South Carolina’s state treasurer is furious about a new legislative proposal that would remove him as custodian of South Carolina’s pension funds.
The proposal was revealed among the Joint Pension Review Committee’s recommendations at its Tuesday meeting. The joint committee of House and Senate members is tasked with finding solutions for a $20 billion deficit in the retirement investment funds for public employees in South Carolina. That is the gap between what is promised to retirees versus what the state has in assets.
Committee members backed recommendations made by an independent auditor several years ago to reduce the number of agencies involved in overseeing the fund. One of those interpretations involved removing State Treasurer Curtis Loftis as the fund’s sole custodian and placing it with the Public Employee Benefits Authority. It would also remove Loftis as the only elected official on the state’s Retirement System Investment Commission — which makes investment decisions for the fund — and replace him with a commission member he would appoint. The proposal also strips the state Fiscal Accountability Authority — consisting of the governor, treasurer, comptroller general and the House and Senate budget chiefs — from making decisions related to the fund. [Read more…]