The 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2009, began as a down year for pension executives, but ended with a hint of hope.
Stock markets worldwide, still reeling from the credit crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, fell even further than they already had. But then stocks began to rally, and bonds provided strong returns.
The data in this annual special report cover the impact that the credit crisis hangover had on the nation's largest retirement funds between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009. It is the 36th year Pensions & Investments has put U.S. employee retirement plans under the microscope.
To gather the information for this report, questionnaires were sent to more than 1,200 fund sponsors in P&I's database. The largest 1,000 were identified from the completed questionnaires, follow-up phone calls and e-mails. Data for funds that did not respond were culled from published annual reports and the Form 5500s filed with the Department of Labor.
In cases where no information was available from the fund, or the data provided were older than as of June 30, 2009, P&I calculated estimates to Sept. 30, 2009.
The rankings and charts included in this issue of P&I represent only a fraction of the data gathered during the five-month process. Complete listings for defined benefit and defined contribution investments, along with the profiles of the largest 200 plan sponsors, are available here.
All stories and data are &Copy;2010 Crain Communications Inc.