Governor Wolf, State Treasurer Torsella Discuss Passive Investments, Saving Taxpayer Dollars

April 24, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf joined State Treasurer Torsella to host a press conference at the Capitol about SERS and PSERS Passive Investments. The two discussed the benefits of reducing investment costs by moving away from Wall Street money managers, implementing administrative efficiencies, and increasing savings opportunities.

“The evidence is clear that passive investment can yield similar or even better returns than Wall Street money managers and reducing these fees could save billions for the funds and taxpayers over the long-term,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud Treasurer Torsella for his cooperation and leadership on reducing money manager fees and our hope is that the pension funds can proactively do the same.”

On April 13, Governor Wolf and Treasurer Torsella announced that they had written to the boards of SERS and PSERS to encourage them to reduce investment costs by moving away from Wall Street money managers, implement administrative efficiencies, and increase savings opportunities. Making these changes would save billions of dollars for tax payers over the coming years and improve the state’s pension systems.

“Every dollar that we save in Wall Street fees is a dollar we can keep in the pockets of Pennsylvanians. While Treasury has led the charge in being responsible stewards of taxpayer money by reducing investment fees, all of us have much more work to do,” said Torsella. “I greatly appreciate the cooperation and effective leadership Governor Wolf has shown in urging the pension funds to embrace common sense savings and reforms.”

In the letters, Governor Wolf and Treasurer Torsella asked the boards of both the State Employees Retirement System and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System to work towards three goals:

  • Reduce Wall Street Fees to National Average
  • Reduce Administration Costs through Consolidation of Pension Investment and Support Operations, and
  • Expand Deferred Compensation Program.

By taking these three commonsense steps towards reducing fees, eliminating inefficiencies and expanding savings opportunities, the Governor and Treasurer believe Pennsylvania can save billions of dollars and improve our pension systems.

The two executive officers also said that achieving pension reform through legislation remains a priority this session but noted it is also important to look at operations to see how the commonwealth can achieve real reform with the authority already available.

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