Books

Bridging the Gaps: Public Pension Funds and Infrastructure Finance

Cover of Bridging the Gaps: Public Pension Funds and Infrastructure Finance

By Ingo Walter and Clive Lipshitz

The ultimate objective is to help in the search for solutions to the persistent gaps facing America’s public pension system and at the same time unlocking capital to reduce America’s persistent infrastructure problems - creating winners on both ends of the financial chain.

By Ingo Walter and Clive Lipshitz

America faces two public finance challenges that – if left unaddressed – will have serious implications for the fiscal stability of state and local governments and for the quality of life of all Americans. The funded status of public pension plans and the state of the country’s critical infrastructure are generally viewed as distinct subjects. This book argues otherwise. Over the long term, when one of them deteriorates, the other is sure to follow. Moreover, infrastructure investments are well suited to the portfolio needs of public pension plans, which themselves comprise the single largest pool of capital potentially available for the financing needs of American infrastructure and today are under-allocated to this asset type.

This book begins with an analysis of the $4.3 trillion U.S. public pension system, drawing on a primary dataset comprising thousands of observations drawn from a decade of annual reports of the 25 largest American public pension systems – which together comprise about 55% of all public pension assets in the country. It then links sustainable pension finance to investments in real assets, specifically infrastructure projects.

Bridging the Gaps is intended to provide greater transparency to the complex public finance challenges that mark these issues. Those with an interest in the public pension system will learn much from the discussion of these complex organizations - so critical to sustainability of retirement benefits. Asset managers and other advisors, who sell to these investors, will benefit from an empathic approach to understanding the needs of their most important clients. The book concludes with a range of ideas that can be explored by responsible public officials and policymakers as well as infrastructure agencies and their advisors.

The ultimate objective is to help in the search for solutions to the persistent gaps facing America’s public pension system and at the same time unlocking capital to reduce America’s persistent infrastructure problems - creating winners on both ends of the financial chain.
 

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