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TEXPERS Applauds Money Managers' Exit From Think Tank Promoting Defined Contribution Plans For Public Sector Employees

HOUSTON, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems ( TEXPERS), which represents 75+ pension systems for police, firefighters and municipal employees across Texas, praised three money managers who parted from an organization for its advocating the abandonment of defined benefit plans.

As reported in the New York Post, Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, Henry Kravis of KKR, and Thomas McWilliams of Court Square have announced that they are, in various ways, reducing their participation with the Manhattan Institute. This New York think-tank recommends "switching most employees from the traditional defined-benefit pension plan to a defined-contribution model."

TEXPERS executive director Max Patterson commented:

"The old adage about your associations providing an indicator about who you are is certainly true. So it is with money managers who belong to organizations pushing the complete abolishment of defined benefit plans in favor of defined contribution plans for public sector employees.

"We appreciate and salute the courage of Mr. Asness, Mr. Kravis, and Mr. McWilliams in recognizing the insincerity of their association with an organization that advocates against the use of a proven system for balancing public employee benefits with city revenues and priorities. In the close-knit financial circles of Wall Street, their actions matter.

"TEXPERS endeavors to notify our member systems about the behavior of money managers in these policy debates and we will be sure to acknowledge the actions taken by these three men. 

"TEXPERS continues to identify reports and studies, including the most recent Federal Reserve report, which throw cold water on the efficacy of DC plans to secure a decent retirement for private sector employees. Why would anyone propose them for public sector employees?"

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