Tobash And Torsella To Lead Public Pension Management And Asset Investment Review Commission
5/30/2018
Commission to develop a plan that includes $3 billion in cost savings
Harrisburg, PA – State Representative Mike Tobash, Chair, and Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, Vice-Chair, of the Public Pension Management and Asset Investment Review Commission (PPMAIRC) today conducted an organizational meeting to initiate a review of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).

“As the chairman and a pension reform advocate, I am committed to working with all of the members to achieve billions in savings, which benefit all Pennsylvanians, whether they are in the retirement systems now or a taxpayer,” said Tobash. “Pennsylvania has been an outlier on fees, and our taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay excessive fees. I am grateful that the work I have done on this issue in the past allows me to be in a position to help Pennsylvania taxpayers.”

The Commission was established in 2017 under the broader pension reforms of Act 5 of 2017 to conduct a comprehensive review of PSERS and SERS investment management. As part of its evaluation, the Commission will:

• Recommend improvements to SERS and PSERS stress testing and fee reporting transparency;
• Analyze SERS and PSERS assets, investment strategies, investment performance, fees, costs, and procedures against established benchmarks; and
• Develop a plan to identify $1.5 billion in cost savings over 30 years for each of the two systems.

“I look forward to the review of both PSERS and SERS as an important step to fully evaluate how and where tax dollars and employee contributions are being spent,” said Torsella. “I am confident that together with the assistance of Dr. Monk we will be able to develop a set of recommendations to the legislature and Governor that will not only save taxpayer money, but reduce unnecessary risks and costs without compromising performance.”

The Commission has six months to complete its review of PSERS and SERS, and to report findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. Dr. Ashby Monk, Executive Director of the Stanford University of Global Projects Center, has been retained by Treasury to assist with the review. Dr. Monk is an internationally renowned investment expert that has a deep expertise on the design and governance of institutional investors to include pension, sovereign wealth and endowment funds around the world, including AustralianSuper in Melbourne, the University of California Board of Regents, OPTrust (which administers one of Canada’s largest pension plans), and the North Dakota State Investment Board.

In addition to Representative Tobash and Treasurer Torsella serving as members to the Commission, James Bloom, Michael Torbert and Bernie Gallagher have also been appointed to the Commission.
 
Media contact: Heidi Havens, Treasury, 717-787-2991 or hhavens@patreasury.gov