National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

The Voice for Public Pensions

PPCC Standards Award Application Process is Now Open

October 8, 2011

The Public Pension Coordinating Council (PPCC) is a coalition of three associations that represent public pension funds who cover the vast majority of public employees in the US. The associations are:

  • National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA)
  • National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR)
  • National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS)

This is the ninth year the PPCC is offering the PPCC Standards Award Program to public retirement systems in this form. The Public Pension Standards are intended to reflect minimum expectations for public retirement system management and administration, as well as serve as a benchmark by which all defined benefit public plans should be measured. The retirement systems and the state and local governments that sponsor them are encouraged to meet these standards.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THIS YEAR'S STANDARDS

  • The Standards are separated into the Administrative Standards and Funding Standard. A system may qualify and receive a Recognition Certificate for either the Administrative or Funding Standard. A system that qualifies for both certificates will be awarded the Public Pension Coordinating Council Standards Award.
  • The requirements to meet the Comprehensive Benefit Program have been modified to specify that the plan must provide for vesting of all accrued plan benefit.
  • The requirement for award of a COLA in the past three years was removed. The requirement that the plan statutes provide for authority to award a COLA is still present.
  • The Actuarial Valuation Standard was expanded to include a requirement for an actuarial review at least once within the last 10 years.
  • The system may, at time of a member's employment, either provide member a hardcopy handbook or a written notice, by a "Welcome Letter" or similar notification, of the availability of a complete handbook on the system Web site. Updates to the handbook can be provided regularly on the system's website as long the member is made aware of the updates and may request a hard copy.
  • Questions regarding whether or not your systems meets the standards can be referred to the Administrator at any time (e-mail: PPCC.Standards@gmail.com). The Administrator is available to help ensure all applicants understand the Standards and how they apply to particular situations.

PENSION STANDARDS APPLICATION FORM 

The application process is completely in electronic format. The application can be found by clicking this link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YXWWBPG and following the instructions on the site. The responses will be compiled and analyzed to ensure they meet the requirements of the Standards.

Step 1 - Review the application below to determine the needed information. The Word application is a guide for you but please do not submit a completed Word form for review.

Step 2 - Compile the responses from the latest information available to you. We have timed the application period so information available June 30, 2011 can be reported. Provide an Explanation when a No response is made and when additional information is required to explain a Yes response. The reviewer will review the explanation to determine if the answers are appropriate. There must be Yes answers to all questions (or sufficient explanation) in order to meet the Standards. 

Step 3 - Go to the web site address http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YXWWBPG and complete the form. You do not need to complete the entire form at one time. However, in order to return to your particular survey you must set your Web Browser to at least a Medium-High level (Go to Tools; Internet Options; Security Tab). If the form is partially complete you may exit and return to the form later, picking up where you left off. When it is complete, submit the Application as directed. You should receive an electronic confirmation that your application has been submitted.

Step 4 - Within two weeks you will receive a certificate by e-mail demonstrating your system has met one or both of the PPCC Standards. The certificate can be used in your CAFR and/or made into a plaque to be displayed appropriately. If you do not qualify, you will receive an email detailing the reasons you did not meet the standards.

DEADLINE: Please complete the application by November 15, 2011. This will allow us time to process the applications and have the certificates available for your CAFR. The Web site will be disabled after that date. The earlier you send in your application the earlier you will receive your certificate

If you have questions through this process concerning the operations of the web site or the electronic application, contact Keith Brainard at keithb@nasra.org or 512-868-2774. If you have questions concerning the application questions, contact Alan Winkle at ppcc.standards@gmail.com or 208-345-7469.

Download the word application form guide.