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Aguirre Questions Pension Fund Losses

San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre wants the city’s pension plan to reveal how the crisis on Wall Street has affected the city’s pension fund. He says the market downturn bolsters his case that mi

Aguirre Questions Pension Fund Losses

 San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre wants the city’s pension plan to reveal how the crisis on Wall Street has affected the city’s pension fund. He says the market downturn bolsters his case that millions in pension benefits should be rolled back. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Aguirre accuses San Diego’s pension plan, SDCERS, of pursuing risky investment strategies, such as assuming an average return of 8%. He compares the pension fund’s investment strategies to those of companies such as Lehman Brothers and AIG which have imploded this week.

AGUIRRE : We have exactly the same problem in San Diego, the management of the pension plan has failed. 

David Wescoe, SDCERS administrator, says losses in the last year were almost 5% but gains the year before were over 16%

WESCOE:  I don’t think Mike called a press conference when we were up 16 and quarter last year.  

Wescoe says the plan is less volatile than other public pension plans.

He says the portfolio’s exposure to the companies that got into trouble this week is about $38 million  … that’s  less than 1% of the total  $4.5 billion pension fund.

Alison St John, KPBS news.

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