Investment Practices of State and Local Pension Funds: Implications for Social Security Reform
Boston College Center for Retirement Research Working Paper No. 1999-01
57 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2000
Date Written: April 1999
The investment practices of public pension funds have become a topic of major interest in the wake of President Clinton's 1999 proposal to invest a portion of the Social Security Trust Funds in equities. This study explores four possible avenues through which social or political considerations could enter the investment decisions of state and local pension funds. The first section focuses on economically targeted investments (ETIs), those investments that are designed to meet some special need within the state. The second section looks at instances of pension fund activism, whereby the fund managers attempt to influence corporate behavior to improve profitability or other aspects of corporate performance. The third section investigates the extent to which state and local pension plans have avoided or divested certain holdings in order to make a political or ethical statement. The fourth section investigates the extent to which states and localities have used pension funds as an escape valve for general budget pressures.
Keywords: Social Security, retirement
JEL Classification: H70, H55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation