The Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security

Trustee Leadership Forum logoThe Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security (TLF) is an applied research collaboration with labor-affiliated trustees of public and Taft-Hartley pension funds, with implications for stakeholders across investment markets. The project draws on the experiences of these trustees to identify the core issues they face in developing strategies for long-term sustainable wealth creation – how they grapple with and react to the role that portfolio theory, fiduciary duty, agency issues among trustees, staff, consultants, legal advisors and fund managers, and challenges to the very idea of defined benefit pension plans.

The project, framed in the context of leadership and organizational studies, focuses on the role that pension fund trustees play in designing and overseeing the development of responsible investment strategies at the their funds.  We conduct participatory action research with a self-defined group of labor-affiliated pension fund trustees, and solicit input from a group of related stakeholders including academics, fund lawyers, investment consultants, fund managers, and others.

The goal of the TLF is to support systematic thinking about responsible investment by trustees, in the service of long-term pension fund sustainability. This project takes shape in the wake of the financial crisis, and the political and economic fallout the crisis engendered. Responsible investment is treated here as one piece of a larger effort to shore up retirement security through a variety of channels and initiatives.

Please see the Resources page for original works from the TLF alongside suggested readings and the Events page for summaries of our past convenings.

Interested in participating?
Contact Erin Shackelford at for more information on the different ways you can engage.


Click here to join the IRI/TLF email list and receive our monthly newsletter as well as information about upcoming webinars, convenings, and other TLF events.