Trustees of the New Jersey Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund, Trenton, are asking a state judge to relieve them of fiduciary responsibility for the $17 billion-plus fund if they are unable to hire outside lawyers to settle a dispute with Gov. Christine Todd Whitman's administration.
The request comes as part of an ongoing dispute over 1994 changes in the law that allowed the state to cut its contributions to public pension funds.
The trustees say they need outside lawyers because the attorney general, who would take their case, also is the top lawyer for Ms. Whitman's administration. If Mercer County Superior Court Judge Philip S. Carchman denies the request, trustees want to be off the hook for the fund's financial well-being.
Fidelity Investments cut expense ratios on two S&P 500 equity index funds effective April 18, leveling the price difference between its retail and institutional index funds. The expense ratio for the mainly retail Spartan Market Index Fund was cut 58% to 19 basis points from 45. The expense ratio on the mostly institutional Spartan U.S. Equity Index Portfolio was lowered 32% to 19 basis points from 28. The new rates are guaranteed through Dec. 31, 1999.
MFS Institutional Advisors created a core equity separate account investment style for institutional investors.
The style had been offered by MFS only through retail mutual funds. MFS also will provide synthetic GIC management to institutional investors through a series of new partnerships with wrap program providers AIG, Barclays Global, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, NatWest, Providian and Pacific Mutual.
Two Argentine fund administrators have merged. Maxima S.A. AFJP bought Patrimonio AFJP for $136 million, said Hector Gonzalez Gale, managing consultant in the Buenos Aires office of Watson Wyatt Worldwide. At the end of February, Maxima managed 975 million pesos ($975 million) of Argenine pension assets; Patrimonio's share was about 92 million pesos, said Mr. Gonzales Gale.
Faith in Social Security weighs heavily in the retirement planning of the under-40 set. Eighty-one percent of investors younger than 40 who expect to get only some or no Social Security benefits have 401(k) accounts, a PaineWebber/Gallup survey found. Among investors of the same age who expect to get all or most of the Social Security benefits to which they are entitled, about 59% have 401(k) accounts. About 23% of the first group have tax-deferred annuities, compared with 6% of the second group.