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Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants
April 17, 2023, Minutes
Meeting called to order by the Chair Diane Wilcenski at 9:34 a.m.
DIRECTORS & ALTERNATES PRESENT: Willie Backes, AFSCME24; Robert Beglinger, AFT-R; Barbara Bird, DOT; James Blank, Bay Lakes United Educators-R; Robert Brooks, Central Wisconsin Center Retirees; Sandy Drew, SWIB Retiree; Ed Frank, WI Assoc of Retired Conservationists; Jean Grosklaus, West Allis Retirees; Sandi Haase, UW Madison Retirement Association; Brian Holmes, Epsilon Sigma Phi; Bruce Johnson, SWIB Retiree; Rick Klemme, Epsilon Sigma Phi; Allen Knop, WEAC-Retired; Jack Lawton, ACE; John Maydak, West Allis Retirees; Fred Nepple, OCI; Elaine Reiter, Kettle Moraine Retired; Robert Schaefer, WI Assoc of Retired Conservationists and State Engineering Association; Roger Springman, WFT/AFT Retirees; JeanneStangl, Dodge County Area REA; Joe Strohl, Retired Professional Fire Fighters of WI; Jim Thiel, Association of Career Employees; Diane Wilcenski, WREA; Rick Wojciak, DNR; Christopher Wren, Wisconsin State Attorneys Association; and wicoa.org
DIRECTORS & ALTERNATES NOT PRESENT: Dave Bosanko, Retired Professional Fire Fighters of WI; James Egan, UW-Eau Claire Emeritus; Ed Frank, WI Assoc of Retired Conservationists; Paul Haubrich, UW Milwaukee Retiree’s Assoc.; Kathy Kreul, WFT/AFT Retirees; Tara Leithold, Kettle Moraine Retirees; Lucrecia Mattson, UW-Eau Claire Emeritus; James Munro,,WASDA; Jim Palmer, WI Professional Police Association Retired; Dee Pettack, SAA; Tom Speranza, Retired Professional Fire Fighters of WI; Shirley Sweet, Beloit Area REA, and Clara Welch, Beloit Area REA
DIRECTORS & ALTERNATES EXCUSED; Dick Kratz, WI Retired Corrections Personnel
Guests: Chris Preisler-SWIB, Tarna Hunter-ETF
Roll Call: Taken by Rick Wojciak
Approval of the March Minutes: Motion made by John Maydak and seconded by Brian Holmes.
Guest: Chris Preisler, Senior Communications Specialist, SWIB
Chris spoke on the performance numbers through February. Click here to see handout.
Chris shared some preliminary numbers through the end of March. The Core fund was at 4.2%. The Variable Fund was at 7.1%. The markets are still experiencing volatility.
News from Chris was that trustees decided that the final incentive compensation payment is being deferred until December 2023. $26 million is being deferred with 234 employees eligible for compensation. A portion may be paid in August 2023 if the Core Fund meets a 3.4% threshold.
Shannon Gannon is the new Communications Director at SWIB. Shannon comes to SWIB from Chicago where she worked in the private sector. She was a Communication Consultant for several companies. Shannon and the Communications Team report to Sara Chandler, Chief Legal Counsel.
The new SWIB Offices are just about ready. SWIB will occupy floors 4 -7. The SWIB staff has begun moving into the building. They are moving in small shifts to make sure that all the IT and other needs are taken care of. There is a large conference room on the first floor where public meetings will be held. The building is being shared with CUNA Mutual. Staffing will be using a hybrid model for the number of days that they are required to be in the building. The model uses the distance that you live from the building to decide how many days you are in person. No staff works remotely full-time.
There will be a two-day Investment forum held on June 13th and 14th. Time will be 1:30pm -4:30pm for both days. It is 100% virtual. For more information
The next Investment Committee Meeting will be held April 25th at 1:00 pm.
There were a couple of questions that were asked at the meeting Monday that Chris did not have the answers to. Here is what he was able to find out. Sandy said that she had heard SWIB had 20% of staff working out of state. Currently about 15% of our staff is outside Wisconsin, heavily tilted toward staff who live in Chicago. SWIB expects that number to come down a bit due to relocations in connection with the opening of our new office. Also, as Chris stated at the meeting, the remote work policy requires all employees to be in the office one day per week (8 days per month if you are a manager) if you live out of state. The other question Sandy asked was regarding who owns the land the building we are leasing space from sits on. The state sold the land to a private development group in connection with the completion of the nearby state office building a few years ago. The land and building we are in is now owned predominantly by CD Smith, Gilbane Development Company, and affiliated entities.
GUEST: Tarna Hunter, Director of Strategic Engagement and Government Relations, ETF
On the Legislative front, the Jailer Bill has passed both houses and has been signed by Governor Evers. (Bill #2023F4) ETF is working on system changes so that they are ready for implementation effective on January 1, 2024.
The 2023-25 Biennial Budget is the biggest thing going on at the Capitol. Secretary Voelker has been talking with legislators. His message is Pension Dependability. He wants the system to be sustainable through modernization and provide trustworthy service. Tarna and Jay Risch continue to present WRS 101 to freshmen legislators.
Benefit place is the program that houses insurance information. ETF will be working on Strategic Planning over the next three months. Modernization will be their main focus. Currently there are 21 vacancies at ETF. This is because ETF is waiting for the new hires who are trust fund specialists with strengths in different areas to have comprehensive training together.
ETF’s goal for the 2023-25 Biennial Budget is to secure what is in the Governor’s Budget and ask for money for the pension administration. Reference the email that I forwarded from Tarna on April 17, 2023, on talking points and the brochure with the numbers of ETF members in each county and the money received.
Old Business: None
Annual WCOA Conference:
The Annual Conference is all set to go. The guest speakers are ready. There just needs to be some training for the people who are working behind the scenes.
Here is the link to find out more information and to register for the conference.
Invite your friends and members you represent!!!!
Blair Testin Award:
Dick Kratz has ordered the plaque.
An application from The Association of State Prosecutors (ASP) was forwarded to the WICOA Executive Board by Chris Wren. ASP voted unanimously to join WICOA. Joan Korb was nominated by ASP to be their representative on WICOA as she is the only Annuitant on the ASP Board. The Executive Board approved the position. Sandy Drew made a motion to approve ASP joining WICOA. Bob Schafer seconded the motion. Motion approved.
Diane has been receiving questions regarding the ETF policy on the last payment to an annuitant who dies. Example is Payment is made April 1st. The annuitant passes away on April 29. ETF policy is to pull back the last payment. IT is being questioned because the payment is for the previous month. Diane will continue to pursue to find an answer.
No deposits or bills were received during the month.
Balance is $8117.71 as of 3/3/23 Submitted by Willie Backes
Next meeting will be held Monday, June 19, 2023, at 9:30 AM.
There will be no meeting in May due to the Annual Conference.
Meeting Adjourned with a motion made by Jim Thiel and seconded by Bob Schaefer.
Meeting adjourned at 10:31 AM.
Respectfully submitted by Jeanne Stangl