May 2014 Pension Update

The monthly OPPRS board meeting was held May 21st. The system returns continue to gain momentum and ended the month of April at $2.165 Billion dollars.

We are still on target to be 100% funded sometime between seven and ten years at the current rate of return. The systems fiscal year to date return, net of fees, has been 11.40% and the five year average, net of fees, has been 11.40%.

The Oklahoma legislative cycle is due to end next Friday and it is not anticipated there will be any new legislation to consolidate boards or change our pension this session. Rest assured, I will continue to monitor any and all legislation affecting the system.

The board, at the recommendation of Buck Consultants, did vote to change the a section of the financial accounting guidelines from a 30 year amortization schedule for unfunded liabilities which was a practice  established in 1988 to a rolling 5 year period to better keep up with more modern financial best practices. The current 30 year period would terminate anyway in 4 years and this calendar year appears to be the best time to change to the new 5 year rolling average. This does not change our funding ratio or projections on being fully funded.

All of the monthly financial reports along with the agendas and minutes are available on the pension system web site.

On a personal note, Thank You for the trust you have instilled in me to represent you on the State Pension Board for a full 3 year term.  Those who know me know how serious I take this obligation representing each of you on the pension board.

Finally, I want you to know I am concerned about the fair treatment of current retirees relying on the system. I don’t think there is a legislator in office that could convince me of a good reason why our system has not provided adequate COLA raises to our retirees over the last seven or so years….besides it being politically disadvantageous for them to do so!   

I would like to remind everyone, as the mid-term election cycle approaches, take the time to research and reach out to your individual area state legislators and potential candidates and find out where they stand concerning defined contribution pension funds regardless of party.  As a group it is incumbent on all of us not to let politicians hide behind ‘fiscal conservatism’ in preventing adequate and reasonable COLA’s  and making decisions negatively affecting your individual financial well being. I would caution everyone not to ‘wait’ for someone else to do it for you.  We all have a stake in our Pension System.

Jeff Pierce
State Trustee, 
District 6
Oklahoma Police Pension & Retirement System