I recently attended the National Association of State Retirement Administrators annual training conference. It’s very helpful to get together with peers and share successes and what’s working best with others across the country. It serves both as an affirmation of some things we’re doing very well and an inspiration of other practices we can employ to be even better. (At this point I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wow, I bet THAT’S a giant gathering of retirement nerds...and you would be right. But we're hard working, caring nerds, so it’s all good.) My desk now includes 4 pages of notes ranging from cybersecurity ideas for discussion, team/leadership development, to membership surveys. The information is only as good as the user, so my task is to explore each item to see how it might make our system even better.
I was also asked to speak on a conference panel on Risk Assessment and Strategic Planning. Another riveting topic, right? Actually, for us it is. One of the big strengths of the LAGERS system is our team and our focus: our members. At LAGERS, we're big planners and take our role of service to our members very seriously. So I was asked to share and I’m happy to report the session received wonderful questions and feedback.
We have a detailed, on-going risk assessment process by which we have identified and categorized every conceivable risk to our system and our members. Then for each risk, we have gone through a number of “what if” scenarios and developed/implemented solutions to eliminate, avoid, safeguard or mitigate each and every one. We then take that risk assessment as a base and work with our board and staff to develop both long term and short term strategic plans of action.
This proactive approach drives us to see clearly where we’re headed and keeps us on the best, safest path for our members and system. As the saying goes, “Success is a journey, not a destination”. Regardless what you do we can always find ways to improve. Your retirement system is no different!