An attorney for Kentucky Teachers Retirement System is denying reports that the pension fund is tied up in Russian banks. However, he’s only denying that the funds are still caught up in these holdings, not that they were previously, nor is he denying that this has resulted in a loss.
A viral thread on Twitter is getting a lot of attention, using data that shows that as of the end of 2021, the pension fund for Kentucky teachers held hundreds of thousands of shares in Sberbank of Russia – the largest bank in the country – amounting to over three-quarters of a million dollars invested.
— Market Sentiment (@mkt_sentiment) March 4, 2022
This is raising obvious questions about how exactly the money in this pension fund is being managed, and who exactly decided to invest in Russian banks. There are even calls for an investigation, especially as the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia result in a loss in value of these bank holdings.
Who is responsible for investing $13 million of the State of Ketucky’s Teachers Retirement fund into a Russian bank that is now virtually insolvent?
This is a massive scandal and must be investigated immediately. https://t.co/IZ0HDP9B4v
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) March 4, 2022
Market Sentiment says they initially sourced their information from a Reddit post, and though that post has been deleted, there is still a lot of interest, with commenters sharing further information and rumors about similar investments in other states.
However, according to the Courier-Journal, Beau Barnes, an attorney for theKentucky Teachers Retirmenet System, has denied one of the salient facts — the claim that the fund currently has money invested in Sberbank — while confirming other information.
In fact, he says, the fund sold those bank shares at some unspecified point late last month, losing over $3 million of its investment, which had originally totalled $15.6 million. He says pension funds remaining in Russian assets are ‘proportionally negligible.’
These investments, he said, are handled not internally, but by international managers.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com