To the Editor:
It has recently come to my attention that a large group of people in the commonwealth of Massachusetts is being preyed upon.
SMART Plan for Public Employees is a specialized retirement plan for part-time employees of public institutions. Employees in this category tend to be low-income retirees and other individuals who do not have the capability of working full-time.
The retirement plan specifically forces these low-income individuals to invest in high-fee, low-return investments that are so awful, they do not even keep pace with inflation. This limitation was likely purposeful, so as to channel the retirement funds of the participants into investment vehicles which are highly profitable for the managers of these assets, but worthless to the investors.
Typically some form of corruption is involved, in which the asset managers kick back funds to the government official(s) responsible for establishing the plans. This is a common problem for underrepresented individuals, and can easily be spotted when the investments available to the participants are restricted to those asset classes which give low returns but generate enormous fees.
Since the participants are typically not in unions and have low incomes, they are not even aware they are being fleeced. I hope that the governor’s office and the press can investigate.