Commonwealth of Massachusetts | Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
Five Middlesex Avenue, Suite 304, Somerville, MA 02145
Ph 617 666 4446 | Fax 617 628 4002 | TTY 617 591 8917 | www.mass.gov/perac
Philip Y. Brown, Chairman
Auditor Suzanne M. Bump | Kathleen M. Fallon | Kate Fitzpatrick | James M. Machado | Robert B. McCarthy | Jennifer F. Sullivan

Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director

January 6, 2017

John McCarthy, Chairman
Holyoke Retirement Board
20 Korean Veterans Plaza, City Hall Annex
Room 207
Holyoke, MA  01040

REFERENCE: Report of the Examination of the Holyoke Retirement Board for the three-year period from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014.

Dear Chairperson McCarthy:

The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission has completed a follow-up review of the findings and recommendations contained in its audit report of the Holyoke Retirement Board for the period referenced above. We conduct these visits as a regular part of the oversight process. They are designed to ensure the timely implementation of corrective action for the recommendations cited in that report. The examination addressed three specific findings and recommendations included in the audit report. The results are as follows:

1. The Audit Report cited a finding that several pay codes used by the police department had retirement contributions withheld even though they did not qualify as regular compensation.

Follow-up Result:  Those codes have been adjusted so that retirement is no longer withheld. This finding is resolved.

2. The Audit Report cited a finding that there was a former member collecting a retirement allowance who was not eligible to retire.

Follow-up Result:  The Board’s attorney sent a letter dated October 11, 2016 to PERAC regarding this member. The Board is waiting for a response. This finding is not resolved.

3. The Audit Report cited a finding regarding the Board’s internal controls with respect to travel expenses.

Follow-up Result:  The Board has instituted a new approval process for travel expenses. Multiple staff members are inspecting each request for reimbursement. Payments made with the Board’s credit card are filed with a cover sheet to identify what is covered by the bill. The Board members’ travel reimbursement forms are using the column for prepaid expenses, making it clearer what has been and what is now being reimbursed. This finding is resolved.

The Commission wishes to acknowledge the effort demonstrated by the staff of the Holyoke Retirement Board to correct many of the issues cited in the most recent examination of the system. PERAC auditors may conduct an additional follow-up visit to ensure appropriate progress is being made in the area that has not been corrected at this time.

We anticipate your continued cooperation in resolving this important matter.
 

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Connarton
Executive Director