Indiana may combine plans’ administration

The Indiana Public Employees’ Retirement Fund and Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund, both of Indianapolis, could have their administrations and boards merged under legislation being considered in the state House.

Legislation that would merge the boards and administrations of the $11.4 billion public employees fund and $6.8 billion teachers fund passed the state Senate, 50-0, on Feb 19.

One executive director would oversee the combined fund. Terren B. Magid is executive director of Indiana PERF, while Steve Russo handles the same role for TRF.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who now appoints five of the six board members to each fund, would appoint six of the seven members to the board of a new Indiana Public Retirement System. The other trustee would continue to be the director of the state Office of Management and Budget, currently Ryan Kitchell.

The combined system could raise annual investment returns by 0.2%, or $60.5 million, generate in administrative costs a one-time saving of $8.9 million and annual saving of $1.2 million, according to an Indiana General Assembly fiscal impact report. For the year ended June 30, PERF had investment expenses of $67.4 million and administrative expenses of $24.9 million, while the teachers fund had respective expenses of $26.4 million and $6.9 million.

Officials of both funds declined to comment on the legislation, said Jeffrey D. Hutson and Molly Deuberry, directors of communications and outreach at PERF and TRF, respectively.

The legislative session is scheduled to end April 29.