ICPM 2020 Research Award: Call for Papers


The International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM), a global research-based network of pension organizations, is accepting submissions for its annual Research Award.

Up to CAD $100,000 will be awarded to exceptional papers with potential to make a strong contribution to the topics of interest of the ICPM Research Partners. To be considered, research should be completed or close to completion but not published. The Research Award will seek to reward innovation, practical applicability, and research excellence. Award winners will be invited to present their research at a webinar or at an ICPM Discussion Forum, and their papers will receive wide distribution among the ICPM Research Partners.

Research topics
The ICPM encourages submissions on topics with practical relevance for pension organizations. Papers and case studies with implications for fund management, engagement of plan participants, pension design, governance, risk, and investment-related topics are strongly encouraged. The following two pages provide description of the topics and list selected prior award recipients.

This year, the ICPM is encouraging submissions studying the impact of COVID-19 on financial markets, including effects on asset prices, investments by pension funds and other institutions, risk management, and governance.

Award payments
Payments are made directly to the submitting author and the distribution of the prize monies amongst the researcher(s) is at the discretion of the submitting author, unless otherwise requested in writing as part of the submission process.

Submission process
Send an email to icpm@icpmnetwork.com with the subject line: “ICPM Research Award: Last Name of the Submitting Author”. Attach to the email:
1. Paper,
2. Completed application form (see page 4), and
3. Up-to-date CVs of the authors.

Application deadline and timeline
The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2020. The ICPM Research Committee, composed of both practitioners and academics, will evaluate all submissions, recognizing novel insights, practical applicability and research excellence. Decisions will be shared directly with the submitting author in late July 2020.

Suggested research topics

ICPM will consider submissions on any pension- and investment-related research topic that supports effective management in pension and investment organizations. Topics of particular interest include:

Pension fund investment
Investment challenges for pension fund investors with long-term liabilities remain central to the interests of the ICPM Research Partners. The range of relevant topics is broad, but the following issues are of particular interest:
• the importance of illiquidity premiums,
• the question how regulators and supervisors should deal with pension funds as opposed to investors with a shorter-term orientation, such as mutual funds, and
• the potential added value and the effectiveness of collaboration of large investment organizations in various domains (such as engagement with companies, asset managers and investing in alternative assets).

Engagement of plan participants
Raising pension awareness among pension plan participants is a relevant research topic in a DC environment. This topic becomes increasingly important in DB schemes in which participants have fewer degrees of freedom. Effective ways to raise awareness and to communicate with pension plan participants and other stakeholders are central research questions on the agenda of most pension organizations (both DB and DC).

Pension design
Most pension organizations are reforming their pension design to cope with current challenges, such as financial market volatility, aging populations, changing labor markets, and so on. Optimizing pension design is a topic of central interest for many pension organizations, including the ICPM Research Partners. Studies showing how pension system design may yield macro-economic benefits are also welcome.

Governance of pension organizations, in their broadest definition, is another area of interest and importance to the ICPM Research Partners. Papers that offer practical suggestions on how to influence and change existing organizations (both investments and pensions), are welcome.

In the context of pension provision, risk encompasses multiple topics. We are interested in projects that would help practitioners define appropriate metrics for risk and uncertainty, especially as they may relate to funding status or regarding investments in alternative assets. In addition, topics related to longevity risk, climate change and practical application of macro risk factors on the total portfolio level and balance sheet are welcome.

For more information, please visit our website: https://icpmnetwork.com/site/research/call-for-research