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District U-46 planning for retirement committee


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 heard about the district’s plan for a retirement committee charter at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 14. A vote on the charter is expected on Feb. 4.
  Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations, explained the reason for the charter is to set up a committee that would evaluate employee investment options with regards to 403(b) and 457 plans.
  “The charter lays out who the potential participants will be as we move forward and some of the guidelines for the committee to follow and who the fiduciaries are,” King said.
  The committee would include nine members including two members of U-46’s teacher’s union as well as one member representing the remaining four district unions.
  Prior to the meeting, board member Melissa Owens asked why one member would represent four unions and if “joint representation” is consistent with the union contracts.
  The district responded via a memo: “Given that participation is very low by the support unions, the committee did not feel that the group should include one person from each support group. Also, there is not language in the contracts that would affect how this committee operates and who should participate.”
  The district’s deputy superintendent of operations would serve as the committee’s chair and its benefits coordinator as secretary. Other members of the committee include the assistant superintendent of human resources, financial operations director, payroll coordinator and senior business official.
  At the meeting, board member Sue Kerr asked if the district currently offers 403(b) plans and King said they do. She also asked for an explanation on 457 plans.
  King said that 457 plans are “another investment option that we have as public employees. So in the scenario where if me, as an employee, is already maxing out my 403(b), I can actually contribute to a 457 beyond that dollar amount.”
  The committee would annually report to the board on or before March 31 each calendar year according to the charter.
  Committee members “shall serve without additional compensation for the performance of their duties as members of the Committee,” the charter states.
  Regarding expenses, the charter states: “The Committee may charge a reasonable administrative fee to each of the participants in the Plans for reasonable expenses incurred by the Committee and those advisors, record keepers, etc. retained by the Committee. The District, at its discretion, may pay certain expenses in lieu of charging those the expenses to the plan participants.”
  Regarding bonding and insurance, the charter states: “The Committee shall be covered by a bond, paid for by the District, to protect the Plans against loss. The District shall also purchase insurance to cover all potential liability and losses occurring by reason of the act or omission of a member or members of the Committee.”

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