The Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Retired Public Employees’ Association (MRPEA) was held Monday, July 10, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hilton Jackson and was followed by a reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
President Becky Cade called the general meeting to order. Cade welcomed members and guests.
Mississippi Insurance Department | Cade introduced Bob Williams, director of the Life and Health Actuarial Division for the Mississippi Insurance Department, and H. Larry Fortenberry with Executive Planning Group. Fortenberry talked about when to apply for Medicare Parts A, B, and D, and he talked about the need for a Medicare supplement policy. Fortenberry also talked about the taxability of Social Security benefits based on income versus Social Security earnings limits based on age, and he touched briefly on long-term care insurance. Williams also talked about long-term care insurance and the fact that insurance companies are asking the Mississippi Insurance Department to approve large rate increases for long-term care insurance due primarily to insurance companies underestimating their liabilities. Williams provided a brief update on the American Care Act, which is pending before the United States Senate.
Fixed Index Annuities | Cade introduced Richie Culotta with Culotta Insurance & Investments (Silver Level Sponsor) who discussed the benefits of fixed index annuities as a tool for retirement savings.
Elder Law | Cade introduced Certified Elder Law Attorney Richard A. Courtney with Courtney Elder Law Associates. Courtney gave an excellent presentation on pre- and post-capacity planning, which included discussions of health-care decision-making, personal affairs and financial-decision making, and estate planning and asset disposition planning.
MRPEA Get Involved! You CAN make a difference! | Cade introduced MRPEA Vice President Ann Thames and MRPEA Board Member and Legislative Committee Chair Ed LeGrand who discussed the current political environment at the state and national levels and shared misconceptions about the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) and the benefits it provides. Thames and LeGrand also discussed steps members and retirees of PERS can take to make their voices heard. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
PERS Update | Participants took a brief refreshment break before Cade introduced PERS Executive Director Pat Robertson who provided an update on PERS. Robertson stated that the unaudited rate of return for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017, was approximately 14.4 percent. Robertson stated that the plan’s funded ratio remains at approximately 60 percent. According to Robertson, preliminary projections show that PERS is not currently projected to meet its goal of being 80 percent funded by 2042, which may result in the need for an increase in the employer contribution rate in 2019. According to Robertson, if the projected funded ratio by 2042 falls below 60 percent, an employer contribution rate increase will be required. If the projected funded ratio by 2042 stays above 60 percent but falls below 75 percent for two consecutive years, an employer contribution rate increase will be required.
Robertson also provided a legislative update from 2017 and stated that PERS may or may not introduce another minor technical corrections bill in 2018.
Mississippi Federal Credit Union | Cade introduced Justin Harmon, chief public relations officer with Mississippi Federal Credit Union (Silver Level Sponsor). Harmon provided a brief overview of the services provided through the Mississippi Federal Credit Union.
Cade called the business meeting to order.
- Acceptance of the Minutes of the 2016 Annual Meeting | Cade called for acceptance of the minutes of the July 11, 2016, annual meeting. There being no amendments, a motion was made to accept the minutes by Ann Thames and seconded by Shirley Rutland. The motion carried.
- Acceptance of Financial Report | Cade called for acceptance of the financial report. There being no questions, a motion was made to accept the report by Dr. Howell Garner and seconded by Joe Johnson. The motion carried.
- Report of Constitution and By-Laws Committee | Cade called upon Dr. Evelyn Webb to provide the report of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee.
- Approval of Amendments to Constitution and By-Laws | There being no questions about the proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws, Cade called for a motion to approve the amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws. A motion was made by Robert McNeil, seconded by Mark Chaney, and the amendments were approved.
- Report of Nominating Committee | Cade called upon Dr. Howell Garner to provide a report of the Nominating Committee.
- Election of Officers and Directors | Cade asked if there were any nominations from the floor. There being none, Dr. Garner called for acceptance of the new slate of officers and directors by acclamation, seconded by Maggie Gibson and the slate was accepted.
- Outgoing President’s Report | Cade concluded by thanking everyone for coming and thanked those who had been helpful in planning the Annual Meeting. Cade summarized a few of the many accomplishments during her tenure as MRPEA President.
- Recognition of Incoming President | Cade recognized President-elect Ann Thames. Thames thanked those in attendance for their support and stated that she was looking forward to her term as president.
- Adjournment | There being no additional business, the meeting was adjourned.
Thank you to our sponsors: Culotta Insurance & Investments; Empower Retirement (Mississippi Deferred Compensation); Mississippi Federal Credit Union; and St. Dominic Health Services.
Thank you to our speakers: Certified Elder Law Attorney Richard Courtney, Courtney Elder Law Associates; Richie Culotta, Culotta Insurance & Investments (sponsor); H. Larry Fortenberry, Executive Planning Group; Justin Harmon, Mississippi Federal Credit Union (sponsor); MRPEA Vice President-elect Ed LeGrand; PERS Executive Director Pat Robertson; MRPEA President-elect Ann Thames; and Bob Williams, Mississippi Insurance Department.
Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting July 10. Your participation is important at meetings and online. Please let others know about MRPEA!