SEANC likes commission's recommendation on pension-management changes

The State Employees Association of North Carolina, a vitriolic critic of state Treasurer Janet Cowell, likes what it sees so far from a bipartisan commission she appointed.

That commission, the Investment Fiduciary Governance Commission, agreed this week to recommend that the treasurer share final investment authority over the state’s $87 billion pension fund with a board of trustees. Currently, the commissioner has sole authority on investment decisions.

SEANC has been pushing for such a change.

“This is a great first step in the right direction,” SEANC said in a statement issued Friday.

“As always,” the statement continued, “the devil is in the details and our members will continue to press for a retirement board that makes its records open and its fees transparent to the employees who fund the system and the public. We want to put the public back in the N.C. public pension.”

The next step is up to Cowell. She is reviewing the commission’s recommendation, as well as a minority report that suggests tweaking the current system rather than overhauling it, before sending her own proposal along to the legislature.