October 18, 2016
Contact: Richard Loconte, 212-709-1691
Statement by DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo Regarding Pension System Report
Yesterday the Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a report finding that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), managed by the New York State Comptroller as sole trustee, for years has invested pension system funds in high-cost underperforming hedge funds, costing the system $3.8 billion over the last eight years. Contrary to the statement by the Comptroller’s communications director, and despite the fact that DFS, as regulator, had no obligation to inform them, the Comptroller’s office was well aware of this review. In a letter sent on September 9, 2016, DFS raised specific questions about the management and investment allocations of the CRF. None of the information provided to DFS in response to the September letter validates the claims being made now. And putting aside all of the bluster, the Comptroller has not contested, because he cannot contest, the fact that he took 8 years to address these significant issues while pension fund managers nationwide have significantly cut or entirely eliminated their hedge fund investments. Prior to the release of our report, I personally called the Comptroller but he has yet to return my call. DFS stands by its report and will continue to exercise its oversight of the pension systems and maintain its obligation to the public to report on these important issues.