RI Retired Teachers Assoc. Sends 100 Questions on Pension Fund Management to Magaziner

Friday, May 04, 2018


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Seth Magazine's office said they plan to respond to the inquiry in a "timely fashion."

The Rhode Island Retired Teachers Association, in conjunction with Forbes' contributor Edward "Ted" Siedle, has sent a list of 100 questions surrounding the management of the pension fund to General Treasurer Seth Magaziner -- specifically to question whether the office is fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility. 

The letter was sent by Diane Bucci, Chair of the RIRTA Legislative Committee, and Ann Gardella, the Executive Director. 

They wrote: 

"We at the Rhode Island Retired Teachers’ Association (“RIRTA”) believe it is entirely appropriate for participants in the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (the “retirement system” or “pension”), including, but not limited to, our members, to voice concerns they may have from time to time regarding any apparent internal control failures, potential violations of law and breaches of fiduciary duty involving the State Investment Commission (“SIC”) pension staff or third party investment services providers to the pension, as well as seek reassurances from your office."

SLIDES: Read the 100 Questions BELOW

Siedle, the recipient of the largest whistleblower award in SEC history, wrote about the issue in his capacity as President of Benchmark Financial for Forbes. 

"Sometimes a list of penetrating questions can be more damning than the answers. And when politicians either cannot answer questions posed by the public (because they don’t know the answers) or will not (because they don’t want to confess their sins), then the list of unanswered questions speaks volumes," wrote Siedle. "No, I’m not talking about The New York Times recently published list of over 40 questions special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wants President Trump to answer about obstruction of justice."

"What I’m talking about is a list of 100 sophisticated questions an association of retired teachers sent to the politician running their state pension regarding lack of internal controls related to the high-cost, high-risk, opaque hedge, venture and private equity investments that had already cost the pension billions in underperformance losses," said Siedle. 

Magaziner's office, who received the letter, provided the following comment: 

"Treasurer Magaziner, the State Investment Commission and the Retirement Board are committed to keeping the Retirement System on a healthy and sustainable path, so public employees in Rhode Island can have a secure retirement," said Magaziner spokesperson Evan England. 

"Treasurer Magaziner’s Back to Basics investment plan earned more than $1 billion for the pension fund last year, and the Treasurer’s transparency policies are among the strongest of any state in the country. All requests for information from members of the pension system will be taken seriously and we will respond in a timely fashion," said England. 


Related Slideshow: RI Retired Teachers 100 Questions to Magaziner


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