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GERS Board Still Looking for New Administrator and at Legislative Effort to Save System

Austin Nibbs will be around for a few more months at least. (Screenshot from GERS Zoom meeting)

The Government Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees Thursday delayed discussion of a bill to resolve insolvency issues to another day. It could not delay, however, the fact in the Treasurer’s report that this year’s expenditures are up 1 percent from the same period last year and collections are down 2 percent. And last year’s figures were bad.

The board this time last year recommended cutting checks to retirees almost in half so that much larger annuity cuts would not have to be made in 2024.

The Senate did not take up the recommendation and has now set a hearing for next Monday on a bill that would keep retirees receiving their monthly checks and the System afloat.

The bill to infuse cash and life into the system would create a Matching Fund Securitization Corporation and allow the territory to issue bonds to help the System.

The trustees called a special meeting for Friday to discuss it.

Another issue taking a long time to resolve is hiring a replacement for Austin Nibbs, administrator for the System.

Nibbs submitted his resignation in December of 2020. He said at that time it would be effective June 30, 2021.

Nellon Bowry, chairman of the Board, after an executive session Thursday emailed the Source saying, “The Board authorized engaging a search firm to continue the effort to identify and onboard a replacement for Mr. Nibbs.”

Nellon Bowry chaired Thursday’s GERS meeting. (Screenshot from GERS Zoom meeting)

Nibbs emailed the Source, “My contract was extended to December 31, 2021, and recently through March 31, 2022. I do not know what will happen after that.”

He also wrote, “When I was hired in 2007, the System was experiencing internal turmoil. I indicated to the Board at that time that I would stay on for at least five years. Five years turned into 15 years because I committed myself to turn the System around and will stay committed. If there is not a replacement when my contract expires, and if asked by the Board to stay beyond March 31, 2022, I will consider it.”

The trustees had a lengthy discussion about how the trustees could be more involved in member services when there were problems. They talked about applications for annuities pending and cases such as those concerning disabilities being appealed.

The trustees renewed their contract with Meketa Investment Group contract for another year. Meketa offers investment consulting and fiduciary management services.

Attending the meeting were Andre Dorsey, Dwane Callwood, Leona Smith, Ronald Russell, and Vincent Liger. Member Michael McDonald was absent.

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