Corporate pension at BlackRock

Corporate pensions

As a fiduciary to our clients, BlackRock equips corporate pensions with access to the full spectrum of our capabilities, from liquid to private market investment strategies across asset classes, risk management and technology solutions, to help safeguard retiree assets.

How we serve corporate pensions

We provide corporate pension investors full access to the breadth and depth of BlackRock to help each client achieve their unique investment goals:


• Stable streams of income via targeted strategies within our global fixed income platform

Liability-driven investment solutions to drive stable streams of income

• Portfolio construction analyses from our dedicated Client Insight Unit team

• Cash management through our dedicated cash team to help meet liquidity needs

• Risk mitigation through our Aladdin technology

Marty: In 2023, investors grappled with the aftermath of a challenging 2022 with a number of persistent macro issues, particularly tighter monetary policy and geopolitical tensions, causing wide market swings.

Liz: Despite volatile asset values, the funded ratios of U.S. corporate pension plans showed sustained improvement over the year, rising approximately 5% as of 30 November 2023, according to the BlackRock U.S. LDI Pension MarketWatch.

This improvement was largely attributable to a tech-dominated equity market rally contributing to asset growth. The average funded ratio for the top 200 U.S. Corporate pension plan is now 105%1. An increasing number of plans are evolving their conversations away from finding ways to achieve full funding, and instead towards investing to preserve strong funded ratios and planning optimal ways to use a surplus.

Angela: Continued labor market tightness makes it important for U.S. corporations to find cost effective ways to retain employees and improve recruitment. As we advocated in last years’ Themes, offering a pension plan with richer benefits could potentially serve as a solution. Recently, we learned that IBM has decided to reopen its pension plan as a way to use its pension surplus, and a handful of others we are aware of have chosen to improve benefits. The corporate DB plan may not be ‘dead’ after all!

Marty: In this sixth annual publication of our U.S. Corporate Pension Themes paper, we are advocating sponsors to follow in IBM’s footsteps and reopen the plan (!) as one way to use a surplus. We discuss the potential investment implications of this decision. Other themes covered in this years’ publication include:

Marty: As a fiduciary to our clients, we at BlackRock aim to offer concrete advice that can help pensions preserve their healthy financial positions, and ultimately, improve retirement security for their workers.

Investment themes for U.S. corporate pension plans

In our sixth annual Corporate Pensions Themes paper, we discuss the investment implications of reopening plans, as well as our other key themes for 2024: the return of compulsory contributions for some plans, the implications of higher rates and an inverted yield curve on LDI programs, and the role of private markets for well-funded plans.

Investing strategies for corporate pensions

With access to BlackRock’s extensive suite of investment strategies across asset classes, our dedicated pensions team creates a tailored client experience built to address each client's unique objectives.

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Fixed income

Corporate pensions seeking to achieve positive returns with historically lower risk than other asset classes are utilizing fixed income strategies such as Liability Driven investing (LDI) within their broader portfolio.

With Rick Rieder as BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income, BlackRock helps investors navigate the entire fixed income spectrum - from active & index, public to private, fundamental & systematic - to help deliver better outcomes, convenience, value and transparency for our clients.

Liability-driven investing (LDI)

Our LDI platform provides defined benefit plan sponsors with the power and flexibility of one of the most comprehensive fixed income businesses in the world, combined with proprietary asset-liability focused technology.

LDI investors require both diversifying credit investments and capital-efficient rates strategies.
Technology and innovation
LDI investors can benefit from both a direct license to our risk management technology and the ability to engage our LDI team, tools and reporting.
Custom liability expertise
As your plan’s LDI strategy evolves over time, our services keep up with your changing needs.

Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO)

BlackRock’s OCIO team aligns the firm’s investment expertise, robust research platform and advanced technology to help clients achieve their investment goals.

Whether it’s expertise in liability-driven investing, portfolio construction tailored to preserve funded-status levels or increasing transparency and flexibility, we begin every client relationship by seeking a deep understanding of their unique needs.

Dedicated CIO model
Our CIOs are aligned with specific client segments, helping them solve specific challenges.
Broad investment toolkit
Investing in today’s markets requires a full toolkit of investment capabilities, from active to index, factors to alternatives—all of which BlackRock can provide.
Daily monitoring
We help clients make timely investment decisions and use our Aladdin® technology to model risks in portfolios.
Cost-effective partnership
We serve as an extension of a client’s staff to help free up their time to focus on what’s important.


Corporate pensions seeking resilient medium-to-long-term capital appreciation and/or exposure to specific sectors in their diversified portfolio often look for investment opportunities across BlackRock’s extensive equity platform.

Our fundamental and systematic equity strategies offer investors curated access to global markets as well as key investment insights. BlackRock’s equity investors and researchers combine company-specific research, innovative proprietary modeling and industry analysis to provide clients with insights that aim to deliver consistent, differentiated outperformance.

Our fundamental active equity investment strategies leverage BlackRock’s resources in efforts to meet client demands for higher alpha and outcome-oriented strategies.
BlackRock’s systematic investment platform combines cutting-edge technology, scientific research and human insight in the relentless pursuit of investment performance.
Index investing strategies, including ETFs and direct index customization, can help reduce portfolio volatility, create liquidity sleeves and reduce costs.

Diversified alternatives

As corporate pensions look to expand beyond traditional allocations in search of alpha generation, such as capital appreciation and uncorrelated income streams, alternative strategies are playing an increasingly critical role in their portfolios.

At BlackRock we believe that the need for an approach to alternative investing that is scalable, disciplined, integrated, technology-enabled and transparent has never been greater. BlackRock's alternatives platform is designed to seek outperformance across a range of investment solutions such as private credit, private equity, infrastructure and hedge funds.

Cash and liquidity solutions

Corporate pensions investors need effective cash management solutions that offer the liquidity needs for retirement plans in addition to broader corporate solutions while offering the potential for an enhanced yield profile hedged against risk.

BlackRock offers investment strategies and vehicles such as money market accounts (MMAs), short duration strategies, ETFs and separately managed accounts (SMAs) to provide liquidity options.

Donald Perault
Head of U.S. Pensions, Americas Institutional Business

Contact our dedicated corporate pensions team

Get in touch with BlackRock to discover how we partner with corporate pensions clients to deliver institutional investment and risk management solutions across asset classes.
Contact us

Latest insights for corporate pensions

U.S. LDI Pension MarketWatch

Read our latest Monthly LDI Pension MarketWatch where we look at estimated average funded status and monthly market moves including treasury yields, corporate credit and inflation markets.
Pension MarketWatch

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Common questions

  • BlackRock is a fiduciary to corporate pensions clients. Our team offers institutionally-scaled investment services that range from single mandates to multi-asset solutions, tailored portfolio analytics leveraging Aladdin® technology and market insights provided through research reports and investment forums. The Client Insight Unit (CIU) provides investors with multi-asset portfolio construction expertise, focusing on solutions comprising both public and private markets.

  • Yes, the BlackRock Educational Academy was launched in 2013 with the objective of facilitating the training needs of BlackRock’s institutional clients. Learn more about the BlackRock Educational Academy.

  • We offer a variety of events  – including calls, workshops, forums and conferences – that allow corporate pension professionals to engage in debate around topical issues and to make better informed investment decisions. Contact us to learn about events for corporate pensions.

  • We consider our scale our key competitive advantage - it allows access to a plethora of information and insights that enable unrivaled risk management. Our Aladdin® platform combines sophisticated risk analytics with comprehensive portfolio management, trading and operations tools to power informed decision-making and effective risk management.

  • We have an extensive, US$326B alternatives platform (as of December 2022) that seeks to deliver outperformance with true collaboration. We corporate pension clients access to high-quality opportunities across real estateinfrastructureprivate equitycredithedge funds and multi-alternative solutions. Global reach across private and public markets powers our sourcing, and industry-leading technology promotes improved transparency on investments.

  • At BlackRock, we are committed to a future where every investor can have an easy and efficient option to participate in voting decisions. BlackRock Voting Choice, an industry first and a proprietary offering, enables institutional clients to participate in voting decisions where legally and operationally viable. Learn more here.

  • We have a dedicated Client Insight Unit (CIU) team that utilizes our proprietary risk management technology, Aladdin®, to run portfolio analyses on an individualized basis. CIU has the capability to perform market stress tests against client portfolios to measure risk tolerance, as well as compare portfolios to peers.

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