A traditional school of investment thought would support the consistency of the 60% equity / 40% bond balance, but in recent years the compression of fixed income yields have made it increasingly difficult to match liability requirements without stretching for income without further risk. 30 year yields have declined rapidly and asset backed alternatives have become a considered feature in terms of both yield and in the dampening of correlated risks, to provide for more effective and consistent management of pensioners' capital in retirement.
In addition, an alignment with detailed cash flow planning is lending value in ensuring the preservation of capital through retirement. Blended with the appropriate navigation and adjustment of the asset allocation to meet the underlying needs and requirements, it is helping in adding more value.
Investors have for years used a 60% allocation to equities and a 40% allocation to bonds (sometimes inverted) as a simple and informal benchmark for an investment strategy. As naive as such a benchmark may be, it can prove irksomely difficult to beat. Investors as sophisticated as some of the leading US university endowments, such as Harvard Management Company, have found a 60/40 benchmark hard to beat and have the negative press clippings to prove it.