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South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis is asking the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) to disclose $106 million in previously unreported fees paid out to consultants of the state’s underperforming $26 billion pension fund.

The fees would bring the fund’s 2012 expense total to more than $400 million – one of the highest expense percentages in the nation.

“These fees are a hidden drag on public pension plans in South Carolina and around the country,” Loftis said in a statement. “Transparency is the only way to ensure that the money contributed by taxpayers and public service employees is effectively managed.”

Indeed … also reducing these exorbitant fees would go a long way toward improving the performance of South Carolina’s fund, which consistently ranks among the bottom third of public pension funds nationwide. It would also help scale back the rampant corruption of the fund’s managers, chiefly its leader Reynolds Williams.

While you’d think higher returns, lower fees and less corruption would be things everybody could get on board with, you’d be forgetting that this is South Carolina. In fact just last week, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointee to the pension fund investment panel introduced a censure measure against Loftis.

Loftis’ “crime?” Having the audacity to hold his fellow fund managers accountable for their performance …

Haley has spoken out against the censure resolution, but she has yet to remove her appointee from the commission. The one-time transparency advocate has also failed to lift a finger to help Loftis in his efforts to pull back the curtain on the SCRSIC’s corruption.

In fact this time a year ago she was busy helping its leaders in their bid to stick a knife in Loftis’ back …

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