US - CalPERS has labelled any talk of managing money for private sector employers and investors as "premature", with various legal and legislative barriers yet to be cleared.
In January, the US$225bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System confirmed it would offer new products through its 457 supplementary savings programme for public agency employees from June, but that decision required no new authority.
information officer at CalPERS Clark McKinley said: “There are legal and legislative issues that must be addressed before CalPERS would be able to offer such products to state employees, retirees, and non-members. We’re looking at a lengthy process – if the CalPERS board decides to go down this path at all.”
McKinley stressed the main advantage of any such move was that the fund would be able to link investment products to its portfolio.
“Other potential advantages and disadvantages will emerge as we try out our expanded 457 offerings, beginning in June of this year,” he said. “We’re not in any hurry here.”
Asked about the potential impact of CalPERS’ possible move into the mutual fund space, one player told Global Pensions it was a highly competitive space.
“It is getting more competitive as fees come down, and company services have improved tremendously,” the source said. “It’s not a high margin business either.”
McKinley said the main motivator behind the proposed move was member interest in personal savings that weren’t part of their defined benefit pension plan with CalPERS.
“We want to do more to enhance their retirement prospects, and products tied to our successful portfolio make a lot of sense,” said McKinley, who added a rough timeline for the plan was three to five years for full implementation.
The US$157.8bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System confirmed it had “no plans” to study such a programme.
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