SC

SC Pension Fund Posts Gains

South Carolina’s embattled pension fund posted a 12.4 percent gain during the 2012 calendar year, the fund’s managers are reporting. That pushes the value of the portfolio to $26.6 billion – although it remains to be seen how our state’s fund stacks up to other public pension funds around the…

South Carolina’s embattled pension fund posted a 12.4 percent gain during the 2012 calendar year, the fund’s managers are reporting. That pushes the value of the portfolio to $26.6 billion – although it remains to be seen how our state’s fund stacks up to other public pension funds around the country.

The Palmetto State’s retirement fund is now back to where it was in June 2011 – and up $1.7 billion from last June.

Is that good? Yes. But the market is up – and everybody is posting gains. The real benchmark here will be in the comparative analysis – and early indications are that South Carolina’s numbers trail both the broader market as well as other large pension funds.

Also, we’ll be curious to find out if these gains are coming from traditional stocks or from the far riskier “alternative” investments that the fund bet so heavily on in recent years. Our bet is this increase stems almost exclusively from surging equities.

Finally, it’s curious to see the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) releasing a mid-year report for the first time ever. Typically these reports come at the end of the state’s fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

“They cherry picked dates and did not mention they were in bottom half of large pension plans,” one investment analyst told FITS.

S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis, who has spent the last two years pushing the fund to make smarter investments and reduce its fees, said his office was in the process of reviewing the data and would be issuing a statement soon. Loftis has aggressively criticized the fund’s risky alternative investments as well as the exorbitant fees it has paid to produce substandard returns.

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32 comments

Just another Guy February 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

The market was up 16.5%. Hell bonds were up 8%. A monkey could make money last year. Pretty bad returns if you ask me. Still heavy in managed futures and hedge funds which were horrible last year

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Honer February 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I heard the Treasurer on the radio just now and he said the Commission’s performance placed them in the bottom 30 percent. Damn, that is an F in any classroom in town. Last thing I would do is press release a failing grade.

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curmudgeon February 19, 2013 at 12:17 am

Old Curt sure does love to compare apples to oranges. One thing though, I keep hearing that he wants to be the King of the Investment Commission. If he were what would he do differently, or does he know? Managing other people’s money is a whole lot harder than spouting off a few sound bites.

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Just another Guy February 18, 2013 at 8:41 am

The market was up 16.5%. Hell bonds were up 8%. A monkey could make money last year. Pretty bad returns if you ask me. Still heavy in managed futures and hedge funds which were horrible last year

Reply
Honer February 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I heard the Treasurer on the radio just now and he said the Commission’s performance placed them in the bottom 30 percent. Damn, that is an F in any classroom in town. Last thing I would do is press release a failing grade.

Reply
curmudgeon February 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Old Curt sure does love to compare apples to oranges. One thing though, I keep hearing that he wants to be the King of the Investment Commission. If he were what would he do differently, or does he know? Managing other people’s money is a whole lot harder than spouting off a few sound bites.

Reply
Quick Pick February 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

I have a self directed IRA. I earned 14% last year and I am no professional!!

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confederateliberal February 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Comparing your measley IRA to a $26 billion trust fund that is owned wholly by the participants of the trust is asinine. If your IRA goes belly up, you’re broke. Tough titty. If the Commission doesn’t do their job, earning a respectable return while reducing risks, the ramifications are far more serious.

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Squishy123 February 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

What a douche. It doesn’t matter if you have a dollar or a billion dollars invested. If you can get 14% and the experts can get 12.4%, you are doing a better job than they are. I realize you’re just another liberal looking for something for nothing, but I didn’t realize you were also an idiot.

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chickenoregg February 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Well, now. Just why don’t we get you to direct the investment of the retirement fund? Are you interested? If so, let me know and maybe I can get an introduction. Now, before we hire you, we want insurance that you can beat the professionals. OK?

Reply
Quick Pick February 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

I have a self directed IRA. I earned 14% last year and I am no professional!!

Reply
confederateliberal February 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

Comparing your measley IRA to a $26 billion trust fund that is owned wholly by the participants of the trust is asinine. If your IRA goes belly up, you’re broke. Tough titty. If the Commission doesn’t do their job, earning a respectable return while reducing risks, the ramifications are far more serious.

Reply
Squishy123 February 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

What a douche. It doesn’t matter if you have a dollar or a billion dollars invested. If you can get 14% and the experts can get 12.4%, you are doing a better job than they are. I realize you’re just another liberal looking for something for nothing, but I didn’t realize you were also an idiot.

Reply
chickenoregg February 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Well, now. Just why don’t we get you to direct the investment of the retirement fund? Are you interested? If so, let me know and maybe I can get an introduction. Now, before we hire you, we want insurance that you can beat the professionals. OK?

Reply
Wilson February 18, 2013 at 11:51 am

I was on Wall treet for 20 years and I promise you the clowns at the Investment Commission are having a wondeful time at your expense. I have studied their investments several times and can tell you it is a wanna-be player portfolio.

They are second rate professionals, the JV team, but playing in the bigs with your money. Thier performance proves it.

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Wilson February 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

I was on Wall treet for 20 years and I promise you the clowns at the Investment Commission are having a wondeful time at your expense. I have studied their investments several times and can tell you it is a wanna-be player portfolio.

They are second rate professionals, the JV team, but playing in the bigs with your money. Thier performance proves it.

Reply
Pee Dee guy February 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

The Chairman, Reynolds Williams, is under criminal investigation. That says a lot right there.

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Pee Dee guy February 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

The Chairman, Reynolds Williams, is under criminal investigation. That says a lot right there.

Reply
Paul February 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

they are playing monopoly with our money. As a retiree I am tired of that batshit crazy Wayne Bell from Retirees Asso fronting for the rich guys that run the system and not the working people that pay into it. I have friends at the Commission and you should hear the stories they tell. Makes me sick.

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Paul February 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

they are playing monopoly with our money. As a retiree I am tired of that batshit crazy Wayne Bell from Retirees Asso fronting for the rich guys that run the system and not the working people that pay into it. I have friends at the Commission and you should hear the stories they tell. Makes me sick.

Reply
WC February 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Curtis Loftis is just the guy to straighten this bunch out. He has been a friend since high school and he is the most determined and principled person I know. if it can be done Curtis is the guy.

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WC February 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Curtis Loftis is just the guy to straighten this bunch out. He has been a friend since high school and he is the most determined and principled person I know. if it can be done Curtis is the guy.

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chickenoregg February 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Since Obama was elected, the stock market has more than doubled. Making money is like falling off the turnip truck. Hope all of you were invested. I was. Thanks Barack!

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chickenoregg February 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Since Obama was elected, the stock market has more than doubled. Making money is like falling off the turnip truck. Hope all of you were invested. I was. Thanks Barack!

Reply
Adam Evans February 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

“This is a good illustration of why it’s important to look at these
things over a longer period of time as a way to assess performance,”

Thus the AP quotes “Doctor Danny Varat”–who must be a proctologist, in recognition of the dark place where his head is usually located.

This is a talking point right off the mimeographed mindset of Reynolds Williams.

Suggest that Danny’s attention be directed to the management success of NC’s pension system. Their state treasurer has considerably more influence and discretion over its operations. Praise the Lord we still have an elected official working to master the details, and protect the integrity of, the source of SC’s public pensions. Yet Danny and Reynolds have been working overtime to frustrate Curt Loftis’s exercise of his fiduciary responsibilities.

Reply
Adam Evans February 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm

“This is a good illustration of why it’s important to look at these
things over a longer period of time as a way to assess performance,”

Thus the AP quotes “Doctor Danny Varat”–who must be a proctologist, in recognition of the dark place where his head is usually located.

This is a talking point right off the mimeographed mindset of Reynolds Williams.

Suggest that Danny’s attention be directed to the management success of NC’s pension system. Their state treasurer has considerably more influence and discretion over its operations. Praise the Lord we still have an elected official working to master the details, and protect the integrity of, the source of SC’s public pensions. Yet Danny and Reynolds have been working overtime to frustrate Curt Loftis’s exercise of his fiduciary responsibilities.

Reply
ABA February 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I worked at a bank for a few years. I got pretty good at reading financial BS. The Investment Commission’s writings always seem full of BS.
The trick is to read them looking for misdirection. Once you do that it all becomes clear.
On the last day of my employment the bank president got fired for being less than honest. That means I learned from a pro!

Reply
ABA February 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I worked at a bank for a few years. I got pretty good at reading financial BS. The Investment Commission’s writings always seem full of BS.
The trick is to read them looking for misdirection. Once you do that it all becomes clear.
On the last day of my employment the bank president got fired for being less than honest. That means I learned from a pro!

Reply
Eric February 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Wannabes.

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Eric February 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Wannabes.

Reply
Jeffrey Sewell February 19, 2013 at 2:10 am

It is time to piss or get off the pot… all is not right with the SCRSIC…

Reply
Jeffrey Sewell February 19, 2013 at 1:10 am

It is time to piss or get off the pot… all is not right with the SCRSIC…

Reply

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