OKC pension fund to receive $12.5M pension protection act funding

Oklahoma City’s Pension Fund has received $12 million in funding from the Oklahoma State Legislature’s pension protection law, The Oklahoma City Star reports.

The pension fund is one of several funds in Oklahoma City that received funding from legislation to protect pensions in recent years, including the $5.8 million it received in September, according to the newspaper.

The $12-million fund, which includes $5 million for the city’s Public Employees Retirement System and $4.5 million to the Oklahoma City Police Pension Fund, has about 1,100 employees.

The fund, formed in 1892, is responsible for collecting pensions for Oklahoma City Public Employees, including teachers, firefighters, police and paramedics, according a news release.

The city has about 13,000 employees, including police, fire and other employees.

A spokesman for Oklahoma State Treasurer Ryan Kiley did not immediately return a request for comment.

The law, which went into effect in September 2017, gives the Pension Fund and its subsidiaries $4 million to $5,000 to protect pension funds from liability for state pension-related investments.

Pension fund officials say they received the $12,000 grant through a federal grant program that helps pension fund members meet their financial obligations, the Tulsa World reported.

“The fund will be able to continue to focus on the essential work of protecting Oklahoma taxpayers from losses in investments that could impact their retirement,” a spokesman for the pension fund told the newspaper in a statement.

“While we will continue to provide assistance in the event that any of our investments go down, we will not be required to fund any additional investments to protect the state’s pension funds,” the statement added.

The Public Employees Union of Oklahoma, which represents Oklahoma City workers, called the fund a “travesty.”

“The Pension Fund should have been working with the City Council and City Commissioners to create an independent and accountable fund for Oklahoma city employees,” said J.M. Johnson, a member of the union.

“They need to be held accountable.”

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said in a press release that the fund is “a critical component of the city budget” and that “we will continue the investment and invest in the future of our pension fund.”

The fund has about $1.3 billion in assets under management, and has a $1 billion surplus.

Oklahoma City’s pension fund received about $10.6 million in federal funding last year, according the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.

The state has more than 2.1 million retirees, according federal data.