Former State Treasurer Burnham is correct – pensions should avoid politics

The former Connecticut state treasurer, Christopher Burnham, wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on Sunday titled “Pensions should avoid politics and invest for the benefit of our workers.” Burnham described his views on the growing activist calls to divestment pension funds from certain industries. During his tenure as Connecticut’s state treasurer, Burnham was the sole fiduciary of the then $16 billion pension system. Later, Burnham served as the general of the United Nations as the sole fiduciary of the then $42 billion pension system.

Under Burnham’s leadership, he fast-tracked Connecticut’s pension system to top 25 percent in the nation after inheriting the worst performing state pension system in the country in only six months. Burnham points this success to ridding the politics from the office and focusing solely on his fiduciary responsibility to the pensioners.

Upon taking control of the state treasury, Burnham hired an almost entirely new staff and indexed 75 percent fund to broaden industry exposure. Throughout his entire term, Burnham refused to waiver from his fiduciary responsibility the retired state employees. More leaders should follow Burnham’s leadership and protect our pensions from politicization.

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