Senate Panel Investigates Curtis Loftis Pension Complaints

By Paul Gable

A panel of four senators began hearings last week on the complaints of SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis about the SC Retirement System Investment Commission.

Panel co-chairman Sen. Joel Lourie said he hopes the panel can settle the complaints of the treasurer about what Loftis calls corruption and wasteful spending at the SCRSIC.

Since taking office and becoming a statutory member of the SCRSIC, Loftis has complained about the high fees paid by the commission, the low investment results despite these fees and the perks enjoyed by employees as well as the cloak of secrecy surrounding the decisions the employees make.

Loftis’ complaints have resulted in a virtual undeclared war between the treasurer and SCRSIC chairman Reynolds Williams.

Loftis included the following statement in a post on the treasurer.sc.gov website two months ago:

“The Chairman has good reasons to hide behind the cloak of secrecy. He wants to hide that we pay over $300 million a year in investment fees to Wall Street. He wants to hide that South Carolina is ranked in the top 10% of highest investment fees in the nation while our returns regularly rank in the bottom 25%. He wants to hide that $1.4 million in bonuses were paid to fourteen staff members, including an employee who received a $300,000 bonus on top of his $300,000 salary while the pension underperformed.”

The state’s pension fund controls approximately $27 billion in assets while currently having approximately $45 billion in future liabilities.

Public pension fund deficiencies were at the heart of the recent bankruptcy filing of the city of Detroit while the state of Illinois recently approved a pension reform bill that will extend a 2011 tax increase in hopes of closing an approximately $100 billion shortfall in its future liabilities.

Last week, rumors surfaced that SCRSIC employee and former state senator Greg Ryberg will challenge Loftis in the 2014 Republican primary bringing the pension fund squarely into the 2014 political arena.

Link to Treasurer web site: http://www.treasurer.sc.gov/media-center/loftis-undeterred-by-personal-attacks/

 

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