Outside Legal Expenses Strain Budget of Arizona Pension


Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System [PSPRS] was scolded in 2014 for racking up over a million dollars in outside legal bills related to investment advice and administration issues.

But the spending has continued into 2015, and now the legal bills are expected to push the system 10 percent over its budget for this fiscal year.

More from the Arizona Republic:

The state Public Safety Personnel Retirement System is projected to exceed its budget by at least $1 million because of unexpected expenses for outside legal advice.


The fund was told last fall to reduce its legal tab after its large outside legal fees caught the attention of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

However, spending on outside counsel has continued under acting Administrator Jared Smout, and the trust is projected to be at least $1 million over budget with four months left in the fiscal year.


The trust runs on an $11.2 million annual budget that pays for personnel, operating expenses and outside consultants such as private attorneys. Legal bills are paid from various accounts.

The $1 million in excess legal fees means the trust is projected to exceed its budget by nearly 10 percent.

Christian Palmer, a fund spokesman, said most of the additional legal expenses stem from hiring outside attorneys who specialize in investment advice. Records show 70 percent of the additional legal costs arose from investment issues, while 30 percent involved administrative issues.

“It’s a good problem to have. We had older investments that came to realization,” Palmer said. “As older investments have realized a return, we had to find new investments. You have to bring in a due-diligence process.”

PSPRS manages over $8 billion in assets.


Photo credit: “Entering Arizona on I-10 Westbound” by Wing-Chi Poon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Entering_Arizona_on_I-10_Westbound.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Entering_Arizona_on_I-10_Westbound.jpg

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