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.
LAGERS’ actuary, Mita Drazilov, with Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company (GRS) gave an update on LAGERS’ 2021 Annual Valuation of the system. This annual report measures the unique experience of each employer to determine their next year’s contribution rate, as well as their reserve financial strength and the financial condition of the system as a whole.
GRS was pleased to report another extremely strong year for the LAGERS system. Despite the proactive adjustment to LAGERS’ assumed rate of return earlier in the year from 7.25% to 7.0%, strong investment performance helped push LAGERS’ pre-funded level to 95.6%. In addition to the system’s overall funding, GRS noted a positive increase in LAGERS’ benefit reserve fund (the fund from which all retirement benefits are paid) to 117% funded.
This means continued benefit security for members and retirees, as well as rate stability for employers. GRS noted that LAGERS remains among the top-performing public pension plans in the country
LAGERS Receives Excellence Award for 43rd Consecutive Year
The Administrative team reported that for the 43rd consecutive year, LAGERS earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its annual financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.
The report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.
The Board applauded the system’s longstanding commitment to excellence.
The legislative team updated the board on interim activities and discussed upcoming legislative priorities. While no new initiatives were approved, LAGERS will be pursuing legislation to expand the availability of LAGERS’ public safety classification option to all employers.
Currently, employers in 3rd class counties have the option to classify EMS personnel, emergency telecommunicators, and jailers as public safety employees for purposes of age 55 normal retirement eligibility. The proposed legislation will expand the option to all employers. LAGERS expects to pre-file this bill in December.
LAGERS investment team discussed the strong performance of the system over the past year with a one year return (as of June 30) of 29.48%. The team also discussed the investment activity from the last quarter, which included $29.51 million in commitments to the following asset classes:
- $8.00 million to Equity
- $16.51 million to Real Assets/Real Return
- $5.00 million to Strategic
LAGERS’ portfolio has $10.2 billion in assets under management as of June 2021.
Annual Meeting Recap
Each year, members and employers of the system gather at the system’s Annual Meeting. During the meeting, LAGERS staff shared system updates, attendees enjoyed time to network with peers, and delegates participated in LAGERS Board of Trustee elections. In addition to the sessions, the LAGERS Board also participated in some additional fiduciary training.
Attendees particularly noted the access to LAGERS board and staff over the conference, great networking opportunities, and the variety of educational sessions, as highlights of the event.
During the business meeting, two board seats were up for election: Arby Todd, member trustee from Lee’s Summit, and J. Robert Ashcroft, employer trustee from Platte County. Both were re-elected by acclamation to 4-year terms.
Local Government Heroes Celebrated
LAGERS celebrates the incredible work our public servants do in their communities every day. At the conclusion of this year’s annual meeting, LAGERS announced Dan Burns, a mechanic from Battlefield Fire Protection District, as the 2021 LAGERS Local Government Hero Award winner. Finalists Robyn Kaufman, Boone County Family Resources, and Mike Chambers, Macon County Health, were also honored.