Anthony Isola tells the story of how school districts accidentally let conflicted vendors take over the retirement plans of our nation’s teachers:
The budgetary apocalypses that followed the great recession left many districts without the funds to satisfactorily administer their plans under these new rules. The schools’ hands were tied and many were forced to make a deal with the devil.
CTPAs stepped in to fill the void. In return for “free” compliance services, the districts gave up the store. Many CTPAs implemented “pay to play” boondoggles. The Vendors often pay the compliance fees. Coincidentally, they also end up on “preferred” provider lists after throwing some more pesos into the kitty.
Transparency has become a farce. Good luck trying to figure out the source of many CTPA’s income. This is not disclosed on the plan documents, though it is often the criteria by which investment funds “are vetted by qualified experts.”
There’s nothing hidden or subtle about these conflicts – it’s just that most rank-and-file plan participants don’t have a voice to wake up their colleagues. or even know to look out for this stuff to begin with.
Make sure to head over and read the whole thing, it’s eye-opening stuff.