Millions of retired Americans rely on defined benefit pension plans for their financial well-being. Recent reports have noted that some plans are investing in 'alternative' investments such as hedge funds and private equity funds. To better understand this trend and its implications, this book examines the extent to which plans invest in hedge funds and private equity, the potential benefits and challenges of hedge fund investments, the potential benefits and challenges of private equity investments and what mechanisms regulate and monitor pension plan investments in hedge funds and private equity. Moreover, this book examines common 401(k) plan features and challenges sponsors face in fulfilling their fiduciary obligations when overseeing plan operations. In addition, the aging of the American population has made retirement income an issue of increasing concern to the Congress and the public. This book summarizes recent trends in pension sponsorship, labor force participation and social security issues. This book consists of public documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.