SC Treasurer Blasts Big Bonuses For Some State Employees - WSPA.com

SC Treasurer Blasts Big Bonuses For Some State Employees

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State employees collect big bonuses for running the state's pension plan. State employees collect big bonuses for running the state's pension plan.

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Lofiis calls it the single biggest debt on the South Carolina books.  The pension program invests more than $25 billion but comes up $16 billion short of the program’s liabilities.

The fund is managed by Hewitt EnnisKnupp a global investment company that charges a fee for the service.

But South Carolina pays bigger fees for that than any other state while the returns are much smaller than it’s peers.

“We pay too much in fees and we earn too little money and that costs you the taxpayer," said Loftis.

According to the Maryland Public Policy Institute, South Carolina pays higher investment fees than any other state while earning less than most of it’s peers.

The same study shows South Carolina spent nearly $300 million on Wall Street management fees.

“We pay $300 million in money to financial managers in New York city. $300 million dollars. We pay more as a percentage of our plans than any other plan in the country," Loftis said.

The chairman of the South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission, Reynolds Williams, said those Maryland numbers aren’t reliable.  Williams said there is no useful way to know exactly what other states really pay in fees so the comparison is not fair.

Williams also defended bonuses paid to staff members at the Investment Commission.  Employees cashed in on roughly $1.4 million in bonuses, including one bonus of $300,000. 

Williams said those bonuses are a reflection of a pay for performance plan which ties salaries to the amount of money those employees actually earn for the state.  The bonus is only earned when the state makes much more than expected.

Lofits said the bonuses don’t make sense.

“Our retirees get an average of $20 thousand dollars a year. We're paying bonuses up to $300 thousand dollars a year that's just not right."

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