Newly hired managers for part of New York City's pension funds might be fired if they criticize workers' benefits, according to a trustee of the police retirement fund.
Joseph Alejandro said he proposed that the fund's board be able to dismiss future managers who disparage a public pension, “its beneficiaries or any trustees or employees.” The Fire Department Pension Fund and the Employees' Retirement System also are considering the provision, he said. Byron Wien, Blackstone Group's chief strategist, strained relations with New York unions last year when he said benefits are “too generous.”
“The intent isn't to chill analysts who provide legitimate information,” Mr. Alejandro said in an interview Monday. “We are trying to prevent money managers from taking positions that are essentially opinions based on political viewpoints.”
The proposal is being reviewed by the New York City comptroller's office, which oversees the pension funds, said Mr. Alejandro, treasurer of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. Michael Loughran, a spokesman for Comptroller John Liu, declined to comment.
Harry Nespoli, chairman of the Municipal Labor Committee, didn't return a message left with his office. Al O'Leary, a spokesman for police union President Pat Lynch, and Tom Butler, a spokesman for Steve Cassidy, firefighters union president, said officials weren't immediately available for comment.
“There have been no such discussions” with trustees of the United Federation of Teachers, said Richard Riley, a spokesman for the union's president, Michael Mulgrew. A telephone call to the office of the Board of Education Retirement System wasn't answered.
The city's five pension funds had $108.6 billion of assets at the end of November, according to the comptroller's office.
Blackstone has been trying to mend relations with the pension funds since Mr. Wien's comments. Its president, Tony James, met in May with representatives from one of the five plans that have $750 million committed to the firm. He also sent a letter addressing Mr. Wien's remarks to the head of the New York City Employees' Retirement System. Blackstone's spokesman, Peter Rose, declined to comment.