June 2018 Board Meeting Summary
The Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS/PEERS) Board of Trustees met for a Board education retreat June 11, 2018. The retreat included educational sessions with internal staff and external parties in compliance with Missouri statute section 105.666, RSMo.
The Budget and Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees convened June 12, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, 3 Branson Landing, Branson, MO, with the regular session of the Board of Trustees meeting following at 10:15 a.m. In attendance were Board members Aaron Zalis, Jason Hoffman, Chuck Bryant, Yvonne Heath, Scott Hunt, Beth Knes and Jason Steliga. Also present were PSRS/PEERS Executive Director, M. Steve Yoakum; Assistant Executive Director, Investments, Craig Husting; Assistant Executive Director, Operations, Dearld Snider; General Counsel, Alan Thompson; Chief Financial Officer, Anita Brand; Director of Member Services, Sarah Swoboda; Director of Employer Services, Omar Davis; Director of Legislation and Policy, Maria Walden; Internal Auditor, Jeff Hyman; Chief Technology Officer, Bill Betts; Director of Administrative Planning and Design, Nicole Hamler; and various other PSRS/PEERS staff members.
Budget and Audit Committee
The open session minutes from the April 9, 2018 meeting were approved by unanimous vote.
Ms. Anita Brand reviewed a memo regarding a banking resolution. The resolution provides continuing authority to Mr. Steve Yoakum, Mr. Dearld Snider and Mr. Craig Husting to make necessary changes related to our banking relationship with Central Bank. The banking resolution authorizes appropriate individuals to execute documents with the bank without additional approval by the Board of Trustees. The resolution automatically expires each June 30 or when a new resolution is received by Central Bank. The Budget and Audit Committee approved the resolution by unanimous vote.
Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Amendment
Ms. Anita Brand discussed a proposed budget amendment related to legal fees for the investment department. The proposal included an increase of $500,000 to the investment department legal fee budget. The increase in legal fees is due to an increase in private asset investment opportunities and contract negotiations during the fiscal year. The Budget and Audit Committee approved the budget amendment by unanimous vote.
Discussion and Approval of the 2018-2019 Budget
Ms. Anita Brand reviewed the 2018-2019 proposed budget request. Ms. Brand provided information regarding the processes utilized to develop the budget. The budget was compiled based on the Systems' mission of providing retirement security to Missouri's educators and public school employees in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. Ms. Brand provided the following budget highlights and provided detailed discussion on significant changes from the prior year.
The total request has increased by 3.5% from the fiscal year 2018 adjusted budget. The overall increase is driven by an expected 3.2% increase in benefit payments to members. The investment expenses are comprised of investment fees and investment administrative expenses. Budgeted investment fees increased by 7.4% compared to the prior year. This is a result of increased market values from strong one-year returns, additional funding of active management and continued funding of private risk assets. Investment fees are aggressively negotiated when the Investment Management Contract is executed and continuously monitored for possible revision. Investment fees are paid and budgeted in accordance with current legal contracts. Actual expenses will be directly dependent on the market environment. The budget request includes a 5.9% increase in investment administrative expenses. The increase is attributed to the addition of an investment officer, increased due diligence expenses and a merit compensation pool for staff. Investment returns are reported net of investment fees and investment administrative expenses.
The total administrative budget is made up of the capital asset budget (items over $10,000 that are capitalized) and the administrative budget. The budget for these two areas has increased by 6.7% compared to the fiscal year 2018 budget. The increase is attributed to the implementation of a new financial and human resource system and a merit compensation pool for staff. The merit compensation pools for investment and administrative staff are in accordance with the Board of Trustees' Compensation Strategy and the April 2018 Compensation and Budget Discussion presented to the Board of Trustees.
The fiscal year 2019 budget request does not include a request for building improvements. However, the Systems continue to evaluate the replacement of the HVAC systems and other aging infrastructure needs.
The Budget and Audit Committee approved the budget as presented by staff by unanimous vote.
Strategic Planning Discussion
Mr. Dearld Snider provided an update on the strategic planning project which began in April. The management team spent a day in May to explore the mission statement, plan goals, and participate in multiple exercises focused on the creation of the strategic plan. Each board member will also be asked to provide feedback during the weeks ahead.
Mr. Snider provided a perspective by looking at the past, present and future growth of the systems. In 1994, when Mr. Yoakum became executive director, PSRS/PEERS had 39 employees to manage $10 billion in assets and pay monthly benefits to 31,027 retirees and beneficiaries. As of June 30, 2017, PSRS/PEERS employed 135 employees overseeing $41.7 billion in assets and paying 91,654 retirees and beneficiaries. The complexity and sophistication of PSRS/PEERS has grown while services to our members and school districts have expanded.
Based on the demographics of PSRS/PEERS members and the design of the portfolio, this growth will continue. Over the next 10 years, the retiree population will grow by approximately 50% before reaching its peak of over 175,000 retirees and beneficiaries in about 2040. During this same period, the assets of the system will grow to approximately $100 billion before reaching a plateau.
This growth requires proactive planning and the board would like to consider our future needs when creating our strategic plan. The three-year plan is projected to be complete this fall and will be presented to the board for approval.
Internal Audit Report
Mr. Jeffrey Hyman presented the internal audit annual report to the committee. The Internal Audit department completed 16 audit engagements and performed consulting services in various areas in accordance with, and in addition to, the fiscal year 2018 PSRS/PEERS audit plan. Mr. Hyman also reviewed the internal audit plan for fiscal year 2019.
Regular Board Meeting
The open session minutes from the April 9, 2018 meeting were approved by unanimous vote.
Order of Business
Investment Performance Report (March 31, 2018)
Mr. Craig Husting from PSRS/PEERS and Mr. Barry Dennis from Verus (the Systems Investment Consultant), reviewed the investment performance for the period ended March 31, 2018. The 1-year PSRS/PEERS investment return was reported as 10.7% while the fiscal year return (July 1, 2017 thru March 31, 2018) was reported as 7.2%.
Ongoing Investment Activity
Mr. Husting and Mr. Dennis reviewed ongoing investment activities, which included estimated investment performance through May 31, 2018. Mr. Husting discussed the current asset allocation of the PSRS/PEERS portfolio, in which he reviewed the long-term strategy, portfolio themes and the broad portfolio expectations. Mr. Husting also reviewed the tentative Board investment calendar.
Investment Policy Changes
The Investment Policy was originally adopted in 1995. The investment staff periodically conducts a full review of the Investment Policy and recommends changes to the Board. The last full review was conducted in December 2016.
Mr. Husting and Mr. Dennis discussed proposed Investment Policy changes. The recommended changes were primarily to bring the Policy in accord with Board action over the last year, to add language for clarity and some operational clean-up. Following discussion, the proposed investment policy changes were approved by unanimous vote.
Board Education Wrap-Up
Mr. Dearld Snider provided a recap of the board education by reflecting on the various presentations from:
- Leigh Snell, National Council on Teacher Retirement – A Word From Washington: Legislative Update
- Tom Iannucci, Cortex – Board Governance
- Flick Fornia, Pension Trustee Advisors – The Actuarial Landscape
- PSRS/PEERS Management Team – The Life of the Member
- PSRS/PEERS Staff – Disaster Recovery & Security
Board Meeting Dates for Fiscal Year 2018
The fiscal year 2019 Board of Trustees meeting dates were reviewed and approved by unanimous vote. The following dates were set for fiscal year 2019 meetings: August 27, 2018; October 29, 2018; December 10, 2018; February 11, 2019; April 8, 2019 and June 10-11, 2019.
Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Amendment
Ms. Anita Brand discussed a proposed budget amendment, which was unanimously approved earlier in the day by the Budget and Audit Committee, related to legal fees for the investment department. The proposal included an increase of $500,000 to the investment department legal fee budget. The increase in legal fees is due to an increase in private asset investment opportunities and contract negotiations during the fiscal year. The Board of Trustees approved the budget transfer by unanimous vote.
Ms. Anita Brand reviewed a memo regarding a banking resolution, which was unanimously approved earlier in the day by the Budget and Audit Committee, The resolution provides continuing authority to Mr. Steve Yoakum, Mr. Dearld Snider and Mr. Craig Husting to make necessary changes related to our banking relationship with Central Bank. The Board of Trustees approved the resolution by unanimous vote.
2018-2019 Budget Approval
The proposed 2018-2019 budget, as presented to the Budget and Audit Committee, was approved by the Board of Trustees by unanimous vote.
Ms. Maria Walden and Legislative Consultant, Mr. Jim Moody, updated the Board on the 2018 Missouri Legislative Session. Mr. Moody reported briefly on state revenue and gave an update on May 2018 revenue to the Board. He also discussed sales tax growth and Missouri income from capital gains and dividends.
Ms. Walden reviewed the 2018 Missouri legislative statistics as well as the upcoming important 2018 legislative dates. She also reviewed bills that passed with a direct impact on the Systems. Internal implementation teams were established and have been working on steps to ensure a smooth transition if those bills are signed by the governor. The governor has until July 14 to sign or veto truly agreed to and finally passed legislation. The Systems will provide additional information to the members and employers when this legislation is signed by the governor, including a question and answer summary.
- HB 1665 - Sponsor: Senator Mike Cunningham
- Establishes a visiting scholars certificate of license to teach. This bill allows the State Board of Education to grant an initial visiting scholar certificate as a license to teach in public schools. The certificate will last for one year and the applicant can renew it a maximum of two times if certain requirements, as described within the bill, are met.
- CCS HCS SS SB 870 - Sponsor: Senator Dan Hegeman
- Modifies provisions of law relating to emergency medical services.
- There was an amendment added to this bill which dealt with public pension plans' board education. This act changes the required number of hours for training for certain public employee retirement plan board members. New members shall complete an education program of at least six hours and board members who have served one or more years shall attend at least two hours annually of continuing education programs.
- CCS SCS SB 892 - Sponsor: Senator Gina Walsh
- Modifies provisions of law relating to various retirement plans for public employees.
- Working After Retirement (HCS HB 2335) This act allows any teacher retired from the Public School Employee Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS) to be employed in a position covered under the Public Education Employee Retirement System (PEERS) without stopping their retirement benefit. Such retired teacher may earn up to 60% of the minimum teacher's salary as set forth in Missouri statute and shall not contribute to PEERS or earn creditable service.
- Employer Contribution (HCS HB 2335) The employer's contribution rate shall be paid by the hiring employer. If a person is employed in excess of the salary limitation set forth in the act the person shall not be eligible to receive their retirement allowance for any month the person is employed and such person shall contribute to PEERS if he or she is employed in an eligible position.
Ms. Walden also presented a detailed list of the bills that did not pass this legislative session.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Update
Mr. Yoakum discussed the COLA policy that was set by the Board of Trustees at the November 3, 2017 meeting. Effective with the January 2019 COLA, the policy will be:
|CPI-U||COLA per Board-Approved Funding Policy|
|Less than 0.0%||0.0%|
|0.0%-2.0%||0.0% when CPI-U is cumulatively below 2.0%|
|0.0%-2.0%||2.0% when CPI-U cumulatively reaches 2.0% or more*|
|more than 5.0%||5.0%|
|*resets cumulative calculation after a COLA is provided|
Mr. Yoakum explained that the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The CPI-U is the measure of the change in prices of goods and services purchased by urban consumers between any two time periods. PSRS/PEERS' regulation requires that the time period for the CPI-U calculation used in the determination of a COLA be from June to June. Based on the values provided by the BLS, the CPI-U is up 2.7078% through May 31, 2018.
Ms. Carol Weatherford, representing MNEA and MNEA-R, thanked the Board for the invitation to attend the educational sessions, which she found very informative.
Mr. Jason Steliga requested that the Board review the retiree mailing policy that was adopted by the Board in October 2016. The current policy replaces the original retiree mailing policy set by the Board in 1984. Staff will review the policy and bring additional information to the Board for discussion at the August 2018 Board Meeting.
The Board went into closed session at 12:15 p.m.
The Board adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
This summary is not official minutes of the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees Meeting. The official minutes will be approved at the next PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees meeting and will posted to our website at that time.