VT Pension Fund Seeking Investment Opportunities to Benefit State

May 14, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Under a new policy instituted last year by Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, the treasurer's office has issued a request for proposals for investment opportunities.

According to the Vermont Press Bureau, Spaulding said Tuesday the Vermont Pension Fund Committee will consider targeting some of the $3.2 billion in assets of the retirement fund for teachers and state and municipal employees for investments that offer economic benefits to local communities. The investments must meet the program’s criteria which include a promise of market-rate returns, direct benefit to economic or community development, and oversight of any pension funds by an “experienced and capable” manager, the news report said.

“We’ve put in place a process that allows us to consider investments that support community and economic development, but that doesn’t take away our responsibility to consider good risk-adjusted returns,” Spaulding said in the news report. “It could be a good new source of funds that allow (businesses) to pursue some proposals that they don’t otherwise have funding for.”

Spaulding noted the investments could stimulate anything from job growth to new industry to energy efficiency initiatives. He added that the committee is first trying to address areas where other capital is not available.