De Blasio Calls For Pension Funds To Invest Locally

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan today for the city’s largest pension fund to dramatically expand local investments in housing and infrastructure.

“We are leaving resources on the table that we should be putting to work right here in the five boroughs. This is a very real opportunity to do right by our bottom line as a pension fund and spur job creation at the same time,” said Mr. de Blasio in a statement.

Using the pension fund to address critical local needs is something that politicians talk about all the time, but end up seldom enacting  because the funds attempt to get the greatest return. Mr. de Blasio’s office said that this is the closest such plans have come to being enacting, and note that the rate of return on what he proposes is similar to other pension investments.

In the two resolutions sent to the New York City Employee Retirement System, Mr. de Blasio called for an additional $350 million in immediate local affordable housing investment, and for a new system to help the fund seek out investment opportunities in local infrastructure by this coming summer.

He says it could create over 10,000 jobs across in the city.

Mr. de Blasio notes that the $40-billion NYCERS is already authorized to invest 2% of its assets—or $800 million—in locally target projects and that the $450 million invested so far has yielded above-benchmark returns and has helped build or rehabilitate over 14,000 units of affordable housing units across the city. The remaining $350 million however has yet to be locally invested.  Mr. de Blasio’s plan would immediately double NYCERS’ locally targeted investments by allocating the remaining $350 million in potential funds to current managers in the affordable housing sector and would develop new investment policies by May that, he says would enable the fund managers to seek out investment opportunities in local and regional infrastructure.


De Blasio Calls For Pension Funds To Invest Locally