Top 5 US Public Defined Benefit Pension Plans


In the intricate world of pension plans, a select group of institutions rise above the rest, steering financial futures with unparalleled expertise. These plans, backed by visionary leadership and prudent investment strategies, play a pivotal role in securing retirement for millions. Explore the elite league of the top 5 U.S. public pension plans (by AUM) that exemplify excellence in financial stewardship.

Afterwards, delve into thousands of plans, uncovering intricate details, creating connections, and gaining insights that go beyond the surface by utilizing FIN Searches.

1. California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)

Size: $460,470 million

CIO: Nicole Musicco - View FIN Searches Bio

Location: Sacramento, CA


Bio: Established as the State Employees' Retirement System in 1932, CalPERS has evolved to encompass participating counties, cities, and school districts since 1939. Pioneering a path, it extended its horizon to provide health insurance and adopted its current name in 1992, marking a distinctive identity. With an enviable size, CalPERS Investments wields substantial influence, pushing for transformative change within its invested companies. Operating both domestically and abroad, CalPERS crafts a dynamic investment landscape.

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2. California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Size: $302,100 million

CIO: Christopher J. Ailman - View FIN Searches Bio

Location: West Sacramento, CA


Bio: Rooted in law since 1913, CalSTRS emerged as a sanctuary for California's public school educators. It grew to become the world's largest educator-only pension fund and the second largest pension fund in the US. With a portfolio value of approximately $315.6 billion (as of June 30, 2023), CalSTRS is not just a financial institution but a cultural pillar. Its commitment to service, leadership, and respect underscores its role in shaping the lives of educators and families.

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3. New York State Common Retirement Fund

Size: $254,100 million

CIO: Anastasia Titarchuk - View FIN Searches Bio

Location: New York, NY


Bio: Powering retirement security for over a million members, New York State Common Retirement Fund stands tall as one of the nation's best-managed and best-funded pension plans. Born in 1921, its legacy rests on prudent investments, unwavering returns, and constitutionally safeguarded benefits. Over the years, it has seamlessly provided retirement security for hard-working New Yorkers, spanning generations.

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4. New York City Retirement Systems

Size: $243,210 million

CIO: Steven Meier - View FIN Searches Bio

Location: New York, NY


Bio: A legacy that began in 1920 with 13,331 members, the New York City Employees' Retirement System has evolved into the largest municipal public employee retirement system in the US. Its expansive reach covers over 350,000 active members and retirees, catering to the diverse needs of clerical workers, social workers, and even uniformed employees. This pension plan's roots run deep, nurturing a secure future for the metropolis's workforce.

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5. Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

Size: $185,432 million

CIO: Jase Auby - View FIN Searches Bio

Location: Austin, TX


Bio: Pioneering retirement benefits for Texan educators since 1937, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas stands as a cornerstone of financial security. A $185 billion fund fuels a mission to support over 1.9 million public education and higher education employees and retirees. In the heart of Austin, TRS holds the distinction of being the largest public retirement system in Texas and a formidable entity on the national pension stage.

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