Pension Fund Governance
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Pension Fund Governance

A Global Perspective on Financial Regulation

Edited by John Evans, Michael Orszag and John Piggott

The academic literature on pension governance is sparse and this book will fill some important gaps by bringing together original contributions from around the world on subjects related to the area. The book initially lays out the main frameworks for pension fund governance and then goes on to examine global governance practice and experience and country studies on pension funds in the United States and Australia. The final section of this in-depth study discusses the role of government guarantees.
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Chapter 6: Governance of Public Pension Plans: The Importance of Residual Claimants

Gregorio Impavido


Gregorio Impavido In most developing countries, public pension funds are used for developmental and social objectives that are often not consistent with the provision of adequate, affordable and sustainable retirement income for plan members. The problem of public pension fund management appears to be related to a weak control structure for the plans. This is often inadequate to resolve the conflict of interest between management and stakeholders stemming from the separation between management and control and the coordination failure caused by a dispersed set of stakeholders. In particular, although representative boards should allow for appropriate monitoring by active members, it is often the case that politics rather than sound portfolio theory guides asset allocation. This chapter has three main sections. In the first, I provide a summary exposition of the corporate governance mechanisms that, in the economic literature, are identified as useful in limiting the conflict-of-interest problem stemming from the separation of ownership and control, and from the dispersed nature of ownership. This section does not claim originality and draws considerably on Becht, Bolton and Röell (2003) and Shleifer and Vishny (1997). In the second section of the chapter, I summarize the results of a survey of the governance practices of a large sample of public pension plans in less developed countries and discuss the relationship between poor governance and the performance of public pension funds. In the third section, I attempt to draw lessons from the economic literature on corporate governance that can be used to improve the...

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