The brief’s key findings are:
- Pension plans set target asset allocations, but allow actual allocations to vary within range of the targets.
- From 2001-2017, target allocations shifted away from traditional stocks and bonds and toward alternatives.
- As a result, many plans were net sellers of equities during the financial crisis, which locked in losses and partially excluded plans from the subsequent rebound.
- Most plans stayed relatively close to their target allocations over the period, but a looser approach within the target ranges would have only improved performance modestly.