Former California pension CIO scrutinized for China ties was highest paid state employee: watchdog

Yu Ben Meng served as CIO of CalPERS for less than two years

The former chief investment officer of the nation's largest public pension fund who resigned suddenly in August amid questions about his ties to China was California's highest-paid California state employee in 2019, according to watchdog Transparent California.

Continue Reading Below

Yu Ben Meng served as CIO of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for less than two years. He received approximately $1.5 million in pay and $215,000 in benefits in 2019 according to Transparent California's database.

HOUSE POISED TO CUT ROGUE CHINESE FIRMS OFF FROM AMERICAN INVESTORS

California's second-highest compensated public employee was Christopher Ailman, CIO of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, who earned roughly $1 million in total pay according to Transparent California.

Signage stands outside the offices of the California Public Employees' Retirement System in Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 13, 2010. Inset: Ben Meng. (Ken James/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

CalPERS and Meng had been under pressure from Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., about ties to China since earlier this year.

"Not only did CalPERS increase its investments in Chinese Communist Party affiliated companies while Yu Ben Meng was at the helm, we have now learned he was personally invested in companies with ties to the Chinese Communist Party," Banks previously told FOX Business in a statement.

After Meng's resignation, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission said in August it would investigate allegations involving Meng.

Meng's resignation came after a post from the financial blog Naked Capitalism claiming he committed a felony by filing "demonstrably false financial disclosure documents."

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Meng left "to focus on my health and on my family and move on to the next chapter in my life," he said in a statement in August.

Meng started at CalPERS in 2008 but left, eventually becoming deputy CIO of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

CalPERS declined to comment to FOX Business.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS