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California Pension Fund Restarts Tobacco Divestment Study

File / Charles Rex Arbogast /AP
 

File / Charles Rex Arbogast /AP

(AP) — The nation's largest public pension system has decided to press ahead with a study of whether to reinvest in tobacco stocks after going back and forth on the issue last month.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System investment committee decided Monday to study its tobacco divestment over the next six to nine months before making a final decision. Last month, the committee decided to study the divestment for 12 to 24 months but backed off two days later.

Financial advisers found CalPERS has lost up to $3 billion since deciding in 2000 to sell off tobacco stocks.

Board members who want to continue the debate say they need to ensure CalPERS is fulfilling its constitutional obligation to maximize investment returns.