Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System, Harrisburg, selected law firm Womble Bond Dickinson to conduct a special investigation over an error reported in the $64.2 billion pension fund's investment performance figures, confirmed Evelyn Williams, a spokeswoman for the plan.
In addition, PennPSERS chose law firm Morgan Lewis to serve as special counsel to assist the board in assessing any federal tax qualification issues involved with the shared risk calculation, and to advise on how to recertify the member shared risk contribution rate.
Ms. Williams declined to comment further.
PennPSERS announced earlier this month that the board had discovered an error in its reported investment performance figures. On Dec. 3, PennPSERS announced it had accepted results of an actuarial valuation report prepared by Buck Consultants. Per the report, PennPSERS posted a net return of 1.11% for the fiscal year ended June 30, and a net annualized return of 6.38% for the nine years ended June 30, as calculated by Aon, the pension fund's investment consultant.
Following the report, PennPSERS announced that it had increased its annual employer contribution rate to 34.94% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, up from the current rate of 34.51%.
A Buck spokesman said in an emailed statement that "Buck's work does not include calculating investment return statistics, which are provided by a third party employed by (PennPSERS). If a third-party error has occurred, it may be necessary for us to revise our reporting accordingly."
An Aon spokeswoman declined to comment.