2000-2002 ‘Most Destructive Period’ In History Of U.S. Pension Funds

Last year marked a new low in the decline of U.S. pension funds and endowments according to a recent study by Greenwich Associates. The firm predicted the past 36 months has cost US pension funds over a trillion dollars in lost assets under management. Dev Clifford, a consultant at Greenwich, dubbed the period ‘probably the most destructive in the whole history of the U.S. fund business’. The news was particularly bleak for corporate pension funds, where year-on-year losses have been severe and became even more so in 2002. According to a matched sample of 380 large corporate funds interviewed by Greenwich Associates, the average decline in 2002 was 14.6 per cent. Among public funds, the diminishment was less substantial but hardly minor. A matched sample of 199 public pension funds revealed average asset losses of 9.3 per cent from 2001 to 2002, slightly worse than the 8.9 per cent reduction seen from 2000 to 2001.


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