The market value of assets held by Canadian trusteed pension funds fell to $1.8 trillion in the second quarter, according to a new report by Statistics Canada released on Wednesday.

The figure was down one per cent in comparison to the previous quarter but it was up 7.5 per cent from the same period in 2016.

Pension fund investments held in stocks fell by 4.6 per cent to $501 billion. Investments in bonds remained relatively stable, up 0.5 per cent to $589 billion, Statistics Canada noted in its report on the second quarter of 2017.

Foreign investments totalled $612.1 billion, accounting for 34.5 per cent of total pension fund assets, according to Statistics Canada. On an annual basis, foreign investments grew 12.8 per cent, mainly due to an increase of 17.6 per cent in foreign bond holdings.

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Expenditures by pension funds increased 43.8 per cent to $30.4 billion in the second quarter. Pension payments increased 4.8 per cent. A decrease in revenues, combined with rising expenditures, resulted in a decline in net income in the second quarter to $17.4 billion. That was down from $27.2 billion in the first quarter, according to Statistics Canada.

More than 6.2 million Canadian workers belonged to employer-sponsored pension plans in the second quarter. Of that group, 5.2 million belonged to pension plans with assets managed by trusteed funds. The remainder had assets managed by insurance company contracts, Statistics Canada noted.

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