Too often, public pension investments are opaque and confusing to the public. A review of public pension websites nationally reveals that it is often very difficult for the public to access basic information on how pension investments are performing, which fund managers public funds are invested in, and what fees and expenses are being paid out of the system. Sometimes such disclosure is prohibited by the contracts between pension systems and the fund managers they employ. The public has a right to know how their funds are being managed, and stronger scrutiny of public investments will fuel an informed public dialogue on how performance can be improved.
Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner launched the “Transparent Treasury” initiative, combining tough new disclosure standards for fund managers with a new online portal, making key investment information easy for all to access. Transparent Treasury is a commitment to publicly disclose investment allocations, performance, fees and expenses in aggregate and individually for every fund manager that the state pension system invests in. Going forward, Rhode Island will only invest with fund managers that agree to publicly disclose performance quarterly, and fees and expenses annually.