Memo for fiscal year 2019, updated 2018-03-30

[Archived] Question #38: What would it take to ensure that our investment policies are consistent with Council social policy/resolutions/etc?


What would it look like to ensure our investment policies are consistent with Council social policy/resolutions/etc.?


In order to answer the question, some detailed analysis of the issue of what is often referred to as "Social Investing" would need to be undertaken by the City's pension office in conjunction with the City's retirement boards. There are economic, legal, and political complications for pension funds (see the attached article) in regard to structuring public pension fund investments (or disinvestments) to match desired social policies. This is an area that some public pension funds have focused on. Interpretation of "duty of loyalty and prudence" in investing pension monies deriving from federal Department of Labor ERISA regulations (which do not apply to public pension funds) have given pause to private pension funds as to the legality of Social Investing for private pension funds. Many of those issues raised in the private sector also apply to the public sector. In 2016, both of the City's pension investment boards had several discussions about social investing. One board concluded that they would consider social investing when reviewing potential investments, and the other Board determined that no formal action was warranted. We will re raise this issue with the investment boards to see whether there is a desire by the two boards for additional consideration of this issue at this time.

Attachment I – New Developments in Social Investments by Public Pensions

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