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CFO Sink Pushes for Stronger Pension Fund Oversight at Investment Advisory Council

12/3/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, (850) 413-2842
 
CFO SINK PUSHES FOR STRONGER PENSION FUND OVERSIGHT AT INVESTMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
 
TALLAHASSEE - Florida CFO Alex Sink presented her three proposals to improve the oversight of the state’s pension fund and protect Floridians’ retirement security at a meeting of the Investment Advisory Council (IAC) this morning.  For nearly two years, CFO Sink has recommended reforms to strengthen the transparency, accountability and oversight of the state’s $110 billion public pension fund and other investment funds managed by the State Board of Administration (SBA).
 
“It takes more than three elected officials – none of whom are required to have prior investment experience –  to oversee the $110 billion fund that our police officers, teachers and other state employees depend on for their financial future,” said CFO Sink. “I’ve proposed a more businesslike approach to overseeing the retirement security of almost one million Floridians who depend on our pension fund, and these common-sense reforms shouldn’t wait any longer.”
 
The latest of CFO Sink’s reforms to strengthen and enhance the oversight of the state’s pension fund were presented at a September 2009 Cabinet meeting.  During that meeting, her motions were delayed by the other two members of the SBA Board of Trustees, Governor Crist and Attorney General McCollum.
 
The three specific reforms CFO Sink outlined today at the IAC meeting are as follows:
  • Expansion of the Board of Trustees – Recommending that the Florida Legislature expand the membership of the Board of Trustees to include one or more members with extensive and relative investment experience or knowledge and one or more members who are a beneficiary or participant in the Florida Retirement System.


  • Fiduciary Training – Requiring each trustee and each member of the Audit Committee, Investment Advisory Council and Participant Local Government Advisory Council to undergo annual training in fiduciary responsibilities and associated ethical requirements relevant to their roles.


  • Regular, Independent Audits – Recommending that the Audit Committee develop recommendations for regular, independent external audits of the SBA which will focus on financials, compliance, internal controls, and operations.  A regular audit schedule is standard practice both in the private sector and for public pension funds, and can help ensure a high standard of accountability and oversight.


At the upcoming SBA Quarterly Board Meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, December 8, the trustees will vote on CFO Sink’s latest recommendations to expand the board and provide stronger oversight for Florida’s pension fund.

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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.