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In Case You Missed It: Raimondo’s Pension Investments

Saturday, April 27, 2013

 

Pension decisions made by General Treasurer Gina Raimondo were the focus of several major GoLocalProv stories this week and stimulated considerable engagement and conversation among readers from throughout Rhode Island. 

GoLocal's investigation into the performance of the state's pension fund yielded the following findings: The state pension fund lost more than $200 million in fiscal year 2012 as the state moved into hedge funds and other alternative investments under General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, raising questions about the investment strategy she has pursued and the viability of the pension reforms she has orchestrated.

The assets in the state pension fund dropped from $7.488 billion in June 2011 to $7.284 billion a year later, a decrease of $204 million, according to the independent annual audit. Overall, the fund had a positive rate of return of 1.55 percent during the same period. But the fund still lost money because the benefits paid out wiped out the modest gains for the year and exceeded the amount of new contributions to the fund from workers and the state.

Read the entire story, here.

Later in the week, GoLocal followed up on a state Investment Commission meeting with criticism from former head of the Rhode Island American Federation of Teachers Marcia Reback. Reback told GoLocalprov that she has continued to call into question the commission's current hedge fund strategy -- and as well as its fiduciary and social responsibilities.

"I voted for [hedge funds] initially because they were sold to us as not being volatile. What I want to know is, is the lack of volatility worth the investment management fees we're paying? I'd like to know our overall fee structure as it compares to what we paid four years ago....I was told they would have to get back to me on that," said Reback.

Read more about Reback's concerns, and a response from Commission board member Andrew K. Reilly, here.

 

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