Bad math: Pa.’s biggest pension fund was warned but inflated investment returns anyway



The board of Pennsylvania’s biggest pension fund adopted an inflated number for its investment performance even after the state treasurer raised skeptical questions about the calculation last summer, newly obtained documents show.

That decision by the PSERS board has emerged as a costly and disruptive mistake, raising the possibility that the $64 billion pension fund for teachers may soon have to hike their payments to support the mammoth but underfunded plan. The panel is to meet Monday to consider doing that.

In his August 2020 letter, then-Treasurer Joe Torsella raised doubts about a decision by the fund’s professional staff to go back almost a decade to revise — and improve — figures for past investment performance.

Author(s): Joseph DiStefano

Publication Date: 18 April 2021

Publication Site: Philadelphia Inquirer