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Open communication

NCPERS honors public plans for transparency

NCPERS’ Hank H. Kim

Public pension plans working to improve transparency and communication with the general public are being recognized by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems.

The Washington-based NCPERS awarded Certificates of Transparency to 164 public pension funds for their contributions to enhancing public understanding of retirement systems.

Hank H. Kim, executive director and counsel, said the plans being recognized "are going the extra mile" by participating in the 2017 NCPERS Public Retirement Systems Study, the results of which were released in January. The study details efforts by the plans' trustees, managers and administrators to improve finances and operations.

The 2017 study included 62 state government pension funds and 102 local pension funds with a collective 15.5 million members and $1.8 trillion in assets. The study covers 22 topics, including current and target asset allocations, returns and governance practices. It is available on NCPERS' website.

Other pension plans can use the information to build their own models and evaluate their own data, said Mr. Kim, who encourages other plans to participate in the study and provide more transparency to the public. By recognizing the 164 plans, "we hope to stir others to do the same," he said.