We at LAGERS really enjoyed this year’s Annual Meeting and we want to thank the 250 plus delegates that attended. Just in case you missed it, we wanted to give you a quick re-cap of this year’s meeting.
The LAGERS Annual Meeting is an opportunity for you to have a voice in the direction of your pension system through the board of trustees elections. However, the Annual Meeting is also a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your retirement system and network with the LAGERS staff and your other local government colleagues.
Sessions. We started the meeting off the same way we have done for the last several years with a review of the basics, LAGERS 101. We followed this session with breakout sessions that were member and employer focused respectively. The member related breakout sessions were about the payment options at retirement and post retirement topics like taxes and cost of living adjustments. Conversely, the employer sessions were about 2017 employer contribution rates and the tools available for our employers to use for educating their employees including pre-retirement seminars, webinars, and social media.
On the second day of the meeting, the attendees heard a system update from LAGERS Executive Director, Keith Hughes, that included our strong funding position and much more. Followed by an investment update from LAGERS Chief Investment Officer, Brian Collett, that included our recent investment performance and our long-term investment strategy. Finally, LAGERS Assistant Executive Director, Bob Wilson, gave us a legislative update from the 2016 legislative session including our strategy for defending your pension benefits to our legislators.
Board Elections. This year there were two board vacancies, one employer trustee and one member trustee. Employer trustees are representatives of LAGERS’ subdivision’s boards and are not active LAGERS members. On the other hand, member trustees are those who are representatives of the membership and are actively working for one of LAGERS’ subdivisions. The vacancies were Frank Buck, Employer Trustee from DeKalb County, and Kathy Barsczcak, Member Trustee from City of Independence. Both Frank and Kathy were nominated and were re-elected to their respective positions for 4-year terms.
Networking Opportunities. At this year’s meeting there were more than 250 attendees from many of LAGERS’ subdivisions. I know I personally made several new connections with many of our members and learned of many opportunities where LAGERS can help our subdivisions. I know there were many other connections made between others.
Survey Results. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our Annual Meeting and we utilize the member’s voice from past year’s survey results. This year’s survey results were extremely positive. We made some minor programming changes to make the conference more education focused and according to the survey results our attendees enjoyed the new format.
Next year’s Annual Meeting will be our 50th annual meeting and it held at the beautiful Tan-Tar-A resort on the Lake of the Ozarks. We look forward to seeing all of you there. Until then, if you need anything from us, please contact the LAGERS office.