A new study by Towers Watson examined 13 major pension markets, totaling $27.5 trillion and accounting for 72.3 percent of the GDP of these markets. This represented a 3.9 percent increase compared to the year-end 2010 value.

According to the report, global pension assets reached a record high this year, if measured in absolute terms. Pension assets relative to GDP reached 72.3 percent in 2011, which was still below the 2007 level of 78.9 percent and below the 2010 ratio of 75.5 percent.

The U.S., Japan and the United Kingdom account for the largest pension markets, with 58.5 percent, 12.2 percent and 8.7 percent of total pension assets in the study, respectively.

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