Alternative investments have seen a surge in assets during the past year, according to Pensions & Investments' Top 200 retirement-plan survey. For the year that ended Sept. 30, real estate investment trusts totaled $3.6 billion, a 44% increase; Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities reached $8.7 billion, up 19%; and commodities increased 60%, to $800 million. Gains in all three categories outpaced gains from the year before.

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