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Whither the Iowa Public Retirement System?

By John Iekel • December 19, 2017 • 0 Comments
Officials from the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) appeared before the Iowa Legislature’s Public Retirement Systems Committee on Dec. 18. Committee members listened to testimony and inquired regarding the program’s status and liabilities.

Testimony included a presentation by Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Director Jane Phipps, who offered information concerning the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC), a supplemental retirement savings program DAS oversees that provides 403(b), 457 and 401(a) plan administration, compliance, investment options and services for participating Iowa public sector and education-related employers and employees.

State lawmakers expressed happiness with IPERS’ direction, reports the Iowa City Press-Citizen, but also expressed concern about its long-term liabilities. Committee Co-Chair Sen. Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) said of the shortfall, “We can’t just bury our heads in the sand and pretend like we don’t have a $6.9 billion unfunded liability,” and emphasized the importance of basing plans to cover the liability on realistic assumptions.

Phipps provided the following information concerning the 403(b) and 457 programs that are part of the RIC:

 

 Program    Active
   Participants
   Annual
   Contributions 
   Assets
 403(b)    13,000    $67,691,607   $317,391,302
 457    14,638    $51,210,936   $839,108,297

 

Phipps also reported that in October, the DAS issued a request for proposals for a third party administrator for the RIC, and on Dec. 11 accepted one of the proposals it received.

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