In a previous paper we emphasised the changing national and international accounting standards used to measure net pension liability. Beginning with the implications of this analysis for the financing of German employer-sponsored pensions, in this paper we focus upon the internal management of corporate pension assets and liabilities. Two issues drive the analysis. One has to do with the emerging coalescence of interests joining corporate management and shareholders in relation to the management of pension assets and liabilities. The second issue has to do with the allocation of risk and uncertainty between social partners when negotiating the financing and final value of promised retirement income. We analyse the importance of workers' risk aversion and the widely-held goal of stable long-term real incomes for the management of pension assets. In the context of global financial markets, we suggest that the institutional framework of investment decision making common to many of Germany's largest firms is under considerable pressure; three models of investment decision making relevant to pension assets and liabilities are used to illustrate this point. Contrasts are drawn with competing systems of corporate governance, noting the incorporation of pension financing into Anglo-American corporate treasuries. Implications are drawn with respect to the changing status of German employer-sponsored supplementary pensions in relation to debate over the future of social security and social insurance.
Gordon, Daniel I.; Mansfield, Daniel; and Tickell, Adam, "German Social Market in the World of Global Finance: Pension Investment Management and the Limits of Consensual Decision Making" (2000). GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works. 794.