Is CalPERS a Sovereign Wealth Fund?


The brief’s key findings are:

  • Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) – government-sponsored pools of financial assets – are drawing increasing scrutiny by regulators.
  • However, the definition of a SWF is widely debated.
  • Perhaps SWFs are best defined as funds that invest in the government’s interests and have no specific outside liabilities.
  • Thus, public pension funds such as CalPERS, which are largely independent and have fiduciary responsibilities to public workers, are not SWFs.

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