Two US banks failed this month, resulting in public-sector pension funds losing millions of investments for teachers, firefighters, and other government workers. Pension funds have benefitted from bull markets but suffered when investments suffered, such as when investments in Russian assets became nearly worthless after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In most cases, the banks’ stocks represented only a small percentage of a diversified pension fund. However, this type of exposure emphasizes the risks that pensions are exposed to as they reduce funding gaps. Although public pensions have improved over the years, most still lack the necessary assets to pay for their promised benefits. The majority of the assets in public-sector pension funds are in stocks and fixed-asset investments, but the portion invested in other, often more volatile investment types, such as hedge funds and real estate, has grown. Despite this, experts assert that investments in other asset types help reduce the effects of stock losses.

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