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Pension Funds

MassPRIM gets authorization to manage MBTA Retirement Fund

Governor OKs transfer of management, if transit authority asks

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker authorized the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management board to manage the MBTA Retirement Fund's $1.5 billion portfolio, confirmed William Pitman, a spokesman for the governor's office.

This move is part of the state's $39.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2018, which Mr. Baker signed Monday.

The budget provision authorizes Boston-based MassPRIM to manage the retirement fund's assets, but the MBTA fund board would have to elect for it to do so.

The retirement fund board has appointed an internal committee to examine the benefits of MassPRIM managing the portfolio, said retirement fund spokesman Stephen Crawford. Mr. Crawford did not have a time frame for a decision.

Michael H. Mulhern resigned as executive director of the Boston-based MBTA Retirement Fund in August 2016 after the plan was criticized for poor performance and hedge fund losses that it allegedly failed to report on a timely basis.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, declined to comment beyond what was in the budget.

"We would be pleased, if asked to do so, to provide MBTA retirees with the same ... investment management services that we already provide to nearly 100 other Massachusetts state and municipal pension systems," MassPRIM spokesman Eric Convey said in an email.