Officials at five public pension plan groups took issue with a report that linked public funds with investments in terrorism activities. The Center for Security Policy report, "Terrorism Investments of the 50 States," was based on data that presents "a distorted and misleading picture of states and their pension funds," according to a letter from the groups to Frank J. Gaffney Jr., the center's president. The letter also criticized the "faulty premise and inflammatory title of the report."
The letter is signed by Ed Hennessee, president of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators; John J. Radford, president, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers; Robert D. Podgorny, president, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems; John Hurson, president, National Conference of State Legislatures; and George M. Philip, president, National Council on Teacher Retirement.
According to a joint statement by the pension-related groups, the report is "large on hype, but does little to actually link investments to terrorist activities or provide assistance to investors trying to ensure they are not doing so."
The report, issued Aug. 12, states it "proves empirically that this nation's largest and most prominent public pension systems tend to be heavily invested in global publicly traded companies that have business activities in terrorist-sponsoring states." The funds invest over $1 trillion in stock alone, the report added.