Pensions & Investments' editors had their opinions on what qualified as the top stories of 2014; readers, as measured by page views of P&I's website, had their own thoughts.
The two most popular stories of 2014 for readers of pionline.com dealt with the ramifications of the 2015 U.S. budget for both defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
A Feb. 17 story about retirement plan executives bracing for bad news in President Barak Obama's budget was seen by more readers than any other in 2014. The executives were concerned that the president's March 2014 budget would include cuts to the tax advantages of DC for higher-income earners, as well as contain higher PBGC premiums.
The No. 2 story, measured by number of page views, was published March 4 and explored reactions to the budget, which included exactly what executives had feared.
Readers also clicked on a Jan. 20 story about the anticipated market for hedge-fund startups in 2014, with consultants predicting one of the most active years since the financial crisis.
A Nov. 17 story on the post-election implications of a Republican controlled U.S. Congress for cuts to the retirement benefits of federal workers also proved popular.
Readers agreed with P&I's editors on the fifth-ranked story: Actuarial consultants' predictions on how new mortality tables would put pressure on U.S. defined benefit plans.
Beyond the top five, other of the 10 most popular articles online in 2014 — for the most part, mirroring the choices of the editors — were a Jan. 20 story that predicted private equity firms were potential bidders for Russell Investments (which was eventually sold to London Stock Exchange); a May 12 story that announced CalPERS planned to cut its hedge fund allocation in half (the system would eventually end hedge fund investing four months later); another May 12 story on the growing call for government-sponsored private-sector retirement plans; a Sept. 22 story on Detroit-based American Axle & Manufacturing Holding Inc.'s lump-sum offer, and a March 31 story on private equity's role in the blockbuster merger between grocery store giants Safeway Inc. and Albertsons.