The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) was recently recognized by two national organizations for meeting professional standards in administration and funding, as well as excellence in financial reporting.

For the second consecutive year, the Public Pension Coordinating Council (PPCC) awarded OPERS for meeting professional standards in administration and funding. In addition, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the comprehensive annual financial reports issued for both retirement plans administered by OPERS.

“We are extremely proud of our staff here at OPERS. They have demonstrated a high degree of excellence in our financial reporting, followed sound accounting practices, and are demonstrating adherence to best practices in the public pension community,” said Tom Spencer, Executive Director of OPERS. Spencer added, “The Board of Trustees for OPERS has shown outstanding leadership to support and require such high standards for the staff.”

The PPCC award is given only to those public plans meeting strict criteria in these areas. In the administration category, plans must have mandatory annual audits, annual actuarial valuations, issue annual statements to its membership, and have independent evaluation of investment performance among other things. On funding, the plan must either have a funded ratio of 100% or collecting its Annual Required Contributions (ARC).

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. Fiscal Year 2012 represents the 16th and 14th consecutive years the annual reports for the OPERS and Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges (URSJJ) plans have received this award, respectively.

The GFOA also recognized OPERS for outstanding achievement for the system’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting for the sixth straight year. This abbreviated financial report is drafted in laymen’s term to convey important financial information to a wide audience.

The PPCC is an organization created by National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA), the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), and the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR). These are the three largest public pension organizations in the United States. The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL and Washington, D.C.

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