The LAGERS Board of Trustees has a fiduciary duty to its membership to ensure the system is administered in a fiscally sound manner. The board meets at least quarterly to make sure LAGERS continues to deliver on its commitments of strength and security.
At the June 18, 2021 meeting, the LAGERS Board gathered for the first time in the newly dedicated J. Robert Ashcroft building to hear updates of legislative, investment, and operations activities of the system. Below is a summary of the meeting. For more information on LAGERS Board of Trustees or official meeting minutes, please visit our Board of Trustees page.
The legislative team gave a final report on the 2021 Regular Legislative Session. In a somewhat unusual session for pensions, no bills were passed directly related to public pensions, including LAGERS.
Several bills containing language to expand the availability of LAGERS’ public safety option fell short of the finish line including Senate Bill 255, House Bill 1157, and House Bill 1298. While these bills were not passed this session, the legislative team expressed plans to continue work on the public safety language in 2022.
The team also presented their analysis of future threats and opportunities to the system. Of note, they emphasized their commitment to LAGERS’ advocacy program, and believes that the LAGERS membership has a critical role to play in protecting and preserving the retirement security of all local government workers.
LAGERS’ investment team reported on the investment activity from the last quarter, which included $356.34 million in commitments to the following asset classes:
- $117.91 million to Equity
- $111.46 million to Fixed Income
- $62.89 million to Real Assets/Real Return
- $64.08 million to Strategic
LAGERS’ portfolio has $9.4 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021, and has returned 9.59%, 10.87%, and 9.15% over a 3, 5, and 10 year period respectively.
Every year, LAGERS’ recalculates each employer’s contribution rate(s) to ensure the system continues to be properly funded over time. During the Actuary’s report, LAGERS’ actuary, GRS reported on the completion of LAGERS’ 2021 annual valuations. They reported a majority of employer contribution rates are either remaining level or decreasing in the coming fiscal year. Employee contribution amounts are fixed at either 0%, 2%, 4%, or 6%, and are elected by each employer’s governing body.
The actuary also preliminarily reported LAGERS new funding ratio is expected to rise to 95.7% pre-funded as of July 1, 2021. During their report GRS expressed their approval of the continued strong performance of the system, and at the end of the day reiterated this means LAGERS members can rest assured their retirement future is secure!
To ensure LAGERS remains good stewards of our members’ money and continues to deliver top-notch customer service, LAGERS periodically engages in a benchmarking survey to measure the system’s performance against its’ peers. The administrative team reported on the results from the most recent benchmarking report. Some highlights included:
- LAGERS scored high in customer service overall.
- Significant factors contributing to LAGERS’ high service score included: robust communication, minimal red tape for members, LAGERS’ disability services, and pension inceptions (how fast benefits start at retirement).
- LAGERS administrative cost were lower compared to our peers.
- The greatest contributing factor to LAGERS’ lower than average administrative cost is LAGERS’ small staff size.
During the report, the team noted they were pleased with the results, and continue to look for ways to deliver a premier retirement system for LAGERS’ membership in the most efficient manner.