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Public Pension Viewpoints

Much Ado About Everything

Public pension CIOs, trustees and administrators have a lot on their plates – recent increases in market volatility, Fed tightening and a re-visiting of pension liability valuation approaches, just to name a few. In this issue of GSAM’s Public Pension Viewpoints, we review the salient issues for public defined benefit (DB) pension plans today based on our observations and conversations with clients.

Highlights this Quarter:

 
  • On the Margin: Our review of strategic asset allocation changes undertaken by public plans in 2018 reveals a continuation of recent trends towards greater use of alternatives and private assets, and a reallocation of equity exposure away from the US into international/emerging markets.
  • Liabilities in Focus: The age-old debate of how to value public pension liabilities has received increased attention this year given activity by the Actuarial Standards Board and US Congress. A recent proposal on revised public sector mortality assumptions may also place upward pressure on liabilities for some plans.
  • An Emerging Public Pension Trend: Emerging market debt allocations have enjoyed fairly widespread adoption by public DB plans. We provide an update on public plan usage of this asset class as well as our related investment views.
  • Market Cheat Sheet: A summary of our views across various asset classes.
December 2018 | Macro Insights
How High to Hike

Our portfolio manager discusses what factors in the US economy may cause inflation to accelerate

October 2018 | Pension Solutions
Stars Aligning For Corporate Plans to Take De-Risking Actions

A confluence of factors – rising interest rates, robust US equity markets and tax reform-driven contributions – have contributed to a significant rise in US corporate DB funded levels. We provide our most recent thoughts on the US corporate DB market and how plan sponsors may be thinking about de-risking today. 

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