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12/12/2019

PA PSERS BOARD OF TRUSTEES CODIFIES PUBLIC RECORDS PRACTICES IN NEW TRANSPARENCY POLICY

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

December 12, 2019 

For More Information Contact:
Steve Esack
Press Secretary
Public School Employees' Retirement System
Phone: 717-720-4770
e-mail:  stesack@pa.gov

PA PSERS BOARD OF TRUSTEES CODIFIES PUBLIC RECORDS PRACTICES IN NEW  TRANSPARENCY POLICY

HARRISBURG, PA  – The PA Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) Board of Trustees recently approved a transparency policy that codified many of the agency's long-standing methods of disseminating investment records to the public, press and policymakers in accordance with existing state laws, Commonwealth directives and best practices in government finance.

The 5-page Investment Transparency Policy was unanimously adopted at the Board's Dec. 6 public meeting.   It has been posted to the Board Resolutions page on PSERS website.

The policy stresses that PSERS will abide by its legal and fiduciary obligations when using the agency's website and other means to release investment returns and fee data under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law, Sunshine Act, Public School Retirement Code, various other state codes and Institutional Limited Partners Association standards.  The policy also states PSERS has the discretion to publicize voluntarily "additional financial and investment information" that may go beyond the above mentioned laws, rules and standards.

However, the policy also asserts that PSERS has the legal and fiduciary right to protect itself from demands for "additional fee disclosure" that could contain trade secrets and other non-public contractual agreements, which if exposed could hurt investment returns, lead to violations of state and federal statutes, or costly litigation.

The policy also urges policymakers and stakeholders to defend the System against "false comparisons" with other pension funds that may not disclose similar data.

 

About the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System

PSERS, founded in 1917, began operations in 1919 to oversee a statewide defined benefit pension plan for public school employees. PSERS' role expanded upon the passage of Act 5 of 2017 to include oversight of two new hybrid options consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) components and a stand-alone DC plan. PSERS membership covers about 256,000 active and 237,000 retired school employees.