AFT Applauds NJ Public Pension Hedge Fund Divestment
WASHINGTON— American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT New Jersey state federation President Donna M. Chiera on the unanimous decision of the New Jersey State Investment Council to drop its hedge fund allocation from 12 percent to 6 percent and cut its hedge fund fee structure:
AFT President Randi Weingarten said: “Workers and the public they serve deserve to know that the trustees responsible for investing their pensions have their best interests front and center. That is why today’s unanimous vote by the New Jersey PERS trustees to cut their hedge fund investment in half is so important. New Jersey’s reallocation of $4.5 billion out of hedge funds is even larger than the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s divestment in 2014, and it was done because hedge funds have failed to deliver. Trustees also voted to cut allowable hedge fund fees to half of the typical amount, a move that will save working people hundreds of millions over the coming years.
“Our report ‘All That Glitters Is Not Gold‘ found that N.J. retirees would have earned $1.1 billion more if trustees had never invested in hedge funds, and further would have saved $1.6 billion paid in fees to hedge fund managers. We’re glad to see that public pension trustees nationwide are now taking a long, hard look at the gap between hedge funds’ promises and their actual results. Union members worked hard and deferred wages to build a secure retirement for their families. Their pensions shouldn’t be gambled on risky bets or wasted on high fees that only enrich the wolves of Wall Street and Gov. Christie’s cronies.”
AFT New Jersey State Federation President Donna M. Chiera said: “The State Investment Council has a responsibility to manage pension funds wisely, and this is a step in the right direction. Reducing the allocation of hedge funds and alternative investments means more money stays in the underfunded system and goes toward its intended purpose—to allow teachers, nurses, firefighters and public workers to retire with dignity after decades of tireless, dedicated service to our state’s citizens. This is the right thing to do and will help stabilize the state’s economy as a whole.”
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten
Follow AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera: https://twitter.com/dchieram