By Ben Glickman

Aon will pay more than $1.5 million to settle charges that it misled a client, the Pennsylvania public employees' pension fund, about the reason for a discrepancy in calculations of investment returns.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday it had settled the charges with Aon Investments USA and a former partner at the firm, Claire Shaughnessy.

The SEC alleges Aon provided the Pennsylvania Public Employees' Retirement System quarterly returns in June 2020 which did not match historical returns previously provided for the same period. In response to questions from PPERS, Aon and Shaughnessy did not appropriately investigate the discrepancy and gave reasons that were known to be inaccurate, according to the SEC.

The SEC said that under Pennsylvania law, certain public employees must contribute more to their pensions if the fund does not meet a certain investment return rate. The inaccurate return rate provided by Aon was just above the threshold for triggering additional contributions, the SEC said, while the corrected rate was below the threshold.

Without admitting or denying the SEC's findings, Aon consented to a settled order and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1 million and disgorgement and prejudgement interest of $542,187. Shaughnessy, who also did not admit or deny the findings, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $30,000.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-25-24 1011ET