New legislative oversight body added under SB 200 provides additional avenue for PERA transparency
The Pension Review Subcommittee, established by Senate Bill 18-200, met for the first time on Friday, July 12. The Subcommittee was formed to expand the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Review Commission and create a subcommittee within the commission to oversee PERA.
SB 18-200 directed the commission to study, review, and propose legislation related to the funding of police offers’ and firefighters’ pensions in the state and benefit designs of such pension plans and must also study and may develop proposed legislation relating to PERA. The commission is comprised of 10 members: five Senators and five Representatives.
As covered previously in PERA on the Issues, four different legislative committees have oversight responsibility of PERA. These reporting committees include the Legislative Audit Committee, Joint Finance Committee, Joint Budget Committee, and Pension Review Commission.
The Pension Review Subcommittee was tasked specifically with making recommendations to the Commission regarding PERA. The July 12 meeting began with an overview of the Subcommittee’s responsibilities and charge from legislative staff. PERA staff then presented to the subcommittee members on a number of topics, with particular focus on the 2018 financials. Questions from the Subcommittee covered a range of topics including the rate of return assumption, asset allocation, and the progress of the Board’s current Asset Liability Study. Board Chairman Timothy M. O’Brien and Treasurer Dave Young joined the panel as well to respond to questions from Subcommittee members.
This newly-formed oversight subcommittee is comprised of four legislators and 10 appointed members of the public. Requirements for serving as an appointed member include experience or knowledge of investment management, corporate or public finance, compensation and benefit systems, economics, accounting, pension administration, or actuarial analysis.
In addition, each subcommittee member is required to attend certain meetings each year, as follows:
- At least one PERA Board meeting;
- The Legislative Audit Committee meeting review of PERA’s annual actuarial valuation; and
- The State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act hearing of the Joint Finance Committee when it reviews PERA.
The Pension Review Subcommittee’s next scheduled meeting is Monday, August 12 and the Pension Review Commission will meet for the first time during the 2019 interim session on Monday, September 9.
PERA staff will continue to work with legislative staff and members of all reporting committees to provide education regarding the importance of ensuring retirement security for PERA’s membership.