We understand the pressures you face. Hundreds, if not thousands, of your employees rely on the success of your investment program for a secure retirement. Unpredictable markets, resource constraints, and regulatory changes all make your job even more challenging. Liabilities and expenses are growing quickly – meaning your plan’s assets must work harder and smarter to reach funded status goals.

With more than 40 years’ experience working with DB plans, we can help you manage your investments more effectively and strive to improve or maintain your funded status with our investment solutions.


Defined Benefit outsourcing capabilities

For plans looking for a co-fiduciary to manage the day-to-day responsibilities of their investment program, our Outsourced CIO (OCIO) approach provides strategic advice, asset management expertise, and administrative support. You retain responsibility for strategic decisions and then delegate management of the investments to a trusted fiduciary partner – Russell Investments.

This approach allows you to focus your attention on the strategic decisions that drive most of your investment outcomes – and re-focus your internal resources on the initiatives critical to your organization’s success.


Our defined benefit OCIO solution

Your DB plan’s liabilities and funded status are likely primary concerns. For more than 40 years, we’ve been customizing flexible OCIO solutions to address these concerns and meet our clients’ needs. Our OCIO solution provides a dynamic approach to managing your pension plan that links your investment strategy to your organization's goals.

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Co-fiduciary level of administrative support

You determine the level of delegation and we take care of the rest, evolving with you as your needs change. We become an extension of your organization and stand with you as a co-fiduciary, aligning our objectives with yours.

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Daily dynamic portfolio oversight

DB plan fiduciaries typically meet only four times a year, but markets move daily. Therefore, we provide daily oversight and can dynamically adjust the portfolio to capture short term opportunities and mitigate risks.

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Ability to customize within our OCIO solution

We work to understand the goals that are most important to your organization and then customize a program to meet your specific needs, utilizing our various capabilities including consulting, manager research , integrated trading capabilities, asset allocation modeling, risk management , implementation services, and comprehensive administrative services.


Customized Portfolio Solutions

If you have an internal team to manage your Defined Benefit investments and just need help in select areas, we have a diverse set of services that can complement and expand your team’s capabilities. We’re focused on helping you manage risk, gain greater control, and minimize costs in your portfolio.

Designed to support in-house investment teams, we have a suite of services that can be delivered as discrete solutions or customized in combination to help you tackle your investment challenges.

Transition Management

Organizations invest tremendous effort in setting asset allocation policy, designing asset class structure, and researching and selecting investment managers. Managing risks and investment performance of assets in transition is at the core of everything we do and have been doing for 40 years. Read more about our transition management.

Learn about transition services

Overlay Services

Different components of institutional investment portfolios don’t always work in harmony. Control your investment exposures and carefully manage risk with a flexible overlay strategy. Read more about our overlay services.

Learn about overlay services

Currency Management

Currency volatility in an international portfolio can sometimes swamp the return expected from the underlying asset portfolio. We have deep experience designing and implementing cost effective currency management strategies with a goal to reduce uncompensated risk. Learn more about our currency management.

Learn about our FX solutions

Trading and execution

We know how important it is to match solid execution with a sound investment strategy. Our seasoned trading team delivers client-centric, flexible solutions while employing the latest advances in technology to find liquidity pools that reduce transaction costs and manage risk. Explore our trading and execution services

Explore trading & execution

Responsible Investment Solutions

Remove unwanted exposures, capture specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes or manage specific ESG risks using our tailored solutions or proprietary investment strategies. Learn more about responsible investment solutions.

Learn about tailored responsible investing solutions


Investment funds and strategies

Whether you are looking for a specific asset class to diversify your portfolio, or for a complete portfolio solution, we can provide access to some of the world's leading investment managers, while eliminating the distractions, risk, and expense of conducting searches and monitoring investment managers on your own.

Since 1980, we’ve been hiring some of the best managers identified through our research and packaging them in our investment funds. We closely monitor their ongoing performance, making changes when necessary.

Since 1980, we’ve been hiring some of the best managers identified through our research and packaging them in our investment funds. We closely monitor their ongoing performance, making changes when necessary.

In addition to traditional equity and fixed income options, we offer a range of alternative investments, including real estate and alternative funds.

We also handle all aspects of performance reporting and administration. Trust and custodial services are also available for our fund investors.

Read more about our investment funds


Liability driven investing

Fluctuations in your funded status can have a significant impact on your organization’s financials – potentially exposing the organization to unexpected contributions or PBGC premiums. That’s why we believe Defined Benefit plans should take a liability-driven investing (LDI) approach to managing their investment portfolios. This approach allows DB plan sponsors to make strategic asset allocation decisions that consider both the assets and liabilities of the pension plan, as well as the organization’s overall financial situation. LDI can more effectively manage portfolio risk and help minimize the impact of the pension plan on the organization’s financial health.

Our specialists can help you:

  • Identify and articulate your plan goals and objectives.

  • Analyze and model key risk factors—such as interest rate, inflation and duration risks—on projected future liability cash flows.

  • Construct a liability benchmark that more closely matches the duration of your plan liabilities so you can better determine whether plan assets are generating sufficient returns to meet obligations to current and future retirees.

  • Select an appropriate asset allocation strategy to better manage duration and interest rate risk on plan liabilities.

  • Implement and monitor this asset allocation strategy, making corrections as needed.

Read more about our LDI solutions


Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plan alignment

Organizations that sponsor both Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans typically manage them independently with separate providers and with separate internal governance processes. In our experience, this approach can lead to missed opportunities for savings, operational efficiencies, and potential improvements to both plans.

While DB and DC plans may have separate and distinct objectives, structural differences and requirements, both share similar and overlapping needs. This doesn’t mean they should be managed the exact same way. Rather, plan sponsors can apply a consistent set of investment beliefs and approaches to align efforts.

We believe a single OCIO partner for both plans can align investment and management approaches, bringing consistency, providing economies of scale, helping streamline your decision-making process and aggregating responsibilities.

Many of the benefits of outsourcing a DB plan are applicable to a DC plan:

  • Reduce your fiduciary burden

  • Potential to reduce fees by using the same strategies for both plans

  • Spend more time on strategic decisions, less on operations and monitoring vendors

  • Potential to improve plan design and participant outcomes.

Aligning your DB & DC plans

We can help you avoid missed opportunities for savings and improve operational efficiencies by aligning your plans.

Learn about taking a consistent approach


Explore how we help organizations like yours

Funded status improved by 52%

A global industrial goods manufacturer with more than 15,000 employees saw its funded status plunge during the global financial crisis of 2008. Read how they turned their funded status around.

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Outsourcing helps cut investment expenses by 50%

An investment review for a $2 billion corporate pension plan aimed to simplify the plan’s asset management structure and reduce costs. Read how the plan improved its funded status and more by choosing Russell Investments as an OCIO partner.

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Public pension plan reduces fees and gains strategic portfolio positioning

By delegating some asset allocation decisions and adapting a multi-asset approach, a metropolitan pension plan serving several hundred police officers improved the plan’s strategy while allowing the board to re-focus on strategy and oversight.

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Ongoing asset/liability work helps limit funded status volatility

A utility with a $780 million pension plan supporting more than 4,000 employees and retirees aimed to reduce funded status volatility. Read how Russell Investments’ asset/liability modeling helped establish an efficient strategic allocation that still holds true three years later.

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40% of frozen plan’s liabilities removed through partial plan termination and effective risk transfer

AA frozen corporate pension plan with an estimated $450 million liability aimed to review risk transfer options that were effective and efficient both in terms of financial costs as well as the administrative burden. Read how the plan was able to reduce liabilities while maintaining a funded status above 90%.

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A corporate pension finance handbook


The challenge of efficiently managing a pension plan continues to grow, and simple, practical guidance is more valuable than ever. Our updated fourth edition addresses significant new developments.

Request your copy today

Defined benefit blog posts

If you would like regular insight into the latest research and thought leadership relevant to you, our periodic blog posts are a great place to start.

What happened? An insomniac's guide to OCIO

MAY 2020

Is it time to strategically re-risk your defined benefit plan?

APRIL 2020

How could a flattening yield curve impact LDI portfolios?

MAY 2018

We'd love to talk.

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Manage the risk that your pension plan will not be able to fulfill the pension promise made to employees and pensioners. Let us design a custom LDI solution to help lower funded status volatility and reduce the risk the plan places on company financials.

Rob Cittadini