An outside review of New York’s $178 billion pension fund for public workers shows it has been managed responsibly for the past three years but needs more staff and higher pay to continue the quality performance and cut costs for outside advisers.
The second review of the Common Retirement Fund since it was rocked by a pay-to-play scandal in 2007 said the fund continues to meet ethical and conflict-of-interest standards. Michigan-based Funston Advisory Services has conducted both reviews.
New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the fund’s sole trustee since the scandal, said Thursday the mandated periodic reviews help ensure the problem doesn’t recur.
“The bottom line is it validated that the reforms are working,” he said.
In the latest review, released Thursday, Funston examined 96 investment transactions approved by the comptroller from April 1, 2012, through March 31, 2015, concluding that they all followed policies and legal requirements. Most of its recommendations from three years ago, such as better documentation and computer support, were implemented.
However, the report concluded, the fund remains “severely understaffed for its scale and complexity” and pay levels were in the bottom quarter among similar public pension funds, raising concern about staff turnover and recruiting.