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Millions of Americans rely on retirement savings plans for their financial well-being in retirement. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in assets such as hedge funds (privately administered pooled investment vehicles that typically engage in active trading strategies) and private equity funds (privately managed investment pools that typically make long-term investments in private companies). Given ongoing market challenges, it is important that plan fiduciaries apply best practices, and choose wisely when investing plans assets to ensure that plans are adequately funded to meet future promised benefits. This statement addresses (1) what is known about the extent to which defined benefit plans have invested in hedge funds and private equity, (2) challenges that such plans face in investing in hedge funds and private equity, (3) steps that plan sponsors can take to address these challenges, and (4) the implications of these challenges for plan sponsors and the federal government.

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