Pittsburgh pension board delays vote on divestment in guns, gas and private prisons | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh pension board delays vote on divestment in guns, gas and private prisons

Bob Bauder
Pittsburgh skyline. Pittsburgh’s pension board delayed a vote Thursday on Mayor Bill Peduto’s request for divestiture in companies dealing in fossil fuels, firearms and for-profit prisons.

A board overseeing Pittsburgh’s pension plans delayed a vote Thursday on Mayor Bill Peduto’s request to pull investments from companies dealing in fossil fuels, firearms and for-profit prisons

Peduto was unable to attend the meeting and members of Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Municipal Trust Fund board said they wanted to hear the mayor’s proposal before voting on it.

Peduto in June penned a letter to the board requesting a pull out from the three economic sectors. Market experts say the strategy could weaken the funds and result in lower annual returns. Administration officials have said they believe the city can develop a divestment strategy that would not harm the funds.

The board is expected to discuss the request again during its next quarterly in December.

Pittsburgh has struggled for years with underfunded employee pension funds and narrowly avoided a state takeover in 2010 by by dedicating $735 million in parking tax revenue over 30 years to the funds.

Pittsburgh at the time had about 30 percent of funding needed to cover about $1 billion in pension payments for future and retired police officers, firefighters and municipal employees. The Peduto administration has increased annual pension funding since the mayor took office in 2013.

As of June the city had about 60.6 percent of cash necessary to cover $1.3 billion in pension liabilities, according to the pension board. The invested portfolio totaled $788.4 million on June 30 and earned a return of about 6 percent over the previous 12 months. The portfolio so far this year was earning 12.4 percent.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.