UNITED STATES - Iowa Public Employees Retirement System has decided not to allocate any new capital for real estate investing into the 2009 calendar year.

"This recommendation was driven by our current overweight to the long term strategic asset allocation," said Patrick Reinhardt, senior investment officer for alternatives for the pension fund.

Iowa PERS has a real estate portfolio valued at $1.9bn (€1.4bn) and approximately 10.8% of its assets in real estate, though the fund's targeted real estate asset allocation is 8%.

This decision therefore puts on hold a new major investment initiative that was planned earlier this year, as the pension fund had talked earlier this year about developing a global REITs strategy.

The timing of the search and the amount of capital earmarked for this strategy was supposed to be determined in the second half of 2008 but events in the investment marketplace in the last two months have changed all that, according to Reinhardt.

"We have currently put the global REIT search on hold and have no immediate plans to issue an RFP at this time," he said.

Iowa PERS has a very conservative investment approach to real estate as round 95% of its portfolio is in core assets and 5% is in value added.

The pension fund currently makes investments through five separate account managers: ING Clarion Partners, RREEF, Invesco Real Estate, TA Associates and UBS Realty Investors.

Its investment strategy has been to invest in a mixture of US office, industrial, retail properties and apartments.