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Pension Systems' Fees Are Higher Than Reported, Panel Told

Mel Evans
Joe Torsella, Pennsylvania's state treasurer, speaks during a campaign rally in 2016.

A finance professor says Pennsylvania's two large public pension systems are paying significantly higher private equity fees than they report and are denying access to documents that would reveal a true figure.

Professor Ludovic Phalippou of the University of Oxford delivered that testimony to a panel created by a 2017 state law to recommend ways to lower those fees.

Phalippou says the systems reported paying $2.2 billion over the last 10 years. He estimates they actually paid $6 billion, but says the systems aren't divulging documents that would help him compute a more accurate number.

The underfunded pension systems have been under fire by state officials to reduce fees. Gov. Tom Wolf and Treasurer Joe Torsella last year estimated that the two funds paid nearly $600 million the previous year.

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