Governance of Pension Funds Investment Decisions Between Financial and Social Returns "CANCELLED"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: Booth 52
Thomais MASSALA , University of Bath, BATH, United Kingdom
Funded mode of pension financing has been a common ingredient of pension reform agenda in the context of international efforts to cope with demographic and economic challenges that pension systems face. However, a central concern involves the consideration of additional risks in funding and how these are addressed in order to maintain core pension system objectives, like adequacy, security and intergenerational equity. Governance, including regulation of investment decisions around pension resources is a crucial variable to these concerns, given that related decisions carry risks and implications for pension system objectives. Despite an increasing interest in the governance shaping pension funds decisions, evaluations of the latter are overwhelmingly driven by economic rationalities, very often at the detriment of adequacy, security and equity. On the other hand, social policy literature mostly focuses upon the consequences of these decisions on pension income, rather than upon the governance of pension funds investment decisions that cause them. The paper argues that research on pension fund governance is either driven by economic rationalities, or focused upon insulated aspects of governance or regulation or the role of actors involved into decision-making. Within the latter, I aim to adopt a holistic approach in order to deconstruct the way in which actors interpret regulations and proceed to pension funds investment decisions, along with their implications for pension systems objectives.