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Palmetto Pension Debacle: Scales Falling




|| By FITSNEWS || After years of backing the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC)’s controversial investment strategies – and defending its abysmal performance – one vocal leader in the Palmetto State’s pension fund debate has finally seen the light.

Wayne Bell – president emeritus of the State Retirees Association of South Carolina – sent an email this week in the aftermath of the surprise resignation of SCRSIC chief investment officer Hershel Harper.

(News of Harper’s resignation was reported exclusively here).

“While not casting stones at the (SCRSIC) or staff, or trying to second guess what they should have done, it probably is time to ask what changes to the investment strategy need to be made,” Bell wrote.

Probably time?

Actually it’s well past time …

Just last March, though, Bell was singing a vastly different tune – telling The Carolina Ledger he was “confident” in the commission’s investment strategy.

S.C. treasurer Curtis Loftis has been on the SCRSIC from day one … like white on rice.

According to Loftis, the fund has left a whopping $7 billion on the table over the last ten years as they pursued a controversial “alternative investment” portfolio.

“They gambled when they chose a complicated, expensive, ‘cutting edge’ investment plan and they lost,” Loftis wrote on his website earlier this month. “They rolled the dice and now you must pay their $7 billion dollar loss.”

He’s right … and we’ve paid a premium for this incompetence.

South Carolina’s corrupt pension fund managers have consistently doled out massive bonuses to the very bureaucrats who have labored to produce some of the worst results of any large pension fund in America (at the highest price, too).

All that was fine with Bell … for years.  In fact this so-called “watchdog” has been nothing but a shill for corrupt fund manager Reynolds Williams and his cronies.

“They did not flinch when I discovered over a billion dollars in unreported fees,” Loftis told us of Bell’s group.  “They did not flinch  when I discovered we were dead last in returns over the last ten years. They did not flinch when I reported they underperformed to the tune of $7 billion dollars.”

Guess the numbers have finally reached a point Bell had no choice but to acknowledge them …

“Only in South Carolina are the watchdog groups effectively controlled by the entities they are supposed to be overseeing,” Loftis said, adding that the commission’s failure “will cost all future taxpayers and government employees a fortune in increased taxes, increased contributions and reduced benefits.”

Indeed …