Louisiana AG Examining State Police Pension Fund

March 25, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Louisiana's attorney general Charles Foti is looking into investments and expenditures in the state's Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System (MPERS) for possibly illicit transactions.

Specifically, investigators will look at investment strategies and returns to ensure the system is following state and federal law.   The investigation came after Clinton, Louisiana Police Chief Eddie Stewart sent a letter to Foti requesting an inquiry, according to an Associated Press report.

MPERS came under scrutiny after recently losing $200 million in the stock market and constructing a new headquarters that is only half full.   In addition, reports have surfaced that pension fund took trips at pension-fund expense and spent millions of dollars on golf courses that continue to lose money.   At the same time, mandated pension contributions by municipalities have more than doubled in two years and retired police veterans living on MPERS pensions will not get cost-of-living increases or interest on their deferred retirement accounts.

Trustees though say they have nothing to hide and MPERS board have even extended invitations to federal and state authorities to examine the investments held by the fund.

The pension fund has $1 billion in assets to cover 9,500 full-time police officers in more than 150Louisiana police departments.   At the same time MPERS currently has a $379 million unfunded liability.