What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

What's in Your Pension Fund? Liquor? Cheese?

April 20, 2013, 4:44 PM
Pension

What's the Latest Development?

Facing financial obstacles along the way to paying out retiree pensions, businesses are increasingly moving their own products into employee benefit plans or investing in exotic goods that, while unconventional, are predicted to pay gains in the future. "For example, Dairy Crest, one of Britain’s biggest producers of dairy products, said Friday that it would add £60 million, or $92 million, worth of Cheddar cheese to its pension fund. That is about 20,000 tons of cheese, or 40 percent of its current maturing cheese inventory, the company said. (It will be constantly replaced as it ages.)"

What's the Big Idea?

Uncommon investments are attractive to businesses because they offer low-capital requirements with promises of payouts that are higher than bonds. "The higher the assumed rate of return, the lower the requirement on the employer to fund the plan in full," said Andrew Frank Thompson, a finance professor at the University of Northern Iowa College of Business. "If I’m assuming a 20 percent annual return, I don’t have to put as much in. So employers like the idea of investing in exotic types of things." While large private pension plans must be approved by the federal Labor Department, individual states face no such requirements. 

Read it at the New York Times

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

What's in Your Pension Fund...

Newsletter: Share: