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6 U.S. Default Winners & Losers

2. Your Retirement Fund

IBIS identifies retirement and pension plans as likely to be positively affected by a default. While existing bond holdings could take a hit on a downgrade, over the long term the gains from higher interest income will help, according to Molavi.

Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, California Public Employees' Retirement System, California State Teachers' Retirement System and The New York State and Local Retirement System are listed as key major players.

Separately, IBIS also lists open-end investment funds as likely beneficiaries. That includes companies like Blackrock (BLK - Get Report), which manages $3.7 trillion in assets and is a major player in fixed income markets.

Blackrock benefited from an investor flight to safety in the second quarter, with new business flowing towards fixed income and multi-asset classes and out of equity. The world's biggest money manager said investment fees grew 17% to $2.1 billion in the second quarter from the year-ago period, as assets under management increased both due to fresh inflows and market appreciation.

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