We are auditors of pension plans.
Hi Vivian, If your question has yet to be answered, perhaps this can help. Many different companies provide their own indices/benchmarks that follow different asset classes (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc.). Although I don't know what benchmark data you are trying to find, there are financial data gathering companies that provide benchmark performance (or pricing) data for you (for a cost, of course). You can either go directly to the source (MSCI, Dow Jones, S&P, etc.) or you can go to a financial data provider that gathers this information (Bloomberg, FactSet, Thomson Reuters, Morningstar, etc.).
If you need a more specific answer, please let us know what it is you are looking for.
There a multiple different "benchmarks" for each asset class. I'm not sure how detailed you would like to get but I would suggest starting your search at one of these sites:
http://us.spindices.com/ http://www.djindexes.com/ http://www.crsp.com/ http://www.russell.com/indexes/americas/default.page http://www.ftse.com/Indices/ http://www.msci.com/products/indexes/ https://index.barcap.com/
That covers everything from Real estate, US domestic, international, and bonds.
Vivian, What are you benchmarking? I've never seen an auditor do anything with performance other than confirm the numbers are correct. Are you looking more for plan cost information for similar plans?
As others have said, there are plenty of providers for benchmarks. Other approaches are to use peer rankings, or ranking your performance against similar market-based passive and index mutual funds.
If the above links don't provide enough information for you. There is a subscription service Morningstar provides called Morningstar Direct. This program would allow you to create your pension plans portfolio and create a benchmark using indices to compare it to. It is a very comprehensive program.
Vivian, An independent company that scores (benchmarks) pension plan investments is fi360. If you are looking for benchmarking of pension fees you can get a report on the specific pension plan from Fiduciary Benchmarks.