2012 WCOA Annual Convention

Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants

21st Annual Conference

May 14, 2012

American Family Headquarters, Madison, Wisconsin


The 21st Annual Conference began with an 8:00 a.m. registration and a continental breakfast. Registered were 139 participants and 10 guests. The following summary is from the presenters handouts which are available at: www.wicoa.org. Minutes of the presentations were not taken. The WCOA Chair, Jim Palmer, welcomed the participants and introduced the presenters.

Robert Conlin, Secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds
Mr. Conlin introduced newly appointed ETF Deputy Secretary, Rob Marchant. Mr. Conlin shared several goals for customer service improvements including additional self service tools, availability of staff throughout the state, improving infrastructure to support agency goals, and incorporating best practices in agency activities. The CEM benchmarking report indicates that ETF administrative cost in FY 2011 was $51 per active member and annuitant. This is $27 below the peer average. The service score was 69/100, which is below the peer median of 77, but a 10 point increase since 2008. Improvement in online services and greater emphasis on active employees will raise the score. A customer satisfaction survey was distributed to the conference participants. The 2011-2012 Legislative Session requires ETF involvement, specifically Act 10 the budget repair bill and Act 32 the biennium budget. At the end of June a study of the WRS is to be completed by ETF, OSER and DOA. Annuity adjustments and how they have affected annuitants was illustrated in numerous slides showing the change in value for specific years of retirement. The declining population of annuitants affected by negative annuity adjustments also was illustrated by numerous slides. With the May adjustment retirees from 2007 to present or 47.5% of annuities were not subject to the full negative adjustment and are at their base or floor. Less than half of all annuitants will be subject to any negative adjustment in 2013,. Projections of a 7.2% investment return in 2012 will result in a maximum annuity adjustment between -12% and -16%. A return between 27% and 31% is needed to avoid a negative annuity adjustment.

Michael Knetter, President and CEO, University of Wisconsin Foundation
Mr. Knetter's topic was the Durability of Economic Recovery. Dr. Knetter began by sharing his 2011 forecasts. He forecast the stock market at 7% when actually it was 5.53%. Real GDP growth was forecasted at 3.5% and actual was 1.6%. Unemployment was forecast, around 9% and the actual was 8.5%. Inflation was forecast low but rising and actual core inflation increased between 1% and 2% with non-core increasing more. Overall economic growth was weak considering the gap in the labor market; concerns about Europe and credit quality seem to keep demand weak. He shared several slides from the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis showing the quarterly change in GDP% from 2007 to the present, job loss comparisons of the ‘81-’83 recession and January ‘08 to the present, and the unemployment rates since 1960. Dr. Knetter’s 2012 forecast, as of January, is the stock market will increase 10%, the real GDP growth will be 3.5%, although this is weak considering there are 5 million fewer jobs than

go here for full write up of minutes.

Conference Presentors Powerpoint Presentations

A Special Thanks to photographer John Hanrahan