Treasurer says state pension system underperforming

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis is criticizing the state's investment commission's lack of transparency in everything from how it handles a retirement system with a rate of return below the national average, to the schedule its chairman keeps.

"If we had information, we wouldn't have to imply or infer anything, would we?" asked Loftis. "Transparency and accountability are the way to solve these problems."

The state's investment portfolio earned an 18 percent rate of return for the fiscal year that ended June 30, not including fees. That compares with a nearly 22 percent median return last year for 91 public pension systems with more than $1 billion in assets.

The vice chairman of the commission that manages the portfolio says contracts require for fees to rise with profits.

State lawmakers are looking to reform the state's pension system to make it more secure. Possibilities include requiring workers to contribute more of their salary to their retirement benefits.