Retired Illinois teachers: Do you know who controls your pensions funds?

Most likely you don’t. In which case you should find this, from Corruption Busters, interesting:

What is the Illinois Teachers Retirement System hiding?

The Illinois legislature is working on pension reform while investor monies are walking out the back door into the pockets of politically connected folks who wired deals to obtain pension funds!

Last month, Corruption Busters requested a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for details on who was handling those funds.

Our July 2, 2013 FOIA request states “In accordance with FOIA, please provide in electronic PDF file format documentation related to contracts between TRS and Hopewell Ventures (David Wilhelm) and Healthpoint Capital Partners (initiated by convicted felon, Joe Cari) for private investment management of TRS funds.

Astonishingly, the Illinois Teachers Retirement System denied the request for the information:

The response from TRS dated Aug. 8, 2013 to Ms. West explains that the investment contracts and terms related to termination and management fees were DENIED under Illinois FOIA section 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(g) as proprietary trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information.

The denial further states that there would be “Harm to TRS Members and Beneficiaries. If the records in question are disclosed to FOIA requesters, the chilling effect on the TRS investment program will negatively impact TRS’ ability to invest trust assets pursuant to the fiduciary duties imposed by Article 1 of the Illinois Pension Code, and the exclusive benefit rule of Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

This is unvarnished crapola. As Corruption Busters concludes:

“Why would a prudent person place any pension monies with private investors who have consistently racked up millions of dollars of losses and taken management fees that have diminished the value of the investments?”

Why, indeed?

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  • I assume it's controlled by Mike Madigan (shivers of fear) even though there is supposed to be a board. I can't think about it or I won't sleep at night, for real. I put my husband in charge of worrying about it.

  • fb_avatar

    This article talks about a fact most of us in Illinois don't know.
    "Astonishingly, the Illinois Teachers Retirement System denied the request for the information" via the Freedom of Information Act FOIA.
    Another example is, the contract negotiated in Feb 2013 between Govener Quinn and the 38000 illininois public union workers beloinging to the AFSCME, nobody excepth the union negotiators know what is in the contract.

    Page 68 in attached report talks about the same fact regarding ---- illinois public unions do not have to comply with FOIA ---- and Many other interesting details too.

  • fb_avatar

    Interesting article, I am not sure what the TRS meant by " a chilling effect" ......,,,,, perhaps if we knew the truth ?
    Below is a link to a spreadsheet that shows from 1981 until 2012, how much money the teachers contributed to thier pension fund, how much the state of illinois contributed to their TRS pension fund, and how much money was made or lost each year by the "public-union-managers" of that TRS pension fund.

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