January 11, 2011
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MINUTES
Retirement Plan Advisory Committee
January 11, 2011
 
 
A meeting of the Retirement Plan Advisory Committee (RPAC) was held on January 11, 2011 at the Rogers Auditorium in Desert Research Institute.
 
Present:           Michelle Kelley, Co-Chair; Henry Stone, Co-Chair; Kent Ervin; Pat LaPutt, Judy Stewart, and Nasser Daneshvary
Also Present:   Bart Patterson and George Dombroski
 
The meeting was convened at 12:00 noon.
 
There was discussion about bounced loan processing checks. This discussion was prompted by the recent return of two loan processing checks from employees for insufficient funds. Consideration was given to changing the loan procedure to require some other method of paying loan processing fees to avoid bounced checks in the future. Michelle Kelley reported that the two bounced checks came from Reno based employees and she expects these were unintentional and intends to follow up with them to recover the funds plus a $25 fee that the bank charged UNR for the bounced checks. She indicated that she thought these were small, isolated events that didn’t require a change in procedure in her opinion. Bart Patterson suggested that recovery of extra fees should be considered for incorporation into the loan procedure and that perhaps a forced payroll deduction should be incorporated as well to deal with last resort situations.
 
There was discussion about loans and loan disclosures. There was agreement that a System-wide loan disclosure document would be useful. George Dombroski was asked to coordinate an effort to provide a uniform disclosure document that must be received by all borrowers as part of the application process.
 
Bart Patterson informed the Committee that PERS will be increasing the contribution rate to 12.25% on July 1, 2011 and that, since the RPA is statutorily required to match the PERS contribution, the RPA employee and employer contribution rates will increase to 12.25%. He asked the Committee for a reaction to the possibility of decoupling PERS and RPA so that RPA participants would not be required to contribute 12.25%. There was a consensus uneasiness among Committee members that decoupling could lead to future adverse unintended consequences for RPA members.
 
Bart Patterson shared some thoughts about the structure of the RPAC. He said that prior to 1999, the RPA was the domain of the Board of Regents. Almost every Regents meeting included an RPA related topic. Starting in 1999, the Board of Regents delegated plan administration to the Chancellor. Because there was no staff to attend to RPA matters, the RPAC effectively took on an administrative role. This was not fair to RPAC members. A couple of years ago, the Chancellor asked Bart Patterson to assume plan oversight.
 
Mr. Patterson’s thinking on the RPAC is to get more people involved on policy issues and to have a smaller group or subcommittee review investment performance and report to the RPAC, which would, in turn, advise Mr. Patterson. He also prefers quarterly video conference meetings for the RPAC to semi-annual meetings. Mr. Patterson said he sees this as an experiment.
 
Mr. Patterson initiated a conversation about a budget for RPAC expenses to include the following:
1.       Outside consultants (to include legal fees)
2.       Travel expenses
3.       Continuing education
4.       Salary/benefits for the RPA Manager
5.       Membership dues
6.       Communications/marketing expenses for the campus Benefits Offices
 
Mr. Patterson asked George Dombroski to develop a draft budget.
 
There was discussion about whether or not time devoted to RPAC faculty and staff should be reimbursed. It was agreed that this is not practical.
 
 Kent Ervin initiated a discussion about a strategic direction for the RPA and asked Mr. Patterson for his thoughts. Mr. Patterson said he would like to hear options and would like to get participant feedback on a proposed direction before proceeding. There was agreement on developing an RFP and getting employee feedback by the end of the year.
 
The Committee reviewed its accomplishments for 2010 against its goals. These are summarized below:
 
                                2010 Goal                                                                                            Result
Obtain legal advice on the nature and extent of obligations
 and how the Committee can act without expanding those                              Retained ICE Miller and
obligations, in the arena of evaluating, adding, freezing, or                               got advice on expense reimbursement
 removing investment vehicles.                                                                                 
 
 Conduct regular employee assessments using accepted                                 Completed and reported at
quantitative and qualitative techniques, e.g. surveys, focus                               June 2010 meeting
groups, interviews to learn about the nature, character and
desires of the participant base.
 
Identify and implement an administrative funding source.                                  Expense reductions in place with VALIC;     
Reduce total expenses for participants.                                                            tentative reductions in place with Fidelity;                                                                                                                                     discussions to begin with TIAA-CREF in Jan. 2011
 
 Hire a consultant to define the investment vehicles we use and                        RFQ is under development and
develop guidelines for making changes to those vehicles.                                expected to go out in Jan. 2011
 
Employ a professional administrator to manage the NSHE                             Completed November 2010
retirement plans and act as staff to RPAC.  Perform services
such as data gathering, policy generation, identification of legal
responsibilities, compliance issues, and communication with vendors
 
          2010 Goal                                                                                                Result
 
Improve communications to participants                                                          2011 Goal for RPA Manager
about NSHE plans:
a.  Develop an NSHE website for the RPA
Committee/Plan with detailed information
for participants.
b.  Create a single NSHE RPA brochure to enroll
and educate new hires about the RPA plan,
 investment options, expenses and vendor choice.  
The cost of this brochure would be borne proportionately
by the vendors.
c.   Be pro-active in enticing participants to
participate in supplemental retirement programs.
 
Implement a Common Remitter system to create a                                           To be considered as part of
single portal for administrative and participant                                                   strategic business plan in 2011
transactions with vendors.
 
The Committee set the following goals for 2011:
 
2011 Goal
 
Implement informational site about the RPA at the NSHE website
 
Conduct an RFQ for an investment management consultant
 
Continue to reduce operational expenses
 
Develop an orientation process for new Committee members
 
Develop a procedure for getting appropriate informational disclosures to borrowers
 
Institute a practice of posting action minutes
 
Develop a strategic plan for the RPA
 
Continue with employee assessments
 
 
George Dombroski reviewed a draft of an RFQ for an investment management consultant with the Committee. The Committee made some modifications to the scope of work and recommended that then RFQ get out as soon as possible.
 
George Dombroski reported that he continues work with VALIC on a communication to encourage annuity participants to consider the lower costs of the VALIC mutual fund platform.
 
The Committee agreed that quarterly meetings will be held in accordance with the following annual schedule:
 
Q1 - mid-February
Q2 – mid-May
Q3 – mid August
Q4 – mid November
 
The following items were suggested as key agenda items for the Q2 agenda:
 
1. Review of annual scorecards from the vendors
2. Discussion about a strategic direction for the plan and a timeline for getting there
3. Discussion about an orientation process for new members
 
The meeting was adjourned at 3:03 pm.
 

Prepared by:  George Dombroski, Retirement Plan Alternative Manager