IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Elimination of the Foreign Property Rule on Tax Deferred Savings Plans

The Foreign Property Rule (FPR), limiting the holding of foreign property in pension plan assets, is scheduled to be eliminated this year. It has been rationalized on economic grounds by asserting that it improves the value of the dollar and decreases the cost of capital yet, at the time the FPR began, the government was trying to keep the dollar from rising and there were strong capital inflows. Further, evidence from the past changes in the FPR indicates it had little, if any, affect on the cost of capital and exchange rate, but cost middle income workers between one and three billion dollars per annum when set at 30%. I argue that the reason for its existence was the then common belief that governments could make better economic allocation decisions than markets. Removing the FPR provides pension plans with greater opportunity for risk adjusted returns as well as responsibilities. Relevant issues that arise include the degree of foreign currency exposure that is desirable and the degree of active management desired in foreign assets, and whether it makes sense to choose fund managers that are regionally focused rather than global. Pension boards will also have to rethink what a Canadian fund is and whether it should mimic Canadian production (as currently structured) or Canadian consumption patterns. An encouraging aspect of eliminating the FPR is the possibility that government ideology is changing to place greater emphasis on the positive benefits of using markets to allocate resources.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute in its series University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers with number 20055.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20055
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economic Policy Research Institute, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David Burgess & Joel Fried, 1999. "Canadian Retirement Savings Plans and the Foreign Property Rule," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(3), pages 395-416, September.
  2. Baxter, M. & Jermann, U.J., 1993. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse than you Think," RCER Working Papers 350, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  4. Leonardo Bartolini & Allan Drazen, 1996. "Capital account liberalization as a signal," Staff Reports 11, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. David Burgess & Joel Fried, 2004. "The Foreign Property Rule: A Cost-Benefit Analysis," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20049, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20055. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.