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Government & Politics

Democrats Ask for Investigation into Risky Investments By Union Pension Fund Managers

A photo of Sherrod Brown.

Dozens of Democratic Senators and members of Congress are calling for a federal investigation into risky investments made by firms managing a group of union pension funds.

In a letter this week to the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s investigative arm, Sherrod Brown, Marcy Kaptur, Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge and others asked for a review of Wall Street firms that managed the funds.

They’re questioning why fund managers invested in Iraqi banks during the Iraq War, unstable Russian banks, and mortgaged-backed securities during the housing crisis.

Brown says the pensions of 49,000 Ohio Teamsters are at risk.

“We want to know exactly what happened with managers of the fund, how they made their decisions, what they did; we want more information so Congress can move in the right way," says Brown.

"This Congress bailed out the banks, we ought to be dealing with the Teamster Pension Fund Central States sooner rather than later."

Brown also says the Senate should act to shore up the United Mine Workers pensions, which he says can be done without additional allocations.

The Department of Labor last month declined a request by the Central States pension fund to restructure its benefits to remain solvent. The agency said it’s too late to save the fund.