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Hedge Funds cannibalize public-teacher pension funds

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If you are a public-school teacher in the state of Kentucky, you should be aware that the state has a memorandum in place for you: You have no right to know the details of the investments being made with your retirement savings, how they are being managed, by whom and why. Your investments and contributions to your pension funds for your retirement are now controlled by the same Wall Street financial gang-bangers and cabal that brought down the US economy. This is one of the biggest enigmas as to why the 'stock market' is so high; the privatization of public-pension funds.

Kentucky Teacher Pension Funds and the hedge-fund operators

Continuing lack of transparency and accountability by 'hedge-fund managers' was the declaration issued by state officials in Kentucky to a high-school history teacher when he asked to see the terms of the agreements between the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System (KTRS) and the Wall Street firms that are managing the system's money, his money; purportedly on behalf of his concerns, his colleagues and thousands of potential teacher retirees in Kentucky.

The lack of transparency, accountability and the denial of information about teacher-retirement funds was the latest case of public officials obstructing the release of data about how they are managing billions of dollars of public employees' retirement 'nest eggs' in the interest of Wall Street predators. Although some of the fine print of the public-pension investments has occasionally oozed through to pensioners, the agreements are tightly retained in the majority of states and cities where teachers work, live and breathe.

Reviewers say such secrecy prevents lawmakers and the public from evaluating the propriety of the increasing fees being paid to private financial firms in the interest of privatization of pension-fund-management services. Transparency and open public records are now a thing of the past. Your paid-for contributions are in the hands of Wall Street, and they have no interest in allowing you to know how your assets are being managed, where your investments might end up, and how they are being used by the scurrilous financial class of sordid entrepreneurs (http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml).

Law Suit filed against KTRS

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Teachers' Retirement System of Kentucky
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Kentucky teachers concerned about the safety and solvency of their pensions filed a class-action lawsuit last November against the board of the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System (KTRS).

The following allegations were made in the complaint:

KTRS has failed in their fiduciary duty by selecting investments and investment managers not permitted by statute of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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KTRS has invested in high-risk alternative investments not appropriate for fiduciaries under the common law KRS 386.020.

Many of these alternative investments have not documented in their contracts that they follow investment ethics and disclosure rules as required by KRS 161.430.

KTRS has not publicly supported legislation that requires full disclosure of contracts on alternative investments.

KTRS has refused to provide the contracts of even a few of these high-risk investments in answer to an October open-records request by the plaintiff similar to refusals by the other major Kentucky pension[i] and requests in other states (ibid).

The complaint further contends that the investments made by KTRS are not responsible investments, but at-risk investments that threaten the entire KTRS system.

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I am an author and investigative journalist who has written more than four hundred articles for Truthout, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Daily Censored, Project Censored and more. I received two awards from Project Censored, one in 2010 and one (more...)
 

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