Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pension News From Robert "Robbie" Robertson

DeKalb County Pension Board Update November 2010
First of all, I hope this update finds all of you well. I know when times are tough it seems like information is slow in coming, but I will do my best to keep you updated. I am doing my best to keep everyone updated, but up to this point, there is no central e-mail list of all the current and retired employees. So, I have decided that this blog is a good central point to post any updates for now.
There have been a number of inquiries as to how often the DeKalb County Pension Board meets. We meet two months, not every month. Our last meeting was held on November 4, 2010.
The last time I posted was on September 17, 2010 with all the updates available. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the last Pension Board meeting was held on November 4, 2010 and below you will see the abbreviated actions taken and discussed. You can all see the official minutes posted on the DeKalb County Risk Management website. These Minutes can not be posted until approved by the Pension Board.

November 4th, 2010 DeKalb County Pension Board Meeting
Approved the Minutes of the September 2nd, 2010 Pension Board Meeting, now they can be posted on the county website.
Reviewed the October 4th, 2010 investment committee meeting.
CEO Ellis made brief appearance to discuss the funding status of the Pension Plan and the increased employee and employer contributions. Just so all of you are aware there have been some detailed discussions within the BOC about going to a Defined Contribution Pension plan for the future. This plan would only affect new hires after the adoption date.
Approved payment of invoices for Money Managers, Legal, and Professional Services. All payments were normal expenditures.
Reviewed Callan Associates report on all of the pension investments. Through September 30th, 2010 the pension had returns of 11.44%.
The board approved with Callans Associates advice, adjusting the asset allocation to several money managers, and approved transferring money to pay pension benefits.
The board discussed and approved new lower negotiated fees with all fixed income managers.
The Board tabled a vote to introduce a Home Rule Ordinance to address pension investments in comingled funds.
The board approved forwarding the Home Rule Ordinance to the BOC for approval. This is to increase the employee and employer contributions. This employee increase is still below the national average. This contribution increase is required to meet the minimum state funding requirements and would have been required even without the early out window. The board again discussed increasing the contribution to cover a built-in cost of living raise for the retirees.
The board approved normal requests from rehired employees to repay contributions withdrawn from the pension plan from prior employment. These were all normal request that were received in the proper time line.
The board approved two disability applications.
The board approved polling places for the upcoming Pension Board elections to fill the two active employee positions.
Meeting Adjourned

Thank you for your support,
Robert “Robbie” Robertson
Retiree Representative
DeKalb County Pension Board


Anonymous said...

Robbie, I have been working from another thread where I reported on our discussion. Its a productive thread. Contributor "Wise guy" asked about your attendance over the last year, and when I checked it wasn't good. You missed the September '09 meeting held in October '09. You missed the November '09 meeting and you missed the January '10 meeting. Unfortunately these were the critical months when the retirement incentive plan was conceived by the BOC and approved by the pension board and the BOC. Going through the PB minutes it becomes clear that James Butler was doing his job as employee rep and stated he would vote against the incentive plan even though he was included in it. Chris Prickert was pretty silent in the minutes, and you were totally silent because you were not at these critical meetings.
When you show back up in the the March '10 meeting you do a stand up job and play a vital role in the meeting and show your leadership, expertise and represented your constituents admirably.
However by then the damage had been done. For six critical months you were not there when the retirees and employees were counting on you. I know you live in Chicago and have to fly down at your own expense every two months, but your constituents did not elect you for you to ignore the pension board in the critical six month period between July '09 and March '10 when the retirement incentive was created by the BOC and authorized by the board.
It is obvious that you are an expert in the pension system and that you know what you are doing. But your leadership was sorely needed during that period and was AWOL.

Best regards, Ken Choate

Anonymous said...

This is very nice to be informed finally. There are other specifics though that need to be addressed.Thank you

Anonymous said...

You have to love the WISE GUY

Robbie Robertson said...

Pension Ballot Update

This is just a quick update to address some concerns.

I know there have been a lot of questions in reference to the Amendments to Section 921, Investment of Funds, to the Pension Code. It was brought to the board’s attention by our consultant, Callan Associates, that some of the investment strategies as related to mortgage backed securities that were held as underlying positions by some of our managers may be in conflict with Georgia Law.

After seeking the advice of legal counsel, the board made a motion at the July 2010 meeting to address the issue. The motion was to update the code. There is nothing to be concerned about. The board is just taking measures to ensure that the fund is in compliance with Georgia law.

I would recommend that you vote in favor of this amendment.

The next Pension Board meeting is scheduled for January 13th, 2011.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All,

Robbie Robertson
DeKalb County Pension Board