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THE NATION : National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Pension strategy is called risky

August 18, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The federal agency charged with backstopping pension benefits for 44 million Americans has understated the risks of its new investment policy, a congressional watchdog says in a new report.

The Government Accountability Office is issuing a report today that says the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s new strategy could significantly boost investment returns, but it "will likely also carry more risk than acknowledged by PBGC's analysis."

The pension agency said it would take a more aggressive approach by investing more in stocks and adding alternative investments such as real estate and private equity funds.

The agency, which has assets of $68 billion, hopes the strategy will help it close a $14-billion gap between those assets and its liabilities.

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