From the NY Post:
City Comptroller John Liu’s costly pension-investment strategy resulted in nearly $2 billion in lost earnings last fiscal year, a former pension chief claims.
Liu touts a combined 12.1 percent return on investments in fiscal year 2013, when the city’s five pension funds grew from $111.3 billion to $124.8 billion.
But that rate is inflated by adding cash-flow unrelated to investments into the equation, said John Murphy, the former executive director of NYCERS, the city’s largest pension system.
The true rate of return is 10.5 percent, Murphy calculates. That’s less than the 12.2 percent the city could have earned — another $1.9 billion — if it invested the money in reliable, low-cost S&P 500 Index and Core Bond funds and avoided risky, expensive hedge funds, private equity and real-estate investments.
Taxpayers are on the hook for pension costs when investments fall short. Mayor Bloomberg’s FY 2014 operating budget plows $8.2 billion into the pension system, up from $1.5 billion in 2001.
City taxpayers, by law, must repay the 2013 management fees in 2015 — at 7 percent interest for two years.
A Liu spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, as public advocate, sat on the board of trustees of NYCERS, which approved the investment strategy. His spokeswoman did not return a call for comment.