States Look at Pulling Pension Investments From Russia



A growing number of state governments are looking at dumping public pension fund investments they have in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

California, Connecticut, Colorado and Illinois are among the states where officials are looking to do so.

While the divestment efforts are meant as a show of solidarity with Ukraine and a rebuke of Russia’s attack, the amount of money potentially affected compared to the overall size of the nation’s public pension assets is relatively small. And some of the actions would involve legislation and other measures that aren’t yet finalized.

Risks with investing in Russia that preceded the war, like corruption, and shortfalls with rule of law and transparency, mean that many pension managers would have been leery of investing heavily in the country in recent years.

“For most public pension funds in the U.S., Russia exposure is probably quite modest,” Ash Williams, former executive director and chief investment officer for Florida State Board of Administration, noted during an interview at an event the National Institute on Retirement Security held in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Author(s): Bill Lucia

Publication Date: 1 March 2022

Publication Site: Route Fifty