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Commingled Trust Fund

Commingled Trust Fund

What Is a Commingled Trust Fund?

A commingled trust fund consolidates assets under a joint investment management strategy. Commingled trust funds address a pool of assets that are jointly-managed by a similar entity. These funds can be from several sources, for example, trusts and retirement plans.

Understanding a Commingled Trust Fund

Commingled trust funds, regulated by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) โ€” a state banking authority โ€” are typically offered by banks and trust companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) doesn't regulate these funds. Investors may likewise allude to a commingled trust fund as a collective investment trust.

Professional money managers and pension experts frequently pool the assets of different trusts and funds together to jointly oversee them. This should be possible when there are compatible investment objectives for each source of funds. Commingling the funds allows for greater effectiveness and lower costs.

Commingled Trust Funds versus Mutual Funds

Commingled trust funds are like mutual funds; they are both managed by professional money managers and invest in stocks, fixed income securities, and different assets. The primary concern of difference is that commingled trust funds are not accessible to all investors, while mutual funds are. This type of fund is simply accessible to investors in specific employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Benefits of Commingled Trust Funds

Because of low overhead costs, commingled trust funds are less expensive to invest in comparative alternative investment options, like mutual funds. The ability to oversee combined assets in a single fund makes cost efficiencies and diminishes reporting and administration fees. Marketing expenses are limited, as commingled trust funds are not public and for the most part target a more modest group of investors. Since these funds are not regulated by the SEC, compliance costs are likewise kept low.

Before investing in a commingled trust fund, investors ought to look for professional exhortation to ensure that it is fitting for their financial situation.

Limitations of Commingled Trust Funds

Since the SEC doesn't regulate commingled trust funds, investors might find it challenging to get nitty gritty data about them. For instance, it could be challenging to check in the event that a fund has had any regulatory breaks. Most financial research companies offer limited coverage of commingled trust funds, which makes it trying to follow performance. Assets in these funds are gotten to in an unexpected way, which might forestall a traditional rollover on the off chance that an employee leaves their employer.

Illustration of a Commingled Trust Fund

The Illinois pension system has been the target of political interests for a really long time. The money invested in the pension system has proved enticing for policymakers who might want to utilize the money to cover other, more immediate expenses. The legislative leader of Illinois in 2003, Rod Blagojevich, said the state couldn't bear to keep funding state pensions and pushed the state to embrace "pension obligation bonds." Two years later, he helped pass a "pension occasion" by which the state could pay less into the pension system for quite a long time.

In 2009, the state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias proposed combining the investment authority of the state's five retirement systems โ€” The Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), State Universities' Retirement System (SURS), State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), Judges Retirement System (JRS), and the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) โ€” into a commingled trust. The pushback on this proposal was in light of the fact that commingled trust funds are less transparent than more modest, more engaged funds. What's more, pooled funds are less different than discrete funds.

The Illinois Education Associate (IEA) contended in a white paper, "When Enron failed, the consolidated investment board of Florida had one firm that had an overweight position and lost the fund $335 million. Illinois losses were something like a 10th of this amount, in part in light of the fact that the three separate boards employed different money managers."

Likewise, SURS distributed a paper expressing that its two primary worries in regards to making a commingled trust were that "the current system of having the separate retirement system assets managed by separate boards of trustees makes it more challenging for any person with criminal intent to arrive at the state's all's pension assets," and "joining assets diminishes [the] survey of investment transactions."


  • The Treasurer of the state of Illinois endeavored to consolidate the state's trusts into a commingled trust in the late 2000s, yet the endeavor was blocked.
  • A commingled trust fund joins various trusts under one manager or management strategy.
  • A commingled trust resembles a mutual fund with the exception of it misses the mark on same regulatory oversight and transparency as a mutual fund.