Hyytinen, Ari Määttänen, Niku Lassila, Jukka Valkonen, Tarmo
Year of Publication:
ETLA discussion paper 1224
The earnings-related pension system is partially pre-funded in Finland and has currently large reserves. This has roused debate whether the pension funds should take a more active role in promoting employment, growth and domestic ownership of the firms. We analyse the justifications presented for and against overweighting domestic investments in the portfolios of the pension institutions. E.g., is it possible to invest the funds in a way that generates higher wage bill and more contribution revenue? Furthermore, have the pension funds incentives to promote such investments? Another important issue is whether there exists serious shortages in the domestic financial markets and whether the pension funds are the proper actors to fix these problems. Third raised issue is the role of the pension funds in the domestic infrastructure markets. Our overall conclusion is that excess weight in domestic firms is well justified only in cases in which the international investors misprice the firms, or for some other reasons keep the conditions of financing the firms unreasonable stringent. In these cases there is no conflict between promoting domestic investments and optimal combination of risk and yield. Disturbing the vital role of the financial markets in eliminating inviable projects would, however, weaken growth and employment.