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Treasurer: plan for investment firm needs study

Sep 28, 2010 6:10:00 PM - thestate.com
South Carolina's chief financial officer said Tuesday he wants further study on a proposal to create an independent investment company that would manage a portion of the state's finances.

The state commission that oversees public employees' retirement system voted last week to proceed with steps that could put South Carolina's private capital investments under management of a state-owned firm.

Treasurer Converse Chellis said then that he agreed with the idea of saving on fees as a way to boost the state's return on investment and reduce the potential cost of retirees' pensions to taxpayers and employees, though he requested more details.

The unfunded liability of the state's retirement plan is $12 billion over 30 years. An 8 percent rate of return, set by lawmakers, would make that up, but that's a daunting task in the economic downturn.

However, a day before the commission's chief investment officer is set to present the plan to the state Budget and Control Board, Chellis said the proposal lacks details and has sowed too much confusion and unease.

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