We investigate the cause of the increase in mortgage investments by pension funds after the financial crisis. We show that, after the introduction of the new financial assessment framework in 2015, funds that experienced larger reductions in the funding ratio during the 2008–2012 crisis invested more in mortgages. We test the hypothesis that a past recovery mode has motivated pension funds to invest more in mortgages after the crisis. Funds that seek to further hedge their interest rate risks aim for a different risk/return investment profile. Mortgages could contribute to a less risky portfolio, as they have become even safer since the introduction of several new regulations in 2013. Recovery modes after the crisis combined with the new framework are a cause of the recent surge in mortgage holding by pension funds; we find that this led to a 39% increase in their mortgage investments, despite the fact that these are still low relative to the overall investments of pension funds.