By Christine Williamson
Source: Pensions & Investments

The 1,000 largest U.S. retirement plans had a banner year, propelled in large part by strong returns in public and private equity and other alternative investment strategies, as well as from higher contributions to defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

In the year ended Sept. 30, aggregate assets of the 1,000 largest U.S. retirement funds rose 16.9% to $14.13 trillion, a big improvement from the previous year when assets managed to rise 6.6% amid the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, data from Pensions & Investments’ annual surveys show.

Over the five years ended Sept. 30, assets of the top 1,000 universe increased 50.6% from $9.38 trillion, compared with growth of 36.7% in the five years ended Sept. 30, 2020.

The growth rate of the 1,000 top funds’ aggregate assets is on a par with the biggest increases over the past 30 years. The cutoff to make the largest 200 plans was $14.2 billion as of Sept. 30, up nearly $2 billion from the prior year.

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