Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Public pension funds take *ANOTHER* risky gamble

The executive director of the Montana pension system is considering recommendations that the nine pension funds in the system invest in hedge funds to boost investment returns. He is not terribly comfortable with the idea but is looking at it. Boomers are getting ready to retire. Montana needs a higher return of investment. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, New Jersey retirement system, Virginia pension fund, and San Diego County Employees Retirement Association are just a few public funds invested with hedge funds. (The Washington Post, 24-Jul-2007, p. D1)

So reality is finally setting in that the contributions put into the plan are insufficient to pay the promised benefits. But instead of sucking it up and making more contributions, they'd rather take a gamble on better returns. And if the bet goes bust, somebody else will be cleaning up the mess. Nice. And look who's among the funds taking this ridiculous risk - two of the funds that are already quite screwed up: NJ and San Diego.