Publications

- January 1, 2014: Vol. 8, Number 1

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An uncertain outcome: Real estate allocations are on the way up, or down

by Richard Fleming

1 It’s all the fault of improved longevity and changing pension plan design. We’re living longer and we’re spending longer in economically unproductive retirement. That comes with costs, for society and individuals. The trend away from defined benefit pension provision (giving a certain retirement income, usually based on the number of years of service and a known accrual formula) to defined contribution arrangements (giving an uncertain retirement income, based on the value of contributions made, market performance over the contribution period and annuity rates at the time of conversion of the pot to income) is not new, and is the result of a realisation among governments and corporate sponsors that the defined benefit model is unsustainable. The possible implications of this trend for real estate investment have been discussed before — even though it is still not entirely clear what those implications in the round, across European countries with disparate state and oc

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