Amid controversy, MBTA Retirement Fund performing better in 2017

Boston Globe | By Adam Vaccaro | July 21, 2017

Under fire for lackluster performance and secretive practices, officials managing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority pension fund said its investment returns have improved considerably in the last year.

Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, whose members have three of the pension fund’s board seats, released figures this week showing the $1.5 billion pension fund posted a 12.3 percent return over the last 12 months and 4.8 percent over the last three years.

Those figures paint a considerably better picture of the agency’s retirement balances than the one used by the Baker administration, which is pressing the union and pension fund for reforms. By their measure, the pension fund gained 6.2 percent in 2016 and 3.9 percent over the three years that ended last December.

The difference comes down to time periods: state officials are using a calendar-year cycle, while the union’s figures reflect performance from July through June, a fiscal-year calendar.

Carmen’s Union president James O’Brien, who also is a director of the pension fund, accused the Baker administration of using a selective period of poor returns to paint the fund as unstable.

“The volatility changes year to year,” he said. “They are trying to create a crisis here to gain leverage in upcoming pension negotiations next year.”

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    • Edward Parfumorse on November 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

    How will my medicare reimbursement be computed for 2018, in the past it was a set figure, I received information from social security that my 2017 taxes will have a bearing of my medicare reimbursement.
    I have been retired since June 1988.
    My number is 3658.


    • Richard Keane on July 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    A Tuesday, May 30, 2017 Boston Globe Business front page article listed the various pension funds stats. The State pension fund has a unfunded liability of $11 BILLION dollars. The MBTA listed at $941.7 Million dollars.

    How is the State doing better with a $11 BILLION unfunded liability compared to the MBTA? This should be brought to everyone’s attention.

    • jcmbta on July 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I commented before when they said low returns on the investments comment was to be 10% and higher , the next few years , as the people in the stock markets have stated..

    The state pension fund is not funded properly and does have poor returns . also the pols steal that money ..

    IF somehow they make T workers governmental employees not only will your pension be very bad but , you will not receive any social security even if you have another job in which you paid into social security .. basically your screwed .. in this scenario work then die quickly …not a good retirement with little $$$ ..

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