All articles by Maria Teresa Cometto

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    How AI is making inroads in America's retirement industry

    June 2024 (Magazine)

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to gain traction in the retirement industry, even if it is still early days.

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    US public pension funds focus on labour practices in private equity

    May 2024 (Magazine)

    Private equity has become dependent on public pension funds, which represent almost one-third of all investors in the asset class. These schemes invested 13% of their assets – over $620bn (€580bn) in 2022 – up from 3.5% in 2001 and 8.3% in 2011, according to data from public pension research non-profit Equable Institute.

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    US pension plans wrestle with China private market exposure

    April 2024 (Magazine)

    After a horrible 2023, Chinese stocks look cheap and attractive. But most US pension funds do not seem interested in investing in the Chinese stock market. On the contrary, they have reduced their holdings since 2020 and some are exiting entirely, according to Bloomberg analysis. 

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    Under the spotlight: US pension plans and their use of leverage

    March 2024 (magazine)

    Does US public pension funds’ use of borrowed money and derivatives pose systemic risks to global financial markets? That is the concern of global regulators, which have recently stepped up scrutiny of the practice, according to a recent article in the Financial Times (FT). But senior executives interviewed by IPE seem less worried.

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    Guaranteed retirement income and AI: key themes for the US in 2024

    February 2024 (magazine)

    The three major 2024 trends in the US retirement industry, according to senior industry figures interviewed by IPE, are: Plan sponsors will continue to expand financial wellness programmes and explore optional provisions of the new pension law SECURE 2.0. Plan participants will up their demand for guaranteed income and ...

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    IBM revives defined benefit pensions in the US

    January 2024 (Magazine)

    This January 2024 marks an important turning point in the US retirement industry. Technology giant IBM, which has always been seen as a bellwether of American business practices, is keeping its 401(k) plan, but will stop matching contributions of up to 6%. 

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    Active management is back on the menu for US pensions

    December 2023 (Magazine)

    Rising rates and market volatility are forcing US pension funds to rethink their approach to passive and active investing. They are realising that their US stock portfolios are not diversified enough to help protect against a correction. But change may not come so fast.

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    SEC cracks down on private equity and hedge funds

    November 2023 (Magazine)

    Pension funds, university endowments, insurance funds, and other institutional investors have long called for more transparency about their investments in private equity and hedge funds. 

  • Lettter from the US
    Opinion Pieces

    US pension funds hone in on private credit

    October 2023 (Magazine)

    Private credit has been one of the fastest growing asset classes in the institutional world over the past several years, according to Catherine Beard, senior vice-president in consultancy Callan’s alternatives group. 

  • RobertGEcclesPhoto[1]
    Opinion Pieces

    ESG remains mired in politics in the US

    September 2023 (Magazine)

    “I am not going to use the word ESG because it’s been misused by the far left and the far right,” said BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in a conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. 

  • Marasco Cathy
    Opinion Pieces

    Letter from US: Annuities move into the US market

    July/August 2023 (Magazine)

    Three of the largest players in the US pension industry are launching new products that offer annuities as a retirement savings distribution option. Millions of Americans will soon have access to pension-like investments in their 401(k) plans thanks to BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, and State Street Global Advisors. The other large player in the US market, Vanguard, will not take part in this new trend.

  • John Scott_ Pew Charitable
    Opinion Pieces

    US: state enrolment systems gain traction

    June 2023 (Magazine)

    There are signs that the US state-facilitated retirement savings plans are starting to have a positive impact on both the creation and uptake of private pension plans.

  • Michele Giuditta
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Politics drive ESG debate

    May 2023 (Magazine)

    Three Republican candidates for the White House are vocal advocates against pension funds adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment practices. 

  • Headshot_Anthony Randazzo (Large)
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Private equity losses weigh on pension funds

    April 2023 (Magazine)

    US public pension funds should brace for a big negative surprise when they prepare their reports for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2023. Only then will their returns reflect losses from 2022 in their private equity (PE) portfolios.

  • David Stinnett

    US: SECURE 2.0 means the hard work ahead for pension plan sponsors

    March 2023 (Magazine)

    On one thing pretty much everyone agrees: the new SECURE 2.0 Act is very broad, complex, and will create a lot of work for US plan sponsors and retirement providers. In fact, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement law includes over 90 different provisions. 

  • Matt McDaniel_Mercer
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Sponsors back pension buyouts

    February 2023 (Magazine)

    In 2022, pension risk transfer (PRT) deals in the US reached a record of over $50bn (€46.5bn), according to estimates. And many industry observers expect demand from plan sponsors for PRT solutions to remain strong in 2023.

  • Munnell Alicia_3
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Republican House will not divert from SECURE 2.0

    January 2023 (Magazine)

    The new Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is not large enough to have a significant impact on the retirement industry. 

  • calpers-building-tree-01
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Pension plans face up to a tough 2022

    November 2022 (Magazine)

    After the terrible returns of the fiscal year that ended in June, what will US public pension funds do? Will they increase their risky investments to try to reach their target returns? Or will they lower their target returns?

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, DC
    Opinion Pieces

    US: Transparency concerns over SEC private market disclosure rules

    October 2022 (Magazine)

    Will the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) new climate risk reporting rules bring more transparency to private markets? Or will they have the unintended consequences of increasing the opacity of the markets? 

  • Neeraj Baxi
    Opinion Pieces

    US: The great unfreeze - does it make sense to reopen DB plans?

    September 2022 (Magazine)

    US defined benefit (DB) public and corporate pension funds are responding differently to inflationary pressures. Public schemes are more concerned about the negative impact of financial market turmoil on their returns, while corporates are enjoying the rising discount rates that are lowering their liabilities and improving their funded status.