SC Pension Fund Woes

By Paul Gable

A recent report released by two Maryland public policy think tanks lists SC pension fund at the top of the list of 10 states paying the most money management fees over the last five years.

The report by the Maryland Public Policy Institute and Maryland Tax Education Foundation looked at average fees paid versus average investment return for fiscal years 2008-2012 inclusive.

South Carolina paid the most fees across the study span with an average of 1.3% of pension fund assets. For that, South Carolina’s average rate of return over the five years was 1.5%, according to the study.

This is exactly the point SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been making since he began his run for office – South Carolina has a horribly underperforming public pension fund. It pays too much in fees, gets too little in return and the politically appointed board members of the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission don’t seem to care.

Since taking office in January 2011, Loftis, a statutory member of the SCRSIC board, has been targeted by other board members for his outspoken criticism of the pension fund performance.

Most recently, the other six commissioners voted to censure Loftis for what they called “false, deceitful and misleading rhetoric.”

There is, of course, no discussion of how Loftis’ claims keep getting supported by studies such as this latest from Maryland.

Link to the report: http://www.mdpolicy.org/research/detail/wall-street-fees-investment-returns-maryland-and-49-other-state-pension-funds

 

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