US - Public pension plans exhibit prudent investment behaviour in bear and bull markets and do not get caught up in a "herd mentality" - even during turbulent times.
It showed public pension plans followed prudent investment behaviour by regularly rebalancing their investment mix, learning from industry leaders and avoiding moral hazard and employer conflicts of interests.
However, the data could be interpreted as public pensions being somewhat overly cautious following periods of lower funding - suggesting they "avoided chasing returns".
But, the trade body said the findings had cast doubt over anecdotal reports and claims about investment officials investing imprudently - when their funding ratios were on the decline.
It said the results emphasised that public pension plans were "suitable" for their plan participants and beneficiaries when debt and equity markets were tranquil or volatile.
NIRS executive director Beth Almeida said: "The findings provide confidence in the management of retirement assets held by state and local pension funds.
"This investment behaviour positions the funds to continue providing a steady, predictable retirement income to workers in the most efficient manner possible during bull and bear markets alike."
Report co-author Jeffrey Wenger added: "Policymakers, workers and taxpayers should value the retirement safety and economic efficiencies of defined benefit pensions that exhibit professional and prudent asset management patterns."
And report co-author Christian Weller explained the analysis of public pensions' past behaviour would provide a guide as to how the funds might be reacting to today's stunning market downturn.
He said: "Our data suggests that public pensions followed well-established practices for prudent, long-term investing during the market plunge that occurred through 2001. Going forward, this is an indicator that public plans are well situated to recover from today's financial crisis in a manageable way."
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