Entities in this industry include funds, plans, and other programs that provide retirement income benefits for an organization's employees or members. Major retirement plans include the US-based Federal Retirement Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), and the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF). Outside the US, major funds include the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), the Netherlands's Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Singapore's Central Provident Fund, and South Africa's Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).
Demand is affected by the global economic conditions and demographic trends. The profitability of individual companies depends on investment expertise. Large companies have economies of scale in operations. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in desirable sectors and by producing higher investment returns.
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Major retirement products include defined benefit (DB) plans and defined contribution (DC) plans. In a DB plan, an employer guarantees an employee will receive a fixed payout once retired. In a DC plan, the employer does not guarantee any benefits. A pension is a type of DB plan. Popular types of DC plans include the 401(k) and the Individual Retirement Account (IRA).