Pension Fund Debacle: Curtis Loftis Was Right

NIKKI HALEY, HUGH LEATHERMAN BEAR THE BRUNT OF THE BLAME Four years ago, S.C. treasurer Curtis Loftis gave an interview in which he questioned the powers-that-be on the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC). For those of you not hip to the alphabet soup, this is the panel charged with…


Four years ago, S.C. treasurer Curtis Loftis gave an interview in which he questioned the powers-that-be on the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC).

For those of you not hip to the alphabet soup, this is the panel charged with managing the Palmetto State’s $27 billion pension fund (which used to be a $30 billion pension fund).

“I question whether Wall Street’s interests are being protected or our interests are being protected,” Loftis told reporter Michael Corkery of The Wall Street Journal at the time.

Over the intervening four years, Loftis has battled consistently against the fund managers’ foolhardy “alternative investment” portfolio – advising them to follow a more conservative investment strategy, one that didn’t rely so heavily on exorbitant fees.  He’s also objected to the SCRSIC doling out massive bonuses to the very bureaucrats who produced some of the worst results of any large pension fund in America (at the highest price, too).

In response to Loftis’ efforts, this self-serving cabal tried (and failed) to torpedo him …

Now, Loftis has been been vindicated – although his vindication has come at a terrible cost.

Under the leadership of Reynolds Williams (an appointee of powerful S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman) and Ed Giobbe (an appointee of S.C. governor Nikki Haley), the Palmetto State’s pension fund has seen its value slide – and its debt soar.

Astoundingly, Williams and Giobbe remain at their posts … years after we called for their resignations.

Where is the accountability?  We’re talking about $7 billion worth of underperformance, here.  Why aren’t there heads on stakes? 

“Being right doesn’t make me feel better,” Loftis wrote this week on his Facebook page.  “(Four) years later the situation has deteriorated – pension debt was $13 billion and now it is $22 billion (and) our investments underperform.”

At one point, this debt was only $300 million.

Indeed, the fund’s debt has increased by roughly $1.5 billion a year since Haley was elected.  Meanwhile it has shed approximately $3 billion in value over the last two years.  Despite this abysmal performance, its leaders have continued to pay exorbitant fees – and bonuses to bureaucrats.

Who is ultimately on the hook for all this?  South Carolina taxpayers …

When this fund underperforms, state employees and their employers (a.k.a. taxpayers) are called upon to put more into the pot.  In fact the S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) recently recommended increases for both the employee and employer (a.k.a. taxpayers) – which means agency budgets would increase due to higher personnel costs.

Due to the compounding nature of these contributions, every year lawmakers wait to raise contributions costs the fund hundreds of millions of dollars.  Also by statute these increases operate on a two-year lag time, creating additional strain on the system.

Haley has called an April meeting of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) to discuss the pension fund’s problems … but her efforts at this point appear to be more about saving face than actually addressing the issues.  Haley had a chance to act years ago – and she chose to stick with an appointee who exacerbated the problem.

Anyway, we’ll have much more to report on this issue in the weeks ahead … stay tuned.


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ColaChad March 15, 2016 at 3:36 pm

I am glad the Governor has called a meeting to discuss this subject. What else can she do?

Shane March 18, 2016 at 5:53 am

The governor can have Curtis Melvin Loftis testify under oath and ask the following questions:1. What is the status of the state Ethics violation against Curtis Loftis? 2. Who agreed to the attorneys representing the State treasurer and who is paying for the cost of these attorneys? 3. Why is this ethics violation not resolved after years and probable cause? 4. What role did and does the AG, Alan Wilson, play in covering Curtee’s ass? Loftis did hire intimate friend with whom he is associated.. 2 million dollars on the back of retirees and over 200 million dollars lost from the fund with the BONY fiasco …

Shane March 18, 2016 at 6:15 am

And many more questions. Why is Loftis an elected state official spending so much time on FITS instead of doing his job? He is paid by the tax payers of this state and is using tax payers funded computers, offices and time to post on Fits! Why did he take a state owned computer to have the hard drive destroyed after a Freedom of information request was sent to the governor and others about his use and abuse of computers in his office? Loftis has cost the state so much money and there should be a forensic investigation of the STO. Yes, the governor can start with these questions… and the STO…

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm

SC has a lot of Trump Supporters mad at the GOV for not endorsing Trump.

Well folks, This is Trump. He’ll get you to work for free and promise to sue you if you ever say anything bad about him, or his family. For Life.

And that sums up most of the Republican party.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 4:26 pm

writenow couldn’t milk a cow but now the freeloader sure could drink milk
And if YOU keep buying him Section 8 and SNAP–he’ll be smooth as silk !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Hey Lone Ranger,

I know one thing is true. The majority of Red States are dirt poor, because their people are too stupid to see Republicans have been robbing them blind. But you keep up your false flag puffery, dude. It suits you.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Among the many reasons writenow flunked Political Science
was he thought Dims enslaving dimwits was quite okay

And after 18 TRILLION in debt he said the USA was headed to
prosperity with OTHER Dimwits of course leading the way

But his teacher lost her mind and flunked his behind when
writenow said don’t vote for Trump or Cruz because ahem…well

Writenow just couldn’t grasp that the very reason voters are
lifting Trump and Cruz is to tell Dims AND the GOP…go to Hell !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Wrong again Lone Ranger. Convenient memory loss considering which Bush put us in debt and which president got us out.

Ah, yes. The Flag that symbolizes the Confederacy of of Dunces. Southern States – all Bible and….porn.
SC is specifically interested in Teens and porn.

Also, Cruz is insane. Flew to CO to accept the endorsement of a home-schooling nutcase preacher who says “Death to Gays.”
And Cruz is standing on stage, smiling at him…thanking him for the endorsement. So there’s that.

Y’all come back now, hear.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Applications for US jobless aid up 16K
to 326,000


The proof is in the pudding over the Bush tax cuts. They were followed by a record 52 straight months of job creation, producing 8 million new jobs, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.4%. Business investment spending, which had declined for 9 straight quarters, reversed and increased
6.7% per quarter, producing all those new jobs.

Because of that increased investment, labor productivity soared by 2.5% annually from 2003 to 2007, higher than the averages of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. As a result, real after tax income per capita increased by more than 11%.

This was mostly the opposite of what President Obama has produced, with his neo-Marxist Obamanomics, particularly unemployment more than twice as high, declining
middle class incomes, soaring poverty, weak job growth, stagnant stock market values, collapsing business investment, and negligible growth in GDP

And—that’s right all you Obamite all-day suckers (STARTING with writenow)—this does not even include the abysmal collapse that Obamacare has—you got it—begun already

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 7:04 pm

You wanna quote sources or just continue to blow spittle?

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 7:19 pm

writenow opened his liberal trap and then got handed his head
Neither his pipes nor theories hold water–politically he IS dead !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Didn’t get handed a thing. It doesn’t count when you don’t identify your cut and paste sources.

Can’t. Fix. Stupid.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 7:36 pm

When writenow was asked why he loved 18 TRILLION in debt on three generations and Obamacare
He said…mon…long as I get my Section 8 and SNAP and can steal from whites–no skin off my rear !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 8:07 pm

Still not naming your sources eh?

The thing about “Can’t Fix Stupid” is

they just keep repeating themselves.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm

writenow didn’t know sources from shinola but when they handed out Obamacare and SNAP
Ole writenow was there at the head of the line…freeloading, Dimwit and of course full of… !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 8:21 pm

A reminder: The Tea Party cost 24 billion for shutting down government.

Prior to that:

The cost of Bush’s policies amount to more than five times the cost of Obama’s policies. The Bush tax cuts plus the costly Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost about 2.5 trillion dollars in debt.

Also, the Bush administration overspending on defense cost another 1.2 trillion, which spiraled the debt out control.

Let’s now take a look at Obama’s policies. (Assuming the Lone Ranger can do math.)

Much of his spending has focused on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, but even more has come from a combination of a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts and other mandatory spending. However, Obama’s increased focus on deficit reduction has paid off significantly in the long run. Automatic spending cuts have reduced the deficit by $503 billion, and cuts to defense and Health Care have amounted to a total of about $400 bilion.

We can conclude that: The cost of Bush’s policies was $5.1 trillion, and the cost of Obama’s policies was a mere $983 billion.

You also have to take into account that the year of 2009, in which the debt escalated rapidly, was not the blame of Obama. A new president is forced to adopt the old president’s fiscal policies for one year, before they can implement their own more successfully. Therefore, excluding the stimulus package, one added year of debt can be mostly attributed to Bush and his policies.

Bottom Line: It’s not fair to blame the debt situation on Obama, singularly because the debt numerically went up more than it did under Bush. Bush inherited a booming economy at the time of his inauguration, but his handling of many events left the country absolutely devastated; Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 (two unnecessary wars), and the looming recession. Obama inherited a country that couldn’t go further down, in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. He had to live with the Bush tax cuts for 2 years, and two long, brutal wars for 2 after that.

Get lost, loser.

Lone Ranger March 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Freeloading Dimwit writenow…

The Tea Party cost 24 billion for shutting down government.


Ummmmm…Kemosabe…tell Tonto again…how IS it that shutting
down the governMENT somehow ahem…“cost” a total of 24 bil ???

Well, Tonto there are uneducated grafter Dimwits like
writenow whom it “cost” some SNAP but it gave HONEST voters quite a thrill !!!

Writenow March 15, 2016 at 9:09 pm

You’re stupidity knows no bounds.


MauldinGuy March 15, 2016 at 4:02 pm

This is a serious problem that just won’t go away. I hope they get it right this year.

erneba March 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

How do you make meaningful changes to this system to make it more viable?
1. Better over sight for investing the money.
2. Cut administrative costs and bonuses.
3. Change the retirement age and/or length of service before retiring..
4. Increase withholding in employee’s pay for their retirement fund.
5. Make the non-state working people pay more taxes to make up for shortfalls.

If the fund is continuously under-performing in the market due to economic conditions, there may not be much to do on that front.(1)
2, 3, and 4 are completely out of the discussion, thus, leaving us poor turds (5) to make up the different.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Wasting your breath E, is there anything in SC that is performing?

Krazy Kat March 15, 2016 at 5:32 pm

They made a small fortune…..
Out of A LARGE ONE!!!!

Nick March 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Something sure smells bad about all of this. Audit. Investigate. Fire. Arrest.

ELCID March 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

Ignorant local stooges should never run a pension fund.
Example: here in SC, also in the Alabama Teacher’s Credit Union giant rip off by a bribe taking controller, and etc., etc. They don’t have the knowledge or experience to deal with Wall Street. Just put the money in USA Treasury Bonds and leave it alone.

Shane March 18, 2016 at 7:47 am

Agree. ignorant local stooges should never run a pension fund and the many funds in the STO. The bug man of West Columbia, the one who did not graduate, the one with no knowledge in finance is in the STO, enjoying the many squishy funds as he pleases and doing so without supervision. The staff has been totally replaced by friends and friends of friends. and gone is the institutional knowledge of Grady Patterson and the reputation of a respected office. Dishonorable Curtis Melvin Loftis.

ELCID March 16, 2016 at 10:28 am

Ignorant local stooges should never run a pension fund.
Example: here in SC, also in the Alabama Teacher’s Credit Union giant rip off by a bribe taking controller, and etc., etc. They don’t have the knowledge or experience to deal with Wall Street. Just put the money in USA Treasury Bonds and leave it alone.

CorruptionInColumbia March 16, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Speaking of misused or mis-appropriated state retirement funds, how’s that POS former Senator from Aiken County doing since going into the hospital in Charleston?

I haven’t read that he croaked anywhere so I presume that he’s still bleeding the taxpayers and retirees in some manner.

Columbia Insider March 17, 2016 at 10:41 am

Maybe it’s unfair, but whenever I see a pic of Loftis, I can’t help but imagine the STD’s teeming inside him.

Max March 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

This message from the filthy friends of the Investment Commission. Col. Mike Hitchcock, executive director, Edward Giobbe, Chairman.

Fornication March 18, 2016 at 6:41 am

Sworn testimonies, 1990. ” Mr. Loftis suffered permanent damages due to his infection of a vile and loathsome venereal disease for which there is no cure. ” Crime of fornication… vile life style. In his own words… Curtis Melvin Loftis.


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