COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina retirees say they have a right to know how a settlement between the state treasurer's office and the Bank of New York affects the trust fund that pays their pensions.

State attorneys briefed the commission overseeing the state's pension portfolio Thursday, but only on the condition that three representatives of the State Retirees Association and a reporter for The Associated Press leave the room.

"Under what law are we not able to attend this meeting?" asked Sam Griswold, the association's former president. "You do realize you're talking about our money? It's held in trust for us."

The treasurer's office sued the bank in January 2011, accusing it of losing $200 million in retirees' money through bad investments that violated its contract. Under the settlement that took effect this month, the global investments company agreed to put $25 million in South Carolina's accounts, with $20 million designated for the retirees' $27 billion fund.

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