Pension Trustees Raise Questions, Draw Scrutiny Over Lavish Travel Costs

Board members of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. are considering changes to the organization’s education and travel policy. From left, Alan Bernstein, chair; Linda El-Farra, board secretary; and board members Shawn Kehoe, Les Robbins and David Muir are shown in an undated photo. (Credit: Matt Stiles/ Los Angeles Times)

Board members of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. are considering changes to the organization’s education and travel policy. From left, Alan Bernstein, chair; Linda El-Farra, board secretary; and board members Shawn Kehoe, Les Robbins and David Muir are shown in an undated photo. (Credit: Matt Stiles/ Los Angeles Times)

Across the nation, public employee pension funds typically spend significant sums for their trustees to attend conferences and seminars to keep up with the latest investment strategies and trends.

Despite this, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. is an outlier — and drawing increased scrutiny because of it.

The trustees of the massive trust fund, commonly known as LACERA, have taken hundreds of trips across the country and overseas in recent years, excursions that have cost the fund more than $1.3 million since 2015, according to a Times review of internal documents.

The trips — to faraway locales such as Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris, among others — have raised questions internally and externally, and have drawn the attention of the county’s Board of Supervisors.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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