News Releases

Conservative Group Demands SC Pension Fund Reform

(YORK, SC) – In advance of its hearing today in Columbia, Carolina Conservatives United strongly urged the Senate Finance Committee Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds and to take bold reform actions immediately to help safeguard the security of our states’ investments. As a group of…

(YORK, SC) – In advance of its hearing today in Columbia, Carolina Conservatives United strongly urged the Senate Finance Committee Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds and to take bold reform actions immediately to help safeguard the security of our states’ investments.

As a group of concerned citizens from across South Carolina, we have become alarmed by the media reports of the financial health of our state’s pension and retirement system,” stated CCU Chairman Bruce Carroll said today.

According to SC State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, South Carolina paid $427.5 Million, or 1.59 percent of assets, in fees and expenses to money managers on Wall Street last year for our public pension investments.

“South Carolina’s retirees and taxpayers should be outraged that we are paying the highest percentage of pension investment fees in the United States while Wall Street bankers are making record profits,” Carroll said. “Especially considering the return on our investments has been abysmal and one of the lowest returns of any state in the nation.”

“It is unacceptable that South Carolina pays $500 million in investment fees on our state’s $27 billion portfolio when the state of New York is paying the same $500 million in fees on assets that are five times as large. Something is terribly wrong with this and the taxpayers and retirees of South Carolina deserve answers.”

“Carolina Conservatives United appreciates the effort that the Senate Finance Committee Special Subcommittee is making today to properly review the state retirement funds, but we urge them to take immediate action to implement reforms,” Carroll said.

CCU recommends the following reforms to the management of the State Retirement Funds portfolio:

• Significantly more transparency and accountability to the public of how and to whom the investment fees are paid

• Reduce the number of fund managers and transition the asset management contracts over to a public bid process

• Significant more transparency and benchmarks to the public regarding the performance of the Retirement Fund versus other state investments and other states in the nation

• Significant reduction in ratio of Retirement Fund investments in “alternative” schemes

“We hope Senators Kevin Bryant, Joel Lourie, Darrell Jackson and Ray Cleary use today’s hearing to explore and begin to fix the root causes of the millions of wasted dollars leaving the state of South Carolina and lining the pockets of Wall Street banking firms,” Carroll said.

(Editor’s Note: The above communication is a news release and does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of To submit your letter, news release, email blast, media advisory or issues statement for publication, click here).

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Philip Branton January 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hmm……..we wonder how much a liberal group has invested in the pension FUND.

overit January 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm

It’s not the liberal’s buddy, it’s the Republican greedy assholes
destroying this country.

Fran January 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I just saw Loftis speaking to a Senate Committee and he was impressive. He looked the Senators in the eye and spoke from the heart. I have been in state government for 25 years and I have never been prouder of my vote for a election. I feel very good about my retirement.

Cash January 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm

The Commission is off the chart. Hopefully, the General Assembly will act. We can’t afford such an underperforming plan.

Hal January 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm

It is a no brainer, they have got to change that place. Especially if the Dems jump on board. Can you imagine if Vince were to hop on the reform train and be to the right of Haley?

curmudgeon January 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I was also in the Senate hearing today but did not get the impression that Loftis did so well. Maybe he will do better when he gets a chance to explain how he was able to pound on the table with those Wall Street bankers to get his fraternity brother $2 million. I think I remember him saying it was his personal effort at economic development. See you next week.

Squishy123 January 16, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I bet you bitch about blowjobs too.

Gamecocky January 16, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I saw some of the hearing because it was streamed live. I found it interesting though some of it was over my head. Loftis is impressive and knowledgeable. Senators seemed interested and polite I remember them being mean when I interned there in the 80’s. Quality of video was awful.

Curmudgeon January 17, 2014 at 9:02 am

My aren’t you clever.

Mark J January 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Only a fool would think a plan with expenses like this is efficient.

Curmudgeon January 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Listen fool, exactly where in my post do see a reference to fees? I’m just looking forward to Loftis explaining the exorbitant attorney fees he personally negotiated. You know, the one that gave is fraternity brother $2 million dollars.

Mark J January 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

I know enough about this case to know you are either a fool or a liar. He did not give anyone money, the defendant did. I suspect you are just a liar. Most fools are not as reliable as you are.

curmudgeon January 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Once again fool, you need to learn to read before commenting. Loftis personally negotiated the fees paid to the attorneys. He said so himself in an Investment Commission meeting. It’s all on video. Loftis wanted the best deal he could get for his buddy. Now why don’t you go study for your reading readiness test.

Mark January 19, 2014 at 6:34 am

The it is confirmed. You are a liar. Distorting facts is no different from making up a bold face lie.
I don’t care all that much because it is no skin off my nose either way but I know enough to know you are a liar.
I wonder how it feels to know that about oneself. Surely you know, otherwise, you are a lair and a fool.

M326 January 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

Loftis did negotiate the settlement of $2 million for his old fraternity brother. I heard him say it and joke about this being an “economic development” effort. It was sort of…developed that money away from the retirement fund and into his friend’s pocket.

Mark January 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

You sir, are a liar. The fund paid zero. The Bank paid everything out of the settlement, and after the settlement. Retirees and the state paid nothing.
I, again, could care less how it was paid, but love to see a liar dance. it is worth far more than I have paid in admission to this website, which BTW was free.
Perhaps there are meds you should be taking?

M326 January 19, 2014 at 1:19 pm

I am a very poor dancer and even poorer liar. The bank settled for a total of $34 million. It could not care less how it was divided. All it wanted was a settlement. Loftis decided how it would be divided. The funds either went to the retirement fund, another trust fund, or the attorneys. True, the fund did not write a check for the attorney’s fees but what it received was the settlement less the attorneys’ fees. The way I look at it, that was a cost to the fund. Consequently, Mark, I would suggest I am not the one doing the lying here.

Mark January 19, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I read everything on this case possible because I am out of law school a little more than a year. I almost took a job at the Ag’s office so I was interested in everything I could find about the office and since the AG’s office were instrumental in this case I researched it.
You are simply not truthful. You have “spun” information so it makes a point you desire, not one a jury would likely find as limey.
The legal bills were settled after the settlement was struck. That is in the record. You evidently believe that you can read peoples mind and know their hidden desires and actions, You think you are clever, I think you are a liar. A grumpy liar at that.

M326 January 20, 2014 at 6:40 am

You can believe whatever fiction you like. I have been intimately involved in scores of lawsuits far more complex than this over the course of my career. The bank looks at the bottom line: what does it take to get this settled? I just follow the money and have never been proved wrong when I do that. $9 million was negotiated by Loftis for attorneys. This is clearly part of the overall settlement. The bank could care less how it gets divided as long as they no longer have to deal with it. They were clearly willing to settle for a total $34 million–they just did. I have a copy of a letter from Loftis requesting release from the AG of the guidelines covering such negotiations and a copy of the letter from the AG granting him exemption from the AG’s guidelines. Fraternity brother was brought in late on the case by Loftis in addition to the original attorney who was handling it quite well. Follow the money and you see the cronyism and corruption.

M326 January 17, 2014 at 6:16 am

How can a conservative, like Loftis, justify $2 million in attorney’s fees as “economic development” is beyond me. Perhaps we should get an expert brought in on the state plane to opine on this.

James January 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

At lunch today the retirement system was the topic and the financial guys are horrified by the high fees. They all said if they could command those fees they would be zillionaires. I hope Treasurer Loftis is successful in lowering fees and raising rates of returns.

Manny January 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

No large fund in their right mind would pay the fees these guys paid. It is crazy how much the Investment Commission chucks into the waste can of the financial wold every year.

Winston January 17, 2014 at 7:51 am

The Commission is a bunch of rich people trying to get richer. Proximity to money is a wonderful way get more money. They are not paying all those fees for nothing. They are making lots of friends, wealthy friends.

Kyle January 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

This Commission seems to be the aberration. I see no compelling justification for such investing and thusly reject the notion that the present Commission is performing its task as directed.

Clarissa January 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Fran and James…how are things in the treasurers office these days? Trust everyone?

cletus January 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Things are all peaches and cream at the Treasurer’s office. Don’t you know that. Every day staff meet the Treasurer as he enters the building and throw rose petals at his feet. They bask in his aura.

Bill January 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

These are the slides from todays hearings. I got them off the treasurer’s page.

Wells January 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm

These slides are very informative. Thanks for posting.

curmudgeon January 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Where is the slide of the proposals Loftis has made over the past 2 plus years that would increase ROI, reduce fees while mitigating risk. Maybe the dog ate it or, could it be that there wasn’t one. Could it be that all Loftis is capable of doing is complain, accuse and try to destroy and that he has no real solutions. My, wouldn’t that be something.

jimlewisowb January 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

“…..hope Senators Kevin Bryant, Joel Lourie, Darrell Jackson and Ray Cleary use today’s hearing…”

I hope that Senators Kevin Bryant, Joel Lourie, Darrell Jackson and Ray Cleary live long enough to retire and upon their retirement read on internet that direct descendants of Reynolds Williams and Greg Ryberg are in charge of their pension fund

Fucking Cockroaches

Rob January 16, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Kevin Bryant has pissed off a lot of people in his district. We are conservative in everything especially government and damned if he aint the champion for those big spending buffoons on the Investment Commission!

M326 January 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

Bryant is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. I haven’t heard anybody in his district complain. But I hope he does get defeated so we can get somebody a little more mainstream representing the district.

Rob January 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

You ought to spend some time in Anderson. You will hear plenty. Most incumbents get reelected but we are fed up with these bastards wasting our money. We pay our taxes and the roads are crumbling, retirement system is underfunded and the education system sux. I am pissed and so are my friends.

M326 January 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

You can’t blame me for the people YOU elect. If you don’t like them, change them. Only YOU can do it. We’ll be waiting to see if you do. And I do spend some time in Anderson though I don’t vote there.

Rob January 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm

We censored Senator Graham and we will get more scalps before this is over. Big spenders should be aware! Whether pension plans or bloated medicare, we are going to get you!

M326 January 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Ha! The ONLY thing that matters is what you can accomplish in the voting booth. This breast beating is all facade. I am ready to take odds that Graham carries your county and gets handily re-elected statewide. You fringies are all bark and no bite. In this case, we will be able to prove you right or wrong in November. 44 people in your county censured him? That means NOTHING–maybe less. I doubt you will be able to actually DELIVER anything that even remotely looks like your empty threats. Do you really believe LEE BRIGHT is a serious candidate? The guy can’t manage his way out of a truck stop let alone run a cogent campaign. What a joke! Try running somebody up there with a college degree. At least they have proved they can learn something. Got any like that? Bottom line: we’ll see how you perform in November. Go on, surprise me.

Ro January 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I work for the County.
I pay both the employee contribution in full and the employer portion in part. You may be rich but I am not and I would like to pay less money not more.
I think Lee Bright is an idiot.
I don’t post on the internet blogs but I am stuck inside with the flu. Meeting miserable people like you that are so disagreeable is surely enough to keep me from coming back.
See you, Grumpy.

M326 January 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

So you work for the government? You are part of the problem! You are part of that regulating government parasite that inhibits the private sector from thriving and providing jobs for us all. And please excuse me, you may have a dog in the fight–are you on this pension system? I apologize for that misunderstanding. And you and I concur absolutely about Lee Bright. I drew conclusions from your derogatory remarks about government and elected officials that led me to believe you were very anti-government but now I know better. I may be too subtle about it but I am trying to inject a note of irony in my remarks–taking things to absurd extremes or building on the projection of somebody’s remarks to the point of absurdity; to undermine the statement by projecting to the next step which may be absurd. Speaking from a relatively knowledgeable position, let me tell you your retirement system is not in any jeopardy at all. Your elected officials generally leave a lot to be desired. Chief among those is your state treasurer who is misleading you and taking advantage of your ignorance. Change him out and many problems regarding the retirement system get resolved at once. He is one of those most dangerous of politicians: a true believer that has put his faith in something that is unproven and maybe doesn’t even exist.
Go and do good and beat that flu.

Rob January 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I love to watch a grouchy bastard rant. Must be awful to hate so much.

M326 January 19, 2014 at 5:42 am

I may be a bastard but I’m not grouchy nor do I hate. Just want to keep you straight. By the way, you started this.

M326 January 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I’m really kind of curious why you are commenting on an article having to do with the state retirement fund. There are no appropriations of tax dollars to this fund. It is owned solely by state retirees and employees and is composed of their individual contributions, deferred compensation to them held in trust by the state and earnings on investment of those funds. You really, as a tax payer, don’t have much of a dog in this fight. The state of SC merely holds those funds in trust and invests them for those employees. The cost of doing that cost the taxpayer nothing–it comes out of the fund. So why are you interested? Looks like there are lots of other issues you could attack where you actually do have a dog in the fight. Examples: security of your personal information at the Dept. of Revenue or Employment Security, DHEC not reporting diseases that affect lots of people, astoundingly bad health statistics, third world education system, road and bridge maintenance, etc. etc. Why retirement where you have no personal interest. If it goes bottom up, just those lousy state employees suffer. Heck, that might be good. It would teach them not to work for government and become a burden. Private sector could snap them up in a minute if all those regulators were fired. Of course, it could be dangerous to eat in restaurants then. But so what? People ought to be eating at home anyway. Government wouldn’t be on their back there. Oh, except for what you buy at the grocery store–that could be dangerous, too. But so what? People ought to raise their own food anyway. Government wouldn’t be on their back then. Must I go on?

M326 January 17, 2014 at 6:11 am

I presume this was written by Bruce Carroll who heads up CCU. Is this an anti-Lindsay Graham issue? This from the Huffington Post:

Bruce Carroll, outgoing co-founder of gay Republican group GOProud, thinks Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has served in Washington for long enough.

In an open letter posted to Gay Patriot on Monday, Carroll announced his resignation from GOProud, saying he was moving on to weigh his options for challenging Graham:

M326 January 17, 2014 at 6:29 am

“Reduce the number of fund managers and transition the asset management contracts over to a public bid process”

This has got to be the most ridiculous suggestion I have heard. Put out the investment of the state’s retirement fund to the low bidder? Get real!


12' January 17, 2014 at 8:12 am

A blind monkey on crack has a 50/50 chance of beating the performance of the Investment Commission. And the monkey probably will spend less in fees. Unless the price crack or bananas goes way up

curmudgeon January 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Excuse me but if Loftis were in charge maybe he wouldn’t use the standard bid process. I hear he did not choose the winner of the bid process when he chose BONY Mellon over Duestchbank. Any truth to this? Do Constitutional Officers have to comply with SOP Procurement rules? Who knows the answer to this?

M326 January 19, 2014 at 7:24 am

I don’t know if Constitutional Officers like Loftis have to follow the state procurement code. All other state agencies do. If I were a Constitutional Officer I would follow the code even if not required since it appears you are hiding something or playing favorites with your friends if you do not. Do you think Loftis would ever do that, I mean like with an old fraternity brother who is now an attorney or something? One that falls into that category just got a $2 million settlement through Loftis. Probably just coincidence.


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