Mid-size corporate pension plans cite risk as their No. 1 concern even as the promise of high investment returns in a rising market is luring them to invest in more volatile assets, a survey found.

The poll of 166 midsize U.S. corporations with pension assets of $50 million to $500 million, conducted in September and October by Fidelity subsidiary Pyramis Global Advisors, found the top three concerns were risk management (31 percent), low return environment (29 percent) and volatility (24 percent).

The survey found that despite concerns regarding risk, the majority of plans intended to raise their risk profile in the next year or two with increased investments in emerging market equity (17 percent), global equity (16 percent), liquid alternatives (12 percent), and emerging market debt (10 percent). Ten percent said they planned to reduce allocations to U.S. equities.

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