Pensions & Investments gathered information for this report, published annually since 1974, in three steps.
Questionnaires were sent to more than 1,300 fund sponsors in P&I's database. The largest 1,000 were identified from completed questionnaires, follow-up phone calls and emails, and database searches.
Data for sponsoring entities that did not respond were culled from published annual or quarterly reports and Form 5500s filed with the Department of Labor.
P&I's survey generally covers the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2020. In cases where no information was available from the fund, or the data were older than June 30, 2020, P&I calculated estimates to Sept. 30.
A few survey questions were expanded on this year in an effort to fully capture emerging trends and talking points.
P&I previously asked only whether defined benefit plans incorporated ESG factors into the investment process or whether a policy was in place to encourage the hiring of money managers owned by minorities, women, the disabled or veterans. This year, plans were asked how much they had invested under ESG principles and how much was invested in ESG mandates. Additionally, plan sponsors with an MWDV hiring policy were asked how many managers they allocate to and how much they have invested with those managers.
Lastly, following Labor Department guidance on including private equity in ERISA-covered defined contribution plans, private equity has been added as a specific breakdown of DC investments.
Dollar amounts generally are rounded to the nearest million; in certain tables and charts, they are rounded to billions. The aggregate asset mixes represent the weighted averages of all reported allocations for the respective funds.
All data in this special report are ©2021 Crain Communications Inc. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.