South Carolina’s retirement fund is one of the nation’s worst. For starters, no large state fund pays as much as ours does in fees – and yet we consistently rank among the worst-performing funds in the nation.

The latest evidence of this? A report released earlier this month by a Maryland-based think tank.

According to its findings, the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) pays 1.3 percent of its total assets in fees each year – the highest percentage in the country. Yet our state’s 1.5 percent return rate over the last five years is among the worst in the nation – well behind the 2.4 percent five-year return rate of the ten states which pay the lowest fees.

Pretty pathetic, huh? Exactly …

Since his election three years ago, S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been dutifully exposing the myriad problems with the pension fund – which is managed by a corrupt, secretive and totally unaccountable commission run by one Reynolds Williams, an appointee of legendary scamster Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence).

Specifically, Loftis has been exposing how commissioners and their staff have been receiving all sorts of undisclosed perks from the firms they do business with – and in some cases profiting directly from deals. What has Loftis gotten for his efforts? A literally non-stop vendetta … one fueled by the Palmetto State’s “bought and paid for” mainstream media.

In fact earlier this year S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointee to the commission sponsored a resolution to censure Loftis …

Now Haley is shifting gears – trying to assist in a cover-up of the fund’s activities.

Allow us to explain …

In an effort to get to the bottom of this under-performing fund, South Carolina lawmakers directed the SCRSIC to transfer $700,000 to Haley’s Inspector General – an office which has accomplished a whole lotta nothing (and gone through three leaders) since the governor created it.

What was the money for?

“The funds transferred shall be utilized by the Inspector General to employ a private audit firm to perform the fiduciary audit on theRetirement System Investment Commission,” the budget proviso directing the transfer stated.

According to our sources, Haley’s office is doing everything within its power to stop the audit – which is strenuously opposed by powerful S.C. Senate finance committee chairman Hugh Leatherman (RINO- Florence)

Why? Because the “Republican” establishment in Florence, S.C. is looking out for its own.

“(GOP fundraiser) Eddie Floyd and the Florence crowd are concerned about the audit and what it would mean to prominent Florence leaders like Leatherman and Reynolds Williams,” one source familiar with Haley’s obstructionism tells FITS.

Why is Haley playing ball with them? And if she opposed the audit, why didn’t she veto the funding in the budget?

“She has some new deal going with Leatherman,” our source says. “Look at how weak her weak vetoes. She could have cut deep into spending – but didn’t. And she didn’t veto the audit money because Loftis and the transparency crowd would have rammed it down her throat. She’s trying to kill it by cover-up.”

That will be difficult to do, as fiduciary audits are all-encompassing and difficult to manipulate once they get rolling … and get a little light shone on them.

Haley has been on the side of secrecy, corruption and incompetence related to this fund ever since she took office. And now that an effort is underway to get to the bottom of the problem, she’s doing her best to thwart it.

That’s unacceptable … and decidedly anti-transparent.