Louisiana House of Representatives' retirement committee asked all 13 statewide pension systems to report on their consultants' and money managers' compliance with a law enacted last year requiring full disclosure of conflicts of interests, including non-pension-sponsor sources of revenue.
The committee's hearing on pay-to-play practices Monday was the first time the Legislature has sought a compliance review, state Rep. Matthew "Pete" Schneider, committee chairman, said in an interview. Mr. Schneider, who is also an ex-officio trustee of the 13 systems, said the committee will review the reports at an April 4 meeting and decide whether to take action.
"If through investigation I am able to uncover improper collusion among the investment consultants and money managers, I will seek appropriate sanctions consistent with the gravity of the offense," he said
The committee might conduct forensic audits of the 13 systems, Mr. Schneider said. "Based on the results, we'll decide what if any action is needed. It's difficult to delve into the pay-to-play issue. I was encouraged by the response I've received from the public pension systems in Louisiana, making sure pay to play is not causing the public pension system to receive less than they should in investment return."
The statewide systems include the $11.99 billion Louisiana Teachers' Retirement System, $6.4 billion Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System, $1.4 billion Louisiana School Employees Retirement System, the $306 million Louisiana State Police Retirement System, $138 million Louisiana District Attorneys Retirement System, the $700 million Louisiana Firefighters Retirement System, the $550 million Louisiana Municipal Employees Retirement System, the $1.2 billion Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System, the $1.6 billion Louisiana Parochial Employees' Retirement System and the $1 billion Louisiana Sheriffs Pension and Relief Fund.