Public defined benefit plans

We partner with federal, state, and local plans to help support the financial well-being of hundreds of
thousands of public workers, educators, and first responders.

How we work with public plans

  • As allocators, putting ourselves in plan sponsors’ shoes and conducting timely, relevant asset allocation research
  • As advisors, deploying a range of proprietary tools and the breadth of Wellington’s multi-asset research to help plan sponsors with their most pressing issues
  • As portfolio managers, building custom solutions to help sponsors pursue their return objectives
  • As strategic partners, collaborating with plan sponsors on their goals across their organization

Our public plan research is led by Adam Berger, a multi-asset strategist and portfolio manager who hosts a quarterly “Top of Mind” webcast that addresses key questions, worries, and opportunities gathered from the hundreds of conversations he has with public plan sponsors.

We’d love to hear your “top of mind” ideas for future research


<span>Top of Mind</span> Never assume and other tips for 2021
Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger stress tests the consensus views on four key issues: rising interest rates, high equity valuations, US market leadership, and the impact of slower globalization on China's growth.
February 2021
Top of Mind Never assume and other tips for 2021
<span>Top of Mind</span> Time for a new playbook on inflation and active management?
Are fiscal and monetary policy setting us on a course for inflation? How has the COVID-19 crisis altered the backdrop for active management? Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger offers his take, as well as thoughts on real assets, value stocks, the technology sector, and alternative investments.
October 2020
Top of Mind Time for a new playbook on inflation and active management?
<span>Top of Mind</span> Back to before or protracted pain ahead?
After a tumultuous first half of 2020, what comes next for the pandemic, the economy, and the markets? Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger considers several scenarios and offers a set of near-term and longer-term investment policy ideas.
July 2020
Top of Mind Back to before or protracted pain ahead?
<span>Top of Mind</span> Meditations in an emergency
Multi-Asset Strategist Adam Berger discusses the macro and market impact of the coronavirus and offers his "playbook" for the coming weeks and months, including thoughts on rebalancing and opportunistic investments.
April 2020
Top of Mind Meditations in an emergency
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Many public plans have return targets that pose a high hurdle when compared with capital market return expectations. We think plans can address this gap through a “stepping stones” approach: making incremental changes that can potentially improve returns without significantly increasing risk. Examples include:

  • Making more effective use of active strategies
  • Investing thematically to take advantage of secular trends
  • Mitigating downside risk to help smooth the path to a return target

To help public plans implement the right steps for their needs, we draw on our firm’s multi-asset research and investment solutions. Learn more about our stepping stones approach:

Narrowing the return gap: 10 steps in the right direction
Many investors are stuck between relatively high return targets and stubbornly low market return expectations. While no single “bridge” will get investors where they need to go, we think this ...
March 2018
Narrowing the return gap: 10 steps in the right direction


GTAA: What is the way forward?
Following a period of underperformance by many GTAA strategies, there have been questions about portfolio construction and realistic return expectations. Adam Berger and Saul Henry take a closer look at this diverse category of strategies, examining recent results and offering a road map for investors thinking about the role GTAA could play in an evolving market environment.
September 2019
GTAA: What is the way forward?
EM evolution: New paths in portfolio construction
Given major market and economic changes over the past decade, it may be time to rethink EM equity and debt exposures. In this paper, we lay out simple frameworks investors can use to structure their EM portfolios given the wider range of implementation options available today. We also consider the active/passive decision and the manager selection process.
June 2019
EM evolution: New paths in portfolio construction


To learn more about how we can help public plans pursue their investment objectives, please contact us.

Amy Morse

Director, Pension Strategies