MutualArt Inc., New York, is setting up pension trusts all over the world for visual artists, a group with solitary careers that generally preclude access to traditional defined benefit or defined contribution plans.
MutualArt is a barter-based program, in which artists contribute 20 pieces of their work over a 20-year period, rather than cash, to a pension trust. The pieces may be held for up to 20 years and lent to various exhibitions and museums during that time, and then they'll be sold, with proceeds going back into the trust. MutualArt will manage the administrative and operational activities of each trust.
The first Artist Pension Trust was set up in New York this spring, and the next trust will be launched in Los Angeles this fall. Spokeswoman Saisha Grayson said MutualArt will choose money managers after some pieces have been sold, generating a pool of assets. Over time, she said, the trust's assets under management will likely be in the billions.