Pension Fund Governance: Challenges and Potential Solutions

37 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2008

See all articles by Juan Yermo

Juan Yermo

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Date Written: June 1, 2008


Good governance is increasingly recognized as an important aspect of an efficient private pension system, enhancing investment performance and benefit security. Yet, despite regulatory and industry initiatives, governance weaknesses persist across OECD and non-OECD countries. This paper highlights the main governance challenges faced by policymakers (particularly with trust-based pension systems), and draws on recent policy initiatives to propose possible solutions to strengthen governance arrangements. The paper suggests that some of the more serious cases of governance failures could be solved through a more balanced representation of stakeholders in the governing body, higher levels of expertise (which may be achieved via training or the use of independent trustees) and the implementation of codes of conduct addressing conflicts of interest. The absence of governance arrangements for defined contribution style pension plans also needs to be addressed, potentially via management committees, increased fiduciary responsibility for relevant parties or via a strengthened role for pension supervisory authorities. Consolidation of the pension industry in some countries may also be required to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs, which in turn would allow pension funds to dedicate more resources to strengthening their internal governance.

Keywords: governance, pension funds, conflicts of interest, fiduciary responsibility, trustee

JEL Classification: G23, G32, J32

Suggested Citation

Yermo, Juan, Pension Fund Governance: Challenges and Potential Solutions (June 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Juan Yermo (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775

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