Republican comptroller candidate Harry Wilson is taking an opposing view of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s announcement earlier this week that the state pension fund grew by nearly 26 percent in the past fiscal year.
Wilson, who won the GOP nomination unanimously on Tuesday, said the $133 billion fund is actually down for the past three years, after a 26.3 percent drop in the 2008-09 fiscal year. Wilson said DiNapoli has estimated an 8 percent return in the fund each year, but the fund has fallen short of those projections by $40 billion.
“DiNapoli is digging a hole not for himself, but for the State of New York and all of us taxpayers who are on the hook to bail out our pension fund when it can no longer afford to cover promised benefits to its more than one million retirees and beneficiaries,” Wilson said in a press release.
The fund’s losses has coincided with the declines on Wall Street in recent years, but benefited from the recent uptick in the stock market.
Wilson charged that DiNapoli has assumed more risk in the state’s portfolio “than is prudent.”
There was no immediate response from DiNapoli’s campaign.
Updated: DiNapoli spokesman Dennis Tompkins said the rate of return for the fund is set by an actuary and that the fund is often cited as one of the best managed in the country. In fact, a recent Pew Center report found New York’s fund is one of the most well run in the country.
“Anybody who says otherwise doesn’t understand how the pension fund works,” said Tompkins.