A meeting of the Governing Board of the Colorado Retirement Association was held on October 22, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
The following were present at the meeting:
- Chris Felton, Board Chairman
- Paul Danley, Vice Chairman
- Darius Allen, Board Member-Participated by Zoom
- Tobe Allumbaugh, Board Member-Participated by Zoom
- Jerry DiTullio, Board Member-Participated by Zoom
- Tim Mullen, Executive Director
- Mike Whalen, Retirement Plan Services Director
- Ed Krisor, Legal Counsel
- Matt Evans, Retirement Services Coordinator
- Lois Kruse, Office Administrator
- Jim Cowgill, Audit & Office Managing Partner, Plante Moran
- Tracy Goldberg, Senior Manager, Plante Moran
- Joan Green, CRA Lobbyist, J. Andrew Green & Associates, Inc.–Participated by Zoom
Adam Ford, Board Member and Terri Schafer, Board Member were not in attendance.
Chris Felton, Board Chairman, called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.
Mr. Felton asked members of the Board if they reviewed the minutes from the September 17, 2021 meeting and if there were any comments. There being none, a motion was made by Tobe Allumbaugh to approve the minutes as presented. Paul Danley seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
2021 Annual Audit Report:
Jim Cowgill began the report with a brief overview of the continuing relationship between Colorado Retirement Association and Plante Moran PLLC. Jim discussed the benefits of having continuity between the audit firm and CRA, and the need for fresh eyes for the audit and the financial statements. Independence is always maintained, however with the merger into Plante Moran and personnel new to the audit at various levels, there were fresh eyes on all aspects of the audit. A required audit communication to the Board was discussed, with Jim stating there we no significant audit findings, no disagreements with management, nor any difficulties encountered in performing the audit.
Tracy Goldberg was next and presented a draft of the June 30, 2021 annual audit report. Ms. Goldberg and Mr. Cowgill noted that CRA participants saw a combined increase in plan investment income of over $460 million. It was also noted over 50% of the plan assets are invested in the CRA custom target date portfolios.
Given the current pandemic, the audit was performed remotely. Plante Moran stated all aspects of the audit went well and they thanked management and staff for their assistance. The audit will be issued with a clean opinion with no areas of concern. The draft of the annual audit was accepted by the CRA Board of Directors as presented. Mr. Cowgill and Ms. Goldberg exited the meeting at 9:11 am.
Lobbyist Joan Green joined the meeting via Zoom to provide a legislative update.
The Pension Review Committee is wrapping up and the three bills they have drafted will be moving forward and more than likely will be introduced in the upcoming session:
- Bill #3 – “Compensatory Direct Distribution to PERA”
Requests additional direct distribution to PERA for the cancellation of a previously scheduled payment.
- Bill #2 – “State Payment Old Hire Death & Disability Benefits”
Concerning a payment to the statewide death and disability trust fund to pay benefits for members hired before January 1, 1997.
- Bill #1 – “FPPA Statewide Retirement Plan”
Proposal to consolidate most FPPA plans into a single new statewide retirement plan.
These proposed bills were discussed among other legislative activity. Joan Green exited the meeting at 9:44 am.
CRA Activity Updates:
Tim Mullen began his report noting that employer and employee meetings are still a mix of in-person and virtual. In-person meetings continue to meet all required pandemic protocols.
As we are still dealing with Covid-19 and all the related requirements, Larimer County has issued a mask mandate. All attendees at the upcoming CGFOA conference are required to wear masks.
The Town of Frederick began 457(b) contributions in October and will begin 401(a) contributions in January. The town of Johnstown will begin 457(b) contributions in November and will be adding 401(a) contributions effective January 1, 2022. CRA has hosted several new employee/employer orientation meetings in October with additional meetings set for November. The town of Severance has a new Finance Director and is currently in the process of implementing a new payroll system. CRA will hopefully bring them on board in the first quarter of 2022 after changes are complete. Other employer visits, conferences, and other activities were discussed.
Matt Evans, Retirement Services Coordinator, gave an overview of CRA’s marketing and informational campaigns regarding National Retirement Security Month, CRA’s fee waiver, and other communications.
Mr. Mullen continued with his update noting the two new Client Service Managers, Klint Armitstead and Ian Vander Male are doing site visits solo and/or with a seasoned Client Services Manager.
Mike Whalen presented information on two new Salesforce custom features designed by CRA. The Participant Service Event module has been up and running for 10 months and has recorded nearly 3,000 service events. The Employer Service Event module was deployed May 24, 2021. Tracking data for quantitative and qualitative activities is being collected from both modules to create a baseline for interactivity between Client Services Managers, employers, and participants.
Tim Mullen concluded the CRA activities update with information regarding ongoing CRA meetings with Empower. These meetings, among other items, review workflow processes, analyze and improve operational processing times, and redesign and redirect special instructions for Empower customer service.
As there were no comments or concerns from the Board regarding the CRA expense reports, the reports were accepted as presented.
The next meeting of the CRA Board of Directors will be held on Friday, December 17, 2021.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chris Felton adjourned the meeting at 10:20 a.m.