I am writing to address inaccurate claims made by The Liberal Orange County blog published by PublicCEO on November 20.
I made my decisions on the funding policy as a fiduciary of the OCERS plan after weighing all of the facts. I issued a letter to the OCERS Board on July 22 (see below) to explain that I didn’t hear critical parts of a board meeting because I participated via cell phone and experienced traffic and street noise during an important part of the discussion. I reviewed my notes and Board packet immediately after returning to the office and contacted the Board chair within 24 hours of the original meeting to request the item be re-agendized.
I carefully considered all of the information and made three points at the Board meeting on November 18. The first was my responsibilities as a fiduciary and a trustee, the second was the importance points in constructing a fiscally prudent funding policy focusing on the significant increased cost from negative amortization, and the last was considering the secondary considerations such as the impact on plan sponsors and the intergeneralization interperiod equity. I concluded that shortening the amortization periods would be in the best interests of the plan participants and beneficiaries and also reduced total employer contributions, including a reduction of employer costs on one liability layer alone by over $800 million.
Shari L. Freidenrich, CPA, CCMT, CPFA, CPFIM, ACPFIM
Orange County Treasurer/OCERS Trustee