November 23, 2009 |
Eighteen months after Pennsylvania's retirement system began investigating Dorothy June Brown for collecting full-time salaries from two charter schools, Brown's pension benefits have been slashed. The state Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) has informed Brown that her monthly benefit is being cut from $14,150 to $3,254 - a 77 percent drop. Ruling that Brown had provided incomplete and conflicting information, the system wiped out all employment credit she had claimed since July 2004.
March 17, 2014 |
Why don't they just hire Vanguard ? The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System thought some explaining was in order. PSERS needed $1.4 billion from state and local property taxpayers last year, and it expects to need $2.7 billion next year, it told legislators in February in its yearly report. That's after paying $552 million to hundreds of private investment firms - more than half the total for private equity, private debt, hedge, venture capital, commodity, and other investments you can't buy from a broker - to keep its assets from sliding farther below its liabilities.
April 17, 2015 |
After a "national search," Pennsylvania's underfunded Public School Employees' Retirement System , based in Harrisburg, said Wednesday that it has offered its top job to a candidate from close to home: State Rep. Glen R. Grell (R., Cumberland). Grell's predecessor, Jeffrey Clay , who retired a year ago, was paid $237,000 a year, which would be a big raise over the $86,000 Grell earned as a state representative. He is "still negotiating" his pay with PSERS, spokeswoman Evelyn T. Williams told me. In a statement, Grell said he would miss representing his Harrisburg-area district, and thanked the PSERS trustees who selected him. The trustees - aides to the governor, teacher and school board representatives, and lawmakers - are familiar faces to Grell because he was a member of the board until January, when he was replaced by state House leaders with Rep. Stephen Bloom , also a Cumberland County Republican.
May 31, 2014 |
The underfunded Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System has deleted contracts with "alternative investment" funds - that invest billions of dollars in teachers' retirement money - from the website of the state's Treasury Department . The decision to no longer make the contracts available for public scrutiny was confirmed Thursday by Evelyn Tatkovski , a spokeswoman for PSERS. I had asked PSERS about claims by Susan Webber , the New York financial consultant who runs the caustic website NakedCapitalism.com , that the posted documents had created a "Snowden moment.
November 20, 1991 |
An internal investigation of alleged irregularities in the $19 billion state teachers' pension system has led to accusations of misconduct and conflicts of interest involving a member of the pension board, several brokerage firms and a former top official of the fund. The inquiry, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Peter F. Vaira of Philadelphia, concludes that the pension system consequently lost about $400,000 - and possibly much more. The board of the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
February 2, 2015 |
Worn power tools, VCRs, patio furniture: Sometimes it's time to load old treasures in the trunk, head to the flea market, and see what you can get for them. The underfunded Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System has that kind of problem. As of last year, 35 percent of its $52 billion in pension assets was invested in private-equity funds, real estate, and other private investments you can't trade on the stock or bond markets. Some of these private investments were quite profitable; some lost money.
December 11, 2011 |
The Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System will hit schools across the state for higher employer pension contributions for the fiscal year beginning in July. In an announcement late Friday, PSERS said school districts must contribute an additional $1.8 billion to the state fund, which has 279,000 active school workers and 194,000 retirees. The increase amounts to a 12.36 percent surcharge on salaries of school employees for next year, compared with about 8 percent this year.
March 23, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf is trying to push Wall Street out of Harrisburg. He wants the two big employee retirement systems, SERS (for state workers) and PSERS (for public school staff), to reverse their long reliance on high-fee managers. These firms collected more than $600 million in fees from the plans last year - plus a share of liquidation profits from the state's private-equity investments, which Pennsylvania doesn't count. Despite all the creative investing, years of underfunding have left SERS and PSERS with multibillion- dollar gaps between the assets they own and the checks they will owe. The shortfall has been addressed in recent years by increasing taxpayer "contributions," which Wolf wants to stabilize.
June 3, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), the 18th-largest state-sponsored, defined-benefit public pension fund in the nation, runs money for more than 400,000 teachers and retirees. And PSERS likes hedge funds. But are hedge funds worth it? PSERS oversees assets of $50.4 billion. Roughly 10 percent, or $5 billion, of that is invested in hedge funds, which generally charge 2 percent of assets and 20 percent of performance annually. An index mutual fund typically charges much less, say, 0.50 percent a year.
August 19, 2003 |
Thanks to the summer stock market rally, Pennsylvania's largest pension fund profited from its investments during the last fiscal year for the first time since 1999-2000. But the fund, which supports 136,000 retired teachers, still fell short of its performance target, according to information the fund released yesterday. The $42 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) gained 2.7 percent on its investments during the 12 months ended June 30 as rising stock values in the second quarter made up for losses that the fund sustained during the second half of last year.