April 2014 TRA Report

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Education Minnesota Retired May 5, 2014 TRA Report Marti Zins


The TRA board met April 9, 2014.


The pension fund is $19.74 B with an earning of about 13% for the year.


The internal auditing plan was adopted. This is important as it helps TRA actually find out of internal processes are working as designed. Problems are identified and corrections are put in place. This helps identify problems in a time frame that can actually be corrected. Issues include payroll reporting and service credit. Because of payroll confusion, training for schools is being ramped up.


A question was raised, as the state is investing $40 M in early childhood education, are those who deliver the service “teachers” and part of TRA, especially if they aren’t required to be licensed?


The chairs of the three retirement systems testified on February 18th before the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER). The request of the systems was modified to the position of MMB Commissioner Schowalter so the Executive Directors got a 5% raise, the first such raise since 2008. A study of salaries is underway so more action is to come. The legislation was approved by two committees in the Senate and two in the House, and then sent to the floors of each boy for a vote. Then the Governor signed. Salary increases and back pay was implemented and processed in March.


TRA extended the contract of the contract with Cavanaugh Macdonald for actuarial services. This is especially important as we focus on GASB implementation and how to assign “unfunded liabilities” to each employing system that pays into TRA.


The House and Senate have different versions of the Duluth merger that will have to be worked out. The House is the better version, with more funding and said funding starting earlier. So far St. Paul is out of the mix other than getting more state aide. Stay tuned.


The TRA board authorized $25 M more to the fund for annuity/refund expenses for fiscal year 2014 to meet the slightly higher annuity benefit payout than first budgeted.


The board acknowledged the contribution of Walt Munsterman to retirement issues over the year and thanked him.


In May the TRA board will adopt a budget for fiscal year 2015.