R.I. Treasurer to Increase Pension Transparency

Rhode Island will now disclose fees it pays to investment managers, according to news reports.

Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced a proposal to increase transparency at the state’s pension fund.

The International Business Times reports that, under the proposal, Rhode Island will disclose the full range of fees and expenses it pays to investment managers and will fully disclose those managers’ performance. The proposal would not only mandate full disclosure of fees, expenses and fund-level performance, but also liquidity restrictions fund managers place on investors wanting to redeem their funds.

“It really comes down to a basic principle,” said Magaziner, according to the news report. “When you’re managing public funds, the public has the right to know.”

Large public funds such as New York City’s and California’s have been disclosing financial and performance information for several years now, but most public pensions do not go that far. After a push by lawmakers in 2011 to increase public pension transparency, organizations testifying before a U.S. House panel said such disclosures would paint a misleading picture of public finance, impose costly measures and threaten the current tax-exempt status of state and local government bonds. Still, some say more transparency is needed.