Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Investing in a healthy retirement plan

Because the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is an independent governmental authority (not part of a City, County or State), we do a lot of our own administrative functions like, purchasing, human resources, and retirement plans, that in a larger government would be handled by different departments.


Our retirement plan is run by a group of Trustees that include an elected representative of the retirees, the Planning and Development Director, Chairman of the NVRPA Board, and me, the Executive Director. We had one of our regular meetings yesterday to work on diversifying some of our investments and review our performance. Our investments had grown about 12% so far this year, but with the fiscal cliff looming, the stock performance in December is anyone’s guess?

Like almost all retirement plans ours has been hurt by the erratic stock performance particularly through the recession. We also carry some unfunded obligations from when the plan was started in the 1980s. The good news is that we have been taking good consistent actions over time to make the plan healthy. Every year we have an actuarial study to determine how much should be contributed, and each year we make to commitment to fund that amount. In our Strategic Plan we pledged to reduce the unfunded obligations from when the plan was started by 25% over the next 5 years.

Several years ago in the heart of the recession we had a special two day Board Retreat where we looked in detail at all of our options for retirement benefits. After an in-depth analysis, we decided the best option was to work to make our plan healthy. We have been putting a lot of effort to those ends ever since.

1 comment:

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