Illinois, Kentucky Pension Funds Benefit From $17 Billion Bank of America Settlement

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A handful of pension funds will be receiving large chunks of change after Bank of America agreed today to pay $17 billion to end a Justice Department probe into the bank’s sale of toxic mortgage securities.

The Justice Department alleged that Bank of America violated federal law when it marketed and sold investment vehicles tied to shoddy home loans and misled investors about the quality of the investments.

Many pension funds were major investors in such investment vehicles and sustained major losses on those investments during the financial crisis.

But some funds will be getting a chunk of that money back, including numerous Illinois funds and the Kentucky Retirement System. From Red Eye Chicago:

For Illinois, the $16.65 billion national settlement means a cash payment of $200 million for the state’s pension system, making it whole for losses sustained as a result of the risky investments.

The Illinois pension entities that will receive the payments under Thursday’s deal are the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System and the Illinois State Board of Investment, which oversees pension plans for state employees, the General Assembly and judges.

Kentucky’s payout is substantially smaller than that of Illinois, but the KRS will still see some relief. From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Kentucky Retirement Systems will get $23 million from Bank of America’s $16.65 billion national settlement with the federal government over accusations that the bank improperly dumped “toxic” mortgage-backed securities on the market, helping fuel the economic recession of 2008.

This isn’t the first major settlement stemming from toxic investments that have benefited pension funds. Earlier this year, CalPERS and CalSTRS received over $100 million combined when CitiGroup agreed to a $7 billion settlement.

Illinois was a beneficiary of the CitiGroup settlement as well, as three Illinois funds received a combined $45 million as reparations for their investment losses.

 

Photo by Mike Mozart via Flickr CC License

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