Oregon stops public employee retirement investment choices

The decision came after an agency determined that the legislation prompting the move could leave investment managers open to lawsuits if things don't go well.

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 11:03 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Treasury is calling off -- for now -- an effort to give public employees a choice in how a portion of their retirement savings is invested.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the decision came after the agency determined that the legislation prompting the move could leave investment managers open to lawsuits if things don't go well.

Last year, the Oregon Investment Council adopted a new target date investment strategy for members' individual accounts, which are funded by member contributions and provide a separate, supplementary benefit on top of the defined benefit pension program.

The age-based approach automatically reinvests members' individual accounts, gradually adopting a more conservative mix of stock and bond index funds as they near retirement age.

The Public Employee Retirement System and Treasury were able to implement that system at the beginning of this year.

Public employee groups persuaded legislators to give members the ability to choose how their account balances were allocated, so they can customize their investments.

The Treasury put a stop to that effort earlier this month, acting on a provision in the legislation that gave it discretion to pull the plug if it determined that the changes could cause legal or fiduciary problems.

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