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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott, Cabinet will vote on $42,500 raise for state pension chief



Will Christmas come early for the man who runs the Florida Retirement System? Gov. Rick Scott and the three elected Cabinet members will answer that question Tuesday.

Ash Williams, the affable, bespectacled, bowtie-wearing executive director of the State Board of Administration, is up for his annual job review, formally described as a reaffirmation of his status as steward of the nest eggs of more than 300,000 beneficiaries. The four trustees of the pension fund are Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and CFO Jeff Atwater. The third Cabinet member, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, is not a trustee of the pension fund.

Williams, who was recruited from Wall Street to take over the SBA five years ago, earns a base salary of $325,000 a year, the same as when he took the job in October 2008. A management consultant recommended that Williams receive an $85,000 raise to $410,000 a year which is the median salary of the directors of the five largest public pension funds in the U.S. (the others are in California, New York and Texas). The consultant also recommended that Williams be given an incentive bonus plan equivalent to 35 percent of his annual salary, similar to "comparable positions in the market."

What will come before Scott and the Cabinet is a raise for Williams of $42,500, raising his pay to $367,500 a year. Williams manages a $127 billion fund that has shown strong returns over the past year, but the governor has repeatedly expressed concern that the retirement system is funded at 87 percent of its obligations.

[Last modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 4:58pm]


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