Labor Leaders to Join State Legislators in Calling for Reform of the Martin Act

Pension Funds Must Have a Process to Recover Losses Stemming from Wall Street Fraud

ALBANY, NY (03/12/2012)(readMedia)-- As the debate over Tier 6 rages on, the one issue that seems overlooked is the misdeeds on Wall St. that caused billions in pension fund losses. Had these losses not occurred, local governments would not be experiencing short-term increases in employer costs, and misguided calls for drastic pension cuts would not be occurring. Under current law, pension funds are unable to effectively recover losses and damages from securities fraud. Amending the Martin Act to allow the Attorney General to sue on behalf of the public funds will ensure that injured pension funds and the workers that rely on them have recourse.


Labor leaders including NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento, PEF President Ken Brynien, CSEA President Danny Donohue, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, and NYSUT Vice President Andrew Pallotta join with Assemblymembers Peter Abbate, Rory Lancman, Joseph Lentol and Helene Weinstein.


A press conference will be held to call for reforms to the state’s Martin Act to allow the Attorney General to sue on behalf of public pension funds for pension losses due to securities fraud. Currently, the Martin Act gives the State Attorney General broad powers to prosecute fraudulent securities practices, but injured pension funds have no practical means to recover losses. New York’s public pension funds lost $100 billion collectively from 2007-2009 during the economic collapse that was spurred by Wall St. fraud. Shockingly, no public official has standing to recover losses for the public pension funds, which now have a combined $250 billion in assets. This legislation will help ensure that the public pension funds can recoup damages and alleviate state and local government pension costs. It is an important first step in providing pension funds and their members, retirees, and beneficiaries with justice. This concept is rooted in ongoing efforts supported by the labor movement to allow public and private pension funds to sue Wall St. firms for pension losses.

WHEN: Tuesday March 13, 2012 at 10:00AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
WHERE: LCA Press Room - Room 130
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York