Gary Gensler Reportedly Picked to Run SEC in Biden Administration

With one week until the inauguration, and tumult and impeachment drawing most of the attention of those in Washington, President-Elect Biden has continued to staff out his administration. While current events have kept many of the potential appointments off the front page, these picks are telling of the priorities and policies that may come to […]

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Two Countervailing Forces: Public Pensions and Climate Change

Times are changing, and the American public is realizing its role in contributing to climate change. One of President-elect Biden’s policy issues is climate change, saying that “We’re going to invest $1.7 trillion in securing our future so that by 2050 the United States will be a 100% clean energy economy with net-zero emissions.”  Biden’s […]

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The Department of Labor ‘s New Rule is a Much-Needed Step Toward Ensuring Fiduciary Obligations

Today the Department of Labor took a much-needed step toward ensuring positive, long-overdue reforms to the role that proxy advisory firms play in ERISA-backed pension fund management through their finalized rule titled, “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights.” . Following the rule’s release, Chris Burnham of the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity said, […]

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Illinois Pension Funding Crisis Looming, Tax Measure Failure Hurts Prospects

Illinois’ pension crisis has hit a breaking point. The state’s pension liability was $230 billion in 2019 and is expected to rise to $261 billion in 2020 after a year of poor economic performance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. The state’s pension liabilities are currently estimated to be $137 billion […]

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In Case You Missed It – The Department of Labor has Issued a Finalized Rule on ESG Investing in ERISA Pension Plans

Washington, DC – The Department of Labor has finalized and released a new rule on tax-qualified retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in order to codify the extent to which Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations factor into investment decisions. As laid out in the rule, ERISA plan fiduciaries may not invest in ESG vehicles […]

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CalPERS Focus Remains on Private Equity After Ben Meng’s Departure

After Ben Meng’s departure from California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS), the state pension fund is looking to increase its margins by investing more into private equity. Meng worked for over a year at CalPERS where he oversaw a disappointing level of growth, and suddenly left in August 2020 after a private complaint alleged that […]

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Investing in Diversity in Pension Plans

The investment profession is slowly moving away from the stereotype of “pale, male and stale” as newer and smaller money managers take advantage of opportunities. Pension plans are citing various reasons for increasing diversity among their staff, including social responsibility, better returns, appealing to more potential investment partners, and promoting an investment class that “thinks […]

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How Canada Can Inform America’s Public Pensions

Despite the coronavirus-induced economic downturn, Canadian public pension funds have maintained relative success. In fact, for the last decade Canada’s public pensions have been revered as some of the world’s most successful, owning assets in real estate, infrastructure, and natural resources while maintaining large-scale yet diversified portfolios. Canada’s Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) allocates over […]

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Research Shows Disparate Private Equity Fees are Erasing Public Pension Gains

While public pension funds face dire financial circumstances due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the fees paid to private equity firms reflect another reason public pensions may be losing money at a record rate. According to recent research by Stanford University, some pension funds pay more than others through privately negotiated fee […]

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Public Pension Funds Key to Addressing Savings Disparities Among Black Retirees

As the COVID-19 crisis ravages state public pensions across the country, the disparities in retirement savings among American’s of different races has been pulled into sharper focus. In 2016, the typical Black household had only 46% of the wealth of a typical white household, with Hispanics having 49% of the typical wealth of a white […]

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