Investment returns

The table below shows the total investment returns, net of fees, (including both capital and income) obtained on the Fund's assets (including property but excluding AVCs) for the one, three and five years to 31 March 2017 and the corresponding composite benchmark established by the Trustee as the prime performance comparator. The benchmark quoted is a weighted average of indices relevant to the structure and is relevant throughout the time periods shown.

One year Three year average Five year average
Total Fund Benchmark  Total Fund Benchmark Total Fund Benchmark
Annual return % 20.2  21.0 10.3 10.9 9.9 10.0
Ex currency hedging 23.2 24.0 11.8 12.5 10.6 10.5

The Fund assets returned 20.2% for the year ending 31 March 2017, 0.8% below its benchmark returns of 21.0%.

Since 1 April 2016, the Total Fund ex Currency Hedging Benchmark is calculated by the Fund's performance measurer as a weighted average of the underlying manager benchmarks. This has then been adjusted to estimate the impact of the currency overlay portfolio to produce the Total Fund Benchmark. The currency impact has been estimated as the difference in performance between the Total Fund ex Currency Hedging and the Total Fund.

Value of the Fund

The value of the Fund over the last five years has been:

Year Value
2017 £9,867.8m
2016 £8,211.4m
2015 £8,304.2m
2014 £7,311.9m
2013 £6,869.7m
This year's investment performance was 20.2%, behind the benchmark return of 21.0% by 0.8%, while over the longer period of three years the return was 10.3% per year, below the benchmark by 0.6%. Over five years returns were 9.9% per year, 0.1% behind the benchmark.

Portfolio changes

Following the completion of the review of the Fund's investment strategy last year, the focus of both the Alternatives and Liability Hedging Committee and the Investment Committee has been carrying through the implementation in conjunction with our investment advisers, Willis Towers Watson. This has included consideration of the structure of the equity, bond and alternative asset portfolios, the introduction of new asset classes and an increase in investment with some existing managers (including new portfolios). As a result of these activities decisions to terminate four investment managers were taken during the year, although where disinvestment has not yet been completed, they are still included in the listing of Investment Managers in the accounts. No new investment manager appointments have been made during the year, but some new appointments are expected to be finalised shortly.

Assessing performance

The Fund participates in an independent investment performance measurement scheme organised by JP Morgan Investor Services which provides comparative information for assessing investment performance. JP Morgan Investor Services calculates both the overall investment returns obtained on the Fund's assets and the returns obtained by the individual Investment Managers.