US - California attorney general Edmund Brown has put pressure on the two largest California pension funds to "honour the state law" to divest from companies doing business in Iran.
On January 1, 2008, a California law went into effect that required the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System to divest from companies in the defence, nuclear, petroleum and natural gas industries in Iran.
Brown said: "CalPERS and CalSTRS need to honor the state law requiring them to divest from companies doing business in Iran. It's time for our public pension funds to show some leadership and stop supporting companies that do business with a tyrannical regime."
The so-called Iran Act requires the two pension funds to disclose their holdings in these companies in an annual report, and detail their moves to shed those investments.
But Brown said CalPERS' and CalSTRS' reports were lacking in vital information including outlining whether or not their investments in the companies have been reduced or when the pension funds plan to divest. The schemes also didn't summarise investments that were transferred to funds that exclude the Iran-linked holdings or calculate divestment costs, said Brown.
CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said: "We're happy to add to our report."
In a 19-page legislative report dated December 31 and posted on the CalPERS' website about its Iran holdings, officials said they had gone "beyond what is required by the legislation".
CalPERS said: "For example, engagement with companies is carried out at the highest level. CalPERS CIO and senior staff have participated in a series of meetings at Total and Lukoil and further in person meetings are planned with others such as Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell, where we plan to engage jointly with the California State Teachers Retirement System."
Officials at CalSTRS were not immediately reached for comment.
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