Turkish pension fund performance

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The Individual Pension System (IPS) in Turkey was officially commenced on October 27, 2003. The IPS is a voluntary, defined contribution plan. The contributions collected from participants are pooled in individual accounts overseen by pension companies and investment management companies. As of 2012, 3.1 million Turkish citizens participated in the IPS accounts managed by 17 different pension managers. The plans held 24 billion Turkish Lira (approximately 12 billion US dollars). [1]

Performance studies

Gokcent and Yalcin (2013) [1] examine Turkish pension fund performance and find that neither the fund industry as a whole, nor the average fund, with the exception of money market funds, delivers positive alpha over their pre-selected benchmarks. These funds span Turkish stocks and bonds, international stocks and bonds (euro denomination) as well as flexible and balanced funds.

They find, that before costs, a naïve trading strategy that invests with the top 10 funds in each year for the subsequent year over the period from 2004 to 2011 earns about the same return as what one could earn with an equal weighted portfolio of Turkish stocks and government bonds.

Gokcent and Yalcin (2013) conclude:

Taken as a whole, our results strongly support the philosophy of passive investing and highlight the need for low-cost index funds in the Turkish Pension fund system.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gokcen, Umut and Yalcin, Atakan, "The Case Against Active Pension Funds: Evidence from the Turkish Private Pension System" (December 26, 2013). Available at SSRN.

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