Partners Group welcomes guidance from US Department of Labor on inclusion of private equity in defined contribution pension plans. Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, welcomes the US Department of Labor DoL guidance released on Wednesday in an Information Letter, which clarifies that under federal law, defined contribution DC pension plan fiduciaries can incorporate certain private equity strategies into diversified investment options, such as target-date funds. The DoL guidance addresses an important hurdle for DC plan managers, who have to-date been reluctant to meaningfully incorporate private markets exposure into DC plans, including k s, for fear of non-compliance with their fiduciary duty under federal law. By contrast, defined benefit DB plans included in a survey of the US’ largest retirement plans had invested an average of 8. Robert Collins, Managing Director, Head of Partners Group’s New York office, comments: “The Department of Labor has taken a major step toward modernizing defined contribution plans and providing participants with a more secure retirement. At a time when working families are struggling to save, this guidance gives fiduciaries the certainty they need to finally provide main street Americans access to the same types of high-performing, diversifying investments as wealthy and large institutional investors, all within the safety of their k plans. Many in the retirement industry have advocated for greater parity between the investment options available to DB and DC pension plan investments. In , Partners Group launched an initiative to seek new guidance from the DoL, in which it partnered with Pantheon, another private markets investor. These efforts were supported by a broad coalition of investor-oriented groups, including DC plan associations and many of the US’ largest public and corporate pension plan sponsors.
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