Less than one-half of the "very substantial" private equity costs to public pension funds are being disclosed, according to new data from CEM Benchmarking.

The consultancy, which benchmarks and runs cost comparisons to 350 public and corporate pension funds, published its report in light of the work it did for South Carolina's retirement pension fund in 2013, when the state's investment commission retained the firm to see how much investment managers where charging the plan relative to other pensions.

What CEM found then caught the attention of many, and made South Carolina exhibit A in the mounting debate over the high fees pension plans are paying to alternative investment managers.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.