A meeting of the Governing Board of the Colorado Retirement Association was held on July 24, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
The following were present at the meeting:
- Chris Felton, Board Chairperson
- Adam Ford, Vice Chairperson – Participated by Zoom – Mr. Ford was not able to participate in the early portion of the meeting.
- Darius Allen, Board Member
- Tobe Allumbaugh, Board Member – Participated by Zoom
- Jerry DiTullio, Board Member – Participated by Zoom
- Terri Schafer, Board Member
- Tim Mullen, Executive Director
- Ed Krisor, Legal Counsel
- Denis Rice, Chief Financial Officer
- Mike Whalen, Retirement Plan Services Director
- Matt Evans, Communications Specialist
- Lois Kruse, Office Administrator
Meghan Martinez, Board Member was not in attendance.
Board Chairperson, Chris Felton, called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.
Mr. Felton asked members of the Board if they reviewed the minutes from the May 19, 2023 meeting and if there were any comments. There being none, a motion was made by Chris Felton to approve the minutes as presented. Darius Allen seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The agenda items were rearranged so that Action Items could be discussed first to allow for a travelling Board member.
Entity Qualification Reviews:
- Parachute/Battlement Mesa Park and Recreation District
- Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District
Tim Mullen noted that these two entities will be offering the 401(a) and 457(b) plans to employees. Both employer groups were referred by Adam Ford, CRA Board Vice Chairperson. Ed Krisor, CRA’s legal counsel, stated that he has reviewed the supplied information and the two Districts qualify to participate in CRA’s plans.
A motion was made by Jerry DiTullio to allow Parachute/Battlement Mesa Park and Recreation District and Battlement Mesa Metropolitan District to join CRA. Chris Felton seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Resolution to Join CSAFE:
At the May 19, 2023 Board meeting, the Board authorized Tim Mullen to further investigate and invest in one of the local government investment pools. Mr. Mullen has met with CSAFE, a Local Government Investment Pool. CSAFE requires a resolution for CRA to join the CSAFE “Colorado Surplus Asset Fund Trust.” The model resolution that is required has been reviewed by Mr. Mullen and Mr. Krisor and is in good order. Mr. Krisor has also reviewed the applicable referenced state statues with no exceptions.
A motion was made by Chris Felton to approve the resolution to join CSAFE. Terri Schafer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
CRA Audit Engagement Letter:
Tim Mullen presented the audit engagement letter from Plante & Moran, PLLC, CRA’s auditors, dated July 10, 2023. This letter discusses the scope, timing, and fee for the annual audit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. The fee for the annual audit was noted and is included in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024 budget. Ed Krisor, Denis Rice, and Tim Mullen have reviewed the engagement letter and determined its provisions were acceptable.
A motion was made by Chris Felton to approve the Plante & Moran audit engagement letter as presented. Jerry DiTullio seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Adam Ford joined the meeting at 9:25 a.m.
Mr. Rice presented the Plan and Association financial statements for the 3rd fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2023. This presentation reviewed balance sheets, income statements, budget versus actual, and the Association’s general ledger.
Next in the presentation, was selected financial data through May 31st and June 5th, 2023. As of June 5, 2023, year-to-date (YTD) fund performance ranged from a low of 1.01% (CRA Book Value Fund) to a high of 31.37% (Harbor Capital Appreciation Instl).
CRA’s Alternative Investments, available only within the Target Date Portfolios, ranged from a high of 6.85% (DFA Emerging Markets Core Equity I) to a low of -1.92% (Blackrock Strategic Income Opportunities I).
As of May 31, 2023, the YTD blended rate of return for CRA’s 401(a) and 457(b) plans is 5.28%.
As of June 1st 2023, the interest rate on plan loans is 9.25%. Total loan balances are up approximately 1.21% since the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022.
Schwab balances are 10.3% higher from March 10, 2023 balances and represent 1.81% of total assets as of June 5, 2023.
Through May 2023, YTD Plan distributions exceed Plan contributions by approximately $9.2 million. This trend is consistent and not unexpected, given the large number of retirees choosing to keep assets in the CRA Plans.
CRA Activity Updates:
Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) annual summer conference was at the end of May. Tim Mullen, Mike Whalen, and Klint Armistead attended. The conference went well for CRA with a lot of conversations with County Commissioners and County Administration.
Colorado Municipal League’s (CML) annual summer conference was the last week of June. Tim Mullen and Francisco Chacon attended. CRA was extremely busy, having a lot of conversations with city council members, town trustees, and various city administration positions. Employers are especially interested in CRA’s complete plan administration, customer service model, and plan investment offerings.
CRA was awarded the RFP for Evergreen Fire. CRA presented to their Pension Board on May 25th. Talks are ongoing with Evergreen Fire regarding all aspects of CRA’s plans, requirements, timing, etc.
Tim Mullen participated in Empower’s Government Client Advisory Board Meeting. This national meeting took place in Denver over 2 days in early June. A large part of the discussion was regarding Secure 2.0’s ninety plus retirement provisions. Discussions included the new laws, how and when to implement provisions, etc.
Innovest and CRA are continuing discussions with Voya and Empower regarding capabilities and website options. We are asking lots of additional questions to the recordkeepers as CRA dives deeper into the operational capabilities of both recordkeepers.
As part of CRA’s retirement seminars, a “Navigating Social Security” presentation was held on July 11th. 108 participants attended. The seminar was moderated by Rick Chase and hosted by Matt Evans.
A Medicare 101 seminar is scheduled for August 16th. This will be hosted by Klint Armitstead.
For the remainder of 2023 and through 2024, the Medicare and Social Security portions of the retirement webinars are scheduled. Additionally, every 2nd Tuesday of the month will be “Training Tuesday.” CRA intends to incorporate employer operational training in various aspects of the employer’s retirement responsibilities for CRA’s plans.
Mr. Felton asked the members of the Board if there were any questions or concerns regarding the expense reports. There being none, the reports were accepted as presented.
At 10:01 a.m. a motion was made by Chris Felton and seconded by Terri Schafer to go into Executive Session pursuant to 24-6-402(4)(f) C.R.S. for the purpose of discussion of staff personnel matters. The motion passed unanimously.
The Executive Session ended at 11:01 a.m.
The public session of the CRA Board of Directors meeting resumed at 11:03 a.m. A motion was made by Chris Felton to adopt the findings of the compensation study and to accept the recommendations discussed in the Executive Session including an increase in the executive director’s salary retroactive to July 1, 2023. Terri Schafer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Due to Mr. DiTullio’s travel schedule, he was not available for the entire Executive Session and thus did not cast a vote on the motion.
The next meeting of the CRA Board of Directors will be held on August 18, 2023.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Felton adjourned the meeting at 11:07 a.m.