Determining the fund's purpose is paramount. The specific articulation of the purpose is through clear, written investment goals and objectives. Without clear investment goals, it would be difficult to evaluate suitable investment strategies, managers, and products.
At a high level, every investor—a pension fund or an individual saving for retirement—has a similar purpose: how much needs to be saved and how should it be invested so that there is a sufficient probability of having enough money to achieve a future goal.
Having clear investment goals and objectives is essential. Where competing objectives exist, are they appropriately prioritized? How much will be distributed? How stable should the distributions be? And so on. Objectives need to be realistic in seeking to maximize the chances of meeting investment goals.
Clearly defined investment objectives should be simple, measurable, timely, achievable, and realistic.