Teamsters Bring in Pension Consultants

November 12, 2002 ( - Faced with the continuing bear market that is eating away at the assets of the Central States Pension Fund, the Teamsters Union has hired two consultants to evaluate the fund's investments and its current actuarial position.

According to a Teamsters’ news media release, the union has hired Independent Fiduciary Services and Watson Wyatt Worldwide to conduct the pension study.

Long suspected of being the victim of widespread union mismanagement and corruption, the pension fund continues to operate under the supervision of a federal judge and of the US Department of Labor (DoL) as a result of a 20-year-old consent decree.

Under the decree, the union doesn’t manage or invest fund assets. Currently performing those functions are the fund’s named fiduciaries, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. The court and the DoL name the fiduciaries.

Adding to the fund’s problem, according to the union press release, is the fact that the number of retirees drawing benefits significantly outnumbers the active participants for whom contributions are being made.

This makes investment returns particularly critical and means that the current bear market has hit the Teamsters fund particularly hard, the union said.