More Leeway For State Pension Fund Investments

The General Assembly wants the state treasurer to have more leeway to invest pension fund money.

The Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to allow Janet Cowell's office to invest up to 10 percent of retirement funds in things like timberland, commodities and securities rated below investment grade.

The House agreed to the changes last week. The bill now heads to Gov. Beverly Perdue's desk.

Cowell's office has said she needs more flexibility to keep returns at or above what's needed to meet long-term retiree obligations.

The retirement system remains one of the nation's healthiest public pension funds even though it's lost a combined $21 billion between early 2008 and March of this year due to lagging stock and
real estate markets.


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  • by Barbara Location: Martin on Jun 3, 2009 at 06:20 AM
    As a Democrat I am saddened by this news as I realize that our leaders in Raleigh are mostly Democrats also. This means that they are listening to the current President's rosy picture and not listening to non-political people who have studied the economy for many years. Several economists, and one calls himself a political atheist, predicts that we haven't hit the bottom yet and won't until 2011 or 2012. He has been looking at the facts and figures for more than 30 years and has been able to predict correctly what has been happening to the economy. But our state leaders prefer to listen to a new administration with little or no experience in the financial field. Talk is cheap and words should mean something but you can put polished words on a teleprompter and read them so well that the illiterate in high places just don't get it. They've been dumbed down--they don't know history and they don't want to figure out what's best for our state employees.
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Jun 3, 2009 at 06:03 AM
    Do I have a choice to participate in this investment or not? Listen state snakes you all are talking about investing my hard earned money from my future. Most of NC state workers are faced with the possibility of job cuts. What are you all planning to invest-stocks and bonds? Will this investment benefit state workers who need help NOW? Before you all slider into a meeting, please inform the citizens of NC as to how this investment from the retirement funds would benefit every household in NC. Sign, Mad as HELL
  • by Kimo Location: Belhaven on Jun 3, 2009 at 05:15 AM
    Maybe Bernie Madoff has an idea of how to invest. More risk means more chance of loss. Perhaps some "secured" bonds from Chrysler?? If we lose another 21B who will bear the responsibility??? What ever happened to so called conservative investments. This whole idea is really scary. and the worst of it is that the long suffering tax payer will soon be having to cover the losses.
  • by Anonymous Location: Greenville on Jun 3, 2009 at 04:50 AM
    Well there goes 10% more of the state employees retirement. Guess we better get ready to work all of our lives because the state has lost our retirement money.
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