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Lansing – A newly created investment board will oversee Michigan’s public retirement fund system that finances pensions and retirement payments for nearly 600,000 people.

Gov. Rick Snyder created the State of Michigan Investment Board to oversee investments in the state’s $70 billion retirement system. The system funds pensions and retirement payments for about 570,000 retired and current public school employees, state employees, state police employees, judges and military members.

State Treasurer Nick Khouri was previously the sole fiduciary of the investment, with the help of an advisory committee, but he told The Lansing State Journal that such arrangements are increasing a thing of the past.

“This idea of having a single person responsible for the investments has really gone out the window in the last few decades,” Khouri said.

He will be the chair of the new five-member investment board, which also includes the state budget director and three gubernatorial appointees. The executive order that created the board specifies that the unpaid board members will serve four-year terms.

Snyder recently announced that the appointees are: Dina Richard, senior vice president of treasury and chief investment officer for Trinity Health; James Nicholson of Detroit, chairman of PVS Chemicals Inc.; and Reginald Sanders of Portage, director of investments for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

All three were members of the previous investment advisory committee.

Khouri said he doesn’t believe the change will have any short-term impacts on retirees or the fund.

The new structure will make it easier for retirees to keep track of the investment fund, said Mary Pollock, a lobbyist for the Michigan State Employee Retirees Association. The new board must abide by the Open Meetings Act, which requires public boards to operate openly.

The board will meet in public four times a year to make investment decisions, discuss fund performance and set funding goals. The first meeting will be in December.

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