Link Between Pension Trustee Composition And State Bond Ratings: Study

The composition of a pension system’s board of trustees is associated with that state’s bond rating, according to a working paper published by three researchers from Troy University and Rhodes College. Specifically, elected board members are typically associated with lower bond ratings, while appointed and ex oficio board members are associated ...

Study Challenges Assertion That Performance-Based Fees Lead to Disproportionate Risk-Taking in Israel Pension Industry

With a recent paper, four researchers from Hebrew University in Israel are challenging the assertion of many regulators around the world that performance-based fees encourage dangerous risk-taking. The crux of the researchers’ argument is that high levels of investment in alternative assets like private equity – seen by many observers as posing ...

Can Other Pensions Learn From the Retirement Systems of Alabama?

What can other pension systems learn from the Retirement Systems of Alabama? Two researchers from Troy University conducted a case study on the Retirement Systems of Alabama, exploring the factors that led to the system’s under-funding, which may be representative of issues found in other state pension systems. There are three main components ...
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The Estopped Fiduciary: When May Participants Rely on Incorrect Calculations?

Carol Buckmann is an attorney who has practiced in the employee benefits field for over 30 years. This post was originally published at Pensions & Benefits Law. Mistakes happen. Even in the best-run plans, occasional errors in estimating and calculating benefits are inevitable and sometimes they are caught only years after payments commenced.  ...
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Practical Issues in Pension Fund Investing – Execution of Subscription Agreements

Louise Greig is an attorney who has practiced in the pensions & benefits field for over 15 years, most recently as a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.  This post was originally published at Pensions & Benefits Law. There is a famous phrase which is particularly apt in the area of pension fund investing – “the devil is in the ...
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Survey Sheds Light On Barriers To Cross-Border Investing

What obstacles do institutional investors face when making cross-border investments? And what strategies do they use to overcome those obstacles? A survey was recently conducted to find out, and the results have been published in the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management. The survey asked respondents to identify and rate the biggest obstacles ...
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Are Pensions More Important To Retirement Security Than Data Shows?

Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier and Nahid Tabatabai have authored a paper exploring the possibility that the importance of pensions, and the financial support they provide retirees, is understated in retirement income data. The paper, titled “Mismeasurement of Pensions Before and After Retirement”, was published in the Journal of Pension ...
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An Optimist’s View of Long-Termism In Institutional Investing

Investments & Pensions Europe released a survey today indicating that three of every four pension funds consider themselves long term investors. But they disagreed on the specifics of long-termism. In light of the survey, here’s an article by Theresa Whitmarsh, Executive Director of the Washington State Investment Board, discussing how pension ...
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Principles For Better Pension Design

A long, insightful discussion and analysis of pension design was published in the Fall issue of the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management. During the course of the paper the three authors, Thomas van Galen, Theo Kocken, and Stefan Lundbergh, propose a set of principles to help navigate the dilemmas and trade-offs posed by both public and ...
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The Role of Merit in the Career of a Mutual Fund Manager

Mutual fund managers hold in their hands the retirement income of millions of people. So it should be of great interest to retirees, and those approaching retirement, whether mutual fund managers are qualified for the job. A recent study examined 2,846 managers of actively managed mutual to try and answer the question: what is the role of merit in ...
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