June Board of Trustees Meeting Summary

PSRS/PEERS Trustees at the June 2024 Board Meeting
Craig Husting, PSRS/PEERS chief investment officer prepares to present the investment report to the Board of Trustees at the June 10, 2024 board meeting.

The Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS/PEERS) Board of Trustees convened on June 10, 2024. In attendance were Board members Dr. Jason Steliga, Beth Knes, Dr. Eric Park, Allie Gassmann, Katie Webb and Chuck Bryant. Also present were Executive Director Dearld Snider, Chief Operating Officer Sarah Swoboda, Chief Investment Officer Craig Husting, Chief Counsel Mike Moorefield, Chief Financial Officer Anita Brand, Deputy Chief Financial Officer Tory Brondel, Director of Human Resources Michelle Varcho, Director of Member Services Nicole Hamler, Director of Internal Audit Jeff Hyman, Director of Communications Susan Wood, Chief Technology Officer Lisa Scheulen, Chief Information Security Officer Joe Susai, Director of Executive and Board Administration Jennifer Martin and various other PSRS/PEERS staff members.

Budget and Audit Committee

Approval of Minutes

The Budget and Audit Committee meeting minutes from the April 14, 2024 meeting were approved by unanimous vote.

Annual Banking Resolution

Ms. Anita Brand from PSRS/PEERS reviewed a memo regarding a banking resolution. The resolution provides continuing authority to Mr. Dearld Snider, Ms. Sarah Swoboda and Mr. Craig Husting to make necessary changes related to the Systems' 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.

Discussion and Approval of the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Budget

Ms. Brand reviewed the fiscal year 2024-2025 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. 

As part of the annual budgeting process, management prepares annual key initiatives. Key initiatives are developed and reviewed annually by each department under the leadership of the department director and then reviewed by management to ensure consistent alignment. The key initiatives are developed based on the Systems' mission, goals, focus areas and strategic objectives. Annually, each key initiative is reviewed by management to determine if it was completed and what measurable effect (if measurable) each action had on the Systems' strategic objectives. Key initiatives vary in scope and duration for completion. The Systems currently have several multi-year key initiatives in progress. Ms. Brand reviewed the multi-year key initiatives, key initiatives completed during fiscal year 2024 and fiscal year 2025 key initiatives.

The total request has increased by 6.5% from the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget. The overall increase is driven by an expected 6.5% increase in benefit payments to members. The increase in the budget request includes a projected January 1, 2025 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), the 2% COLA granted on January 1, 2024, and the addition of benefits for new retirees. The Systems' actuary will present the recommended January 1, 2025 COLA at the October 2024 Board of Trustees meeting.

The investment expenses are comprised of investment fees and investment administrative expenses. Budgeted investment fees increased compared to the prior year. The increase is directly related to the assets under management and current contracts with investment managers. Investment fees are paid and budgeted in accordance with current legal contracts. The Systems account for and budget all investment fees including performance and incentive fees. Actual expenses will be directly dependent on the market environment.

The budget request also includes an increase in investment administrative expenses. The increase is attributed to the addition of one investment position and compensation allocations for staff. Compensation allocations are made in accordance with the Board of Trustees' Compensation Strategy. 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. Administrative expenses have increased by approximately $2,600,000 (or 10.8%) from the previous year. The increase is attributed to the addition of three full-time positions, two transitional positions and compensation allocations for staff. Compensation allocations are made in accordance with the Board of Trustees' Compensation Strategy. In addition, the Systems continue to invest in information technology initiatives and enhance our overall security posture. The Systems hired our first chief information security officer (CISO) during fiscal year 2024. The fiscal year 2025 budget request includes increased information security initiatives as the Systems work to build out the office of the CISO. Capital assets have increased by $710,000 from the previous year. The increase is due to the replacement of office furniture that was repurposed during the recent building expansion and renovation project and replacement of a portion of the original parking lot.

Throughout the proposed budget request, the Systems have decreased the budget where appropriate. However, the overall proposed budget request has increased in order to meet the Systems' long-term goals and strategic objectives. The Systems' administrative expenses are funded through investment earnings.

The Budget and Audit Committee approved the budget as presented by staff by unanimous vote.

Public Comment


Regular Board Meeting

System Operations

Approval of Minutes

The open session minutes from the April 14 and 15, 2024 Board meetings were approved by unanimous vote.

Order of Business

The order of business was approved with no changes.


Mr. Dearld Snider and Ms. Nicole Hamler from PSRS/PEERS presented a plaque to employee Kathleen 'Kat' Roberts for her dedication, service and retirement from PSRS/PEERS. Ms. Roberts will retire effective July 1, 2024.

Investment Report

Performance Report for March 31, 2024

Mr. Craig Husting from PSRS/PEERS reviewed the investment performance for the period ended March 31, 2024. The one-year PSRS/PEERS investment return was reported as 12.1% while the fiscal year return (July 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024) was reported as 8.8%.

Ongoing Investment Activity

Mr. Husting reviewed ongoing investment activities, which included estimated investment performance through May 31, 2024. The estimated fiscal year investment return (July 1, 2023 through May 31, 2024) was reported as approximately 9.6%. Mr. Husting discussed the investment markets and the current PSRS/PEERS asset allocation.

Real Estate Portfolio Review

Ms. Susan Conrad and Ms. Chhayhea Sam from PSRS/PEERS reviewed the Systems' real estate portfolio including program objectives, guidelines and long-term results. The five-year annualized return for the real estate composite for the period ended March 31, 2024 was 6.3%.

Management Report

Board Meeting Dates for Fiscal Year 2025

The fiscal year 2024-2025 Board of Trustees meeting dates were reviewed and approved as amended by unanimous vote. The following dates were set for fiscal year 2024-2025 meetings: August 26, 2024; October 28, 2024; December 16, 2024 (this date was changed from the original proposed date of December 9, 2024 due to a scheduling conflict); February 3, 2025; April 7, 2025 and June 10, 2025.

Annual Banking Resolution

Ms. 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. Dearld Snider, Ms. Sarah Swoboda and Mr. Craig Husting to make necessary changes related to our banking relationship with Central Bank. The Board approved the resolution by unanimous vote.

Fiscal Year 2024-2025 Budget Approval

The proposed fiscal year 2024-2025 budget, as presented to and unanimously approved earlier in the day by the Budget and Audit Committee, was approved by the Board by unanimous vote.

Implementation of Regulations Due to Senate Bill 727

Mr. Mike Moorefield from PSRS/PEERS presented several proposed amendments to Title 16, Division 10 of the Missouri State Code of Regulations, amending Chapters 1, 3, 5 and 6, which govern PSRS and PEERS. These amendments are necessary due to the passage and implementation of Senate Bill 727, along with the need to modernize certain regulatory sections. The Board voted unanimously to approve the proposed amendments.

Legislative Update

Mr. Mike Moorefield also presented the June end-of-legislative-session update.

Mr. Moorefield said that the 2024 legislative session resulted in the fewest number of bills passing in modern history, with 26 non-budget bills going to Governor Parson's desk and two joint resolutions being presented to the voters in August or November 2024. PSRS/PEERS tracked 115 bills, filed 81 fiscal note requests on legislation that could impact the Systems, and had 27 bills on its Priority Legislation Track.

The General Assembly Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed 18 appropriations bills and 28 non-appropriations bills and joint resolutions during the 2024 session. Of the 28 non-appropriations bills, one bill contained components of the PSRS/PEERS legislative package. That bill included three provisions that address working after retirement laws, including a provision that modernizes the working after retirement overage penalty provision. PSRS/PEERS supported those three provisions included in SB 727, which was signed by the governor in May 2024.

No bills passed this session negatively impact PSRS/PEERS, and several pieces of legislation that could negatively impact the Systems' investment portfolio and operations never received approval from either chamber.

Governor Parson has until July 14 to act upon legislation. If those bills become law, the provisions are effective August 28, 2024.

Key Accomplishments

Ms. Sarah Swoboda from PSRS/PEERS reviewed some key accomplishments since the April Board Meeting.

Ms. Swoboda explained to the Board that we completed the conversion of account identification numbers in our pension administration software system, OASIS. This project consisted of updating all OASIS account numbers to a structure that will better distinguish between various types of identifying numbers. These new structures will also assist our Security team in more efficiently locating, identifying and securing this information in the future.

Ms. Swoboda next introduced the Board to the Systems' new director of human resources, Michelle Varcho. Michelle joined the Systems on June 3, 2024, following the retirement of Kim Harris. Ms. Swoboda also discussed the information technology asset inventory migration to Lansweeper. Lansweeper is a software platform that automates the asset inventory process, eliminating the need for manually tracking both hardware and software inventory. It also ensures that our asset inventory is a true reflection of our IT ecosystem.

The last accomplishment was the passing of positive legislation this legislative season. Mike Moorefield, along with government relations consultants Heath Clarkston and Doug Nelson, spent many hours at the Capitol speaking to representatives and senators helping to pass legislation that was positive for PSRS/PEERS, including three provisions that address working after retirement laws; one of which modernizes the working after retirement overage penalty provision. Another huge success for the Systems was the fact that no bills were passed this session which negatively impact PSRS/PEERS.

CPI-U Update

Mr. Dearld Snider reviewed the COLA policy that was set by the Board of Trustees at their November 3, 2017 meeting. According to the policy, COLAs may be granted based on the CPI-U as follows:

PSRS/PEERS Board Approved Funding Policy
CPI-UCOLA 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*
2.0%-5.0%2.0% when the CPI-U is at least 2.0%, but less than 5.0%
5.0% or more5.0%
*resets cumulative calculation after a COLA is provided

Mr. Snider 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 2.7659% through May 31, 2024.

Raw CPI-U Index Values
 Index Values
June 2023305.109MonthTo-Date
July 2023305.6910.00190.1908%
August 2023307.0260.00440.6283%
September 2023307.7890.00250.8784%
October 2023307.671-0.00040.8397%
November 2023307.051-0.00200.6365%
December 2023306.746-0.0010.5365%
January 2024308.4170.00541.0842%
February 2024310.3260.00621.7099%
March 2024312.3320.00652.3674%
April 2024313.5480.00392.7659%
May 2024   
June 2024   

Public Comment




Closed Session

The Board went into closed session at 12:34 p.m.


The Board adjourned at 2:08 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 be posted to our website at that time.