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CFO Sink Continues Push for Real Pension Fund Reform

12/8/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, 850-413-2842

CFO SINK CONTINUES PUSH FOR REAL PENSION FUND REFORM

TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO Alex Sink’s proposal to improve the oversight of the state’s pension fund and protect Floridians’ retirement security was blocked today during a meeting of the State Board of Administration (SBA).  Governor Crist and Attorney General McCollum refused to vote for recommending that the Legislature change the membership of the Board to strengthen oversight of the state’s $110 billion pension fund and other investment funds. 

“It takes more than three elected officials – none of whom are required to have investment experience –  to oversee the $110 billion fund that our teachers, firefighters, and police officers depend on for a secure retirement,” said CFO Sink. “The status-quo shouldn’t be good enough when it comes to overseeing the fourth largest pension fund in the country.”

CFO Sink noted her 26 years of business experience and the recent governance study when advocating for reforming the oversight structure of the fund almost one million Floridians depend on for a secure retirement.  CFO Sink will move forward with members of the Florida Legislature on a bill for the spring session that will change the makeup of the board that oversees the state’s pension fund and other investments managed by the SBA.  She is recommending the changed board include at least one member with extensive and relative investment experience and at least one member who is a beneficiary or participant in the Florida Retirement System.

CFO Sink’s other reforms that were tabled at a September 2009 SBA meeting, including requirements for fiduciary training, and instituting regular, independent audits, received a positive outcome today.  The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to institute a schedule for independent audits and they will be reviewing proposals for fiduciary training.

In March 2008, CFO Sink presented her ten point plan designed to toughen the SBA’s financial safeguards, increase transparency in SBA communications and strengthen board oversight, which included recommendations such as Board of Trustee expansion. 

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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.