Debating pension funds and risk
June 20, 2014
To The Editor:

The Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Public Schools Personnel (MRTA) recently sent an e-mail to its members warning them about the Show-Me Institute’s request for financial reports from the Public School Retirement System (PSRS). The MRTA believes that the Show-Me Institute has some nefarious purpose in store for public pensions, but that is not the case.

I asked for these financial reports because a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation piqued my interest. This report examined composition of assets that state and local pensions hold. It found that over the past 30 years, many pension plans have shifted their investments away from lower risk bonds toward riskier investments such as stocks and other alternative investments. I am curious as to whether this trend is occurring in Missouri pensions.

I think Missouri taxpayers and pension plan beneficiaries have a right to know what assets these plans are investing in and the risk associated with them. I wonder if the MRTA agrees.

Michael, Rathbone, policy researcher Show-Me Institute, St. Louis, MO

Editor's note: For a link to the report from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation gp here.

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