NCPERS’ Hank Kim: Blade Gets Pension Coverage Wrong
The Nov. 20 editorial “Unmuzzle Pension Boards” is the latest in a recent series of baseless attacks against STRS Ohio that should give readers pause.
The pension fund's one-voice policy is portrayed as a malicious strategy to “muzzle” members. In reality, it is a standard policy shared by thousands of other boards. In John Carver's book, Boards That Make a Difference, he says that these policies are not designed to drown out an individual's voice but rather to enable the board's authority in its decisions. These practices can also help avoid misinformation in the media, something The Blade manages to achieve despite these policies.
Perhaps The Blade hopes the state audit will yield damning revelations. The recent one-sided coverage has conveniently failed to highlight the latest fiduciary performance audit that concluded STRS Ohio's “investment operations demonstrate excellence” and that the pension fund's investment performance is in the top quartile compared to peers.
I do not doubt the state audit will echo this. I hope The Blade provides fair coverage of the findings, even though it will likely be a much less interesting story than they've portrayed thus far.
Hank Kim is the executive director and general counsel of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems.