Only on 10: Gina Raimondo fights her critics
Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo said Friday that a recent article on RollingStone.com was clearly a political propaganda piece driven by the critics of pension reform.
The article was written by Matt Taibbi and was titled, "Looting the Pension Funds: How Wall Street Robs Public Workers."
It alleges the controversial pension reform in Rhode Island, enacted by the General Assembly two years ago, cuts benefits to retirees to pay money managers on Wall Street.
She said the alternative investments she's made with pension funds, which amount to about a quarter of the state's $7.6 billion, are safeguarding the retirement of thousands of Rhode Islanders.
"School teachers stop me every day and say, 'Don't give in to the pressure. We need our pensions.' It's not a joke for these people. It's not politics for these people. It's not a joke, it's their retirement, and they deserve honesty, they deserve integrity, they deserve sound investment decisions. I'm not going to make decisions based on politics," she said.
The article claims Raimondo overpays money managers, but she said the fees are well worth the cost. She said the return on the fund after fees was 11 percent in the most recent fiscal year.
It's a result she said she's more than satisfied with.
"If the investment strategy isn't working, then we're going to make changes. If these investment managers don't perform, if they're too expensive, then we're going to get rid of them," Raimondo said.
While she is holding fundraisers, she wouldn't comment on a potential run for governor.