HARRISBURG – Jeffrey Clay, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS), issued the following statement in response to a protest organized by members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU):  

“We’ve been made aware that the Service Employees International Union has been contacting members of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, via an e-mail campaign, in an attempt to persuade PSERS to exert its perceived influence in one of its investments to force a business to organize.  

“The assertions made in this correspondence are misleading and have created confusion and concern among members who have been targeted with the SEIU message. Let me be clear: the SEIU’s assertions are untrue.  

“PSERS’ mission is to prudently invest the Retirement Fund, and towards this end, the PSERS thoroughly evaluates and monitors its investments to ensure the optimal use of the PSERS’ assets. Consistent with its fiduciary duty to its membership, PSERS investments are based exclusively on the best interests of the members of the System, and not on the separate goals or agendas of special interest groups like SEIU.  

“In fact, PSERS’ total fund returns have been very strong during the past decade, ranking first in Wilshire’s public sponsors database in the past 2, 3, and 5 fiscal years, and ranking tenth over the past 10 fiscal years.  The Board’s diligent attention to asset allocation and selection of the professional firms who manage PSERS’ investments are key reasons for this successful track record.  

“We want to assure our members that their money is safe. PSERS invested as one of many limited partners in a partnership that in turn invested in a variety of companies, including Atria Senior Living (Atria), which represents less than two tenths of one percent (.2%) of the value of PSERS’ total assets. The investment is profitable, and pensions are secure.  

“Our members should understand that as participants in a defined benefit pension plan such as PSERS, pensions are not affected by the ups and downs of the markets.  Moreover, pensions are not only pre-funded with real assets, currently in excess of $57 billion, but they are guaranteed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania .”

 View PSERS Fiduciary Responsibility and Special Interest Groups PDF

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