Irish pension funds gained an average of 2.7% during May, with strong performances from all of the main managed funds, according to research from Rubicon Investment Consulting.

Aviva Investors, Merrion Investment Managers and Zurich Life were the best performing funds last month, with returns of 3%, while New Ireland propped up the league table with a 1.6% gain.

Overall 2016 has been a disappointing year so far for pension funds, which are down 0.7% on average over the first five months.

Returns for the year to date range from 3.9% (Setanta Asset Management) to -4.3% (Merrion Investment Managers).

Over the past twelve months the average fund return was a disappointing -4.4%.

Setanta Asset Management top the table over the past year with a return of 0.2%, while Merrion Investment Managers produced the lowest returns at -7.3%.

The average managed fund return has been 10.2% per annum over the past three years, while the five-year average return is also 10.2% per annum.

Irish group pension managed fund returns over the past ten years have averaged 4.7% per annum.