An Open Letter to All Retirement Boards
March 26, 2012
Dear Retirement Board Members:
As you are aware, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011 on November 18, 2011. This legislation contained several provisions long sought and advocated for by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC). The intent of these governance provisions was in part to provide greater transparency and openness in government and to establish some additional oversight of the systems by PERAC. It was our belief, then as now, that all of this would provide an opportunity for the retirement systems to explain to their respective media outlets that they are carefully monitored and that specific measures were now in place by which board members were in fact held to a very high standard of accountability.
To that end, back in 2004 the Commission embarked on a review process of current laws and regulations as it related to the public pension community in an effort to determine how PERAC could better service the systems and how the systems could in fact be engaged in a more transparent way. The result, after many public hearings, meetings with impacted parties and years of public debate, was the enactment of Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011. We thought given the recent concerns which have been voiced by some on the on-going implementation of the Act, it would be helpful to provide each of you with the following detailed chronology for your review.
We believe it is important to note that throughout the elongated process, it was never the intent of the Commission to support or advocate for a punitive legislative approach for the management of the public pension systems. It was, however, the intent to provide each of you with the tools to bring all of our retirement systems into full compliance with today’s expectation of openness and transparency in government by the taxpayers of the Commonwealth.
We hope that after a careful review of the chronology the mis-statements and mis-information surrounding Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2011 will be dispelled.
For those who have already complied with the necessary filings pursuant to the statute, we thank you. For those who have not yet filed their reports, we urge you to do so before May 1, 2011.
Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.
Domenic J.F. Russo Joseph E. Connarton
Chairman Executive Director
Attachment: Chronology: Board Governance Reform