MO Bill Would Give State Auditor More Oversight of Pensions

February 19, 2010 ( – Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would give the state auditor legal authority to monitor state pension systems.

The Associated Press reports that the bill would permit a full audit of any retirement plan created by the state. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Jason Crowell, pointed out to the Senate pensions committee that many other state retirement systems allow the auditor to perform a full audit despite ambiguous language in regulations.

According to the AP, the proposal is in response to a recent court ruling that found the state auditor only has the authority to review internal audits completed by the pension systems. A Cole County Circuit Court judge quashed a subpoena from the auditor to review more documents and interview employees with the state’s Local Government Employee’s Retirement System.

The auditor’s office has appealed the court’s decision.

State Auditor Susan Montee said it doesn’t make sense for her office to only review fiscal audits completed by independent auditors. Officials with other retirement funds in the state spoke in favor of the change, saying they encourage the extra level of accountability, according to the news report.

A Pew Center on the States report released Thursday found that Missouri’s overall pension system is considered healthy (see States Face $1Trillion Retirement Benefits Funding Gap).