Ryberg: Move trust fund to retirement investors

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Senate chairman wants the group that oversees public workers’ pension funds to also manage retirees’ health insurance money, saying it can get better returns than the treasurer.

But Treasurer Curtis Loftis contends the accusations rely on unrelated data, and the state constitution limits the insurance trust fund to conservative investments.

The latest state report shows that the long-term unfunded liability in retirees’ health insurance is $9.1 billion. The treasurer’s office says the trust fund’s current value is $582 million.

Senate Labor Commerce and Industry Chairman Greg Ryberg accuses Loftis of not investing well. The rate of return last year was 3.6 percent, lower than the 5.5 percent annual expected gain.

Loftis counters that’s the result of last year’s bond market. He says it’s more realistic to consider multi-year returns.

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