Treasurer McCord Opposes Pay Raise for SERS Official

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- State Treasurer Rob McCord today voted against a salary increase for the chief investment officer of the State Employees Retirement System (SERS), saying that it was unjustified based on his length of service and the state's current pension problems.

The SERS board, at its regularly scheduled meeting today, awarded CIO Anthony Clark a $20,001 increase, from $250,016 to $270,017. McCord is a member of the board in his official capacity as Treasurer.

"At a time when the state is struggling to find a way to meet its future obligations to retirees, this is a bad decision on both a symbolic and a financial level," McCord said.

Clark has been in his position for less than 22 months. In that time, he has advocated for a strategy that Treasurer McCord has often criticized as "fee-heavy and lacking in transparency."

The state currently has an unfunded pension liability of more than $40 billion. The legislature and the Corbett administration have been considering solutions to the problem and may consider large proposals in the next few months.

"Although $20,000 might not seem like a big part of a multi-billion dollar potential pension deficit, there is discussion now in the Capitol of scaling back the benefits for state employees. It sends the wrong signal when the SERS board decides to be part of the problem instead of the solution, even in a small way," McCord said.

"Until I see more progress in reducing the amount of fees being paid to asset managers and the overuse of fund-of-fund managers, I cannot support an increase in the salary that we pay our CIO," McCord said.

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Source: Pennsylvania Treasury