of the planโ€™s net assets. However, it does highlight the challenges pension funds face to generate sufficient returns in a variety of macroeconomic environments.