Gov. Nixon names new appointees to MOSERS Board to push reform of bonus compensation system

 Gov.
Nixon names new appointees to MOSERS Board to push reform of bonus compensation
system

Former
legislators David Steelman and Travis Morrison will work to change program that
paid more than $450,000 in bonuses after massive
losses

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay
Nixon
today appointed two new members to the Missouri State Employee
Retirement System (MOSERS) Board of Trustees, citing the need for broad reforms
after MOSERS awarded bonuses to staff despite massive asset losses in 2008. 
Attorney David Steelman and businessman Travis Morrison will
immediately join the 11-member MOSERS board.

“The fact that MOSERS employees
were awarded bonuses for a year in which the state employee retirement fund lost
nearly a quarter of its value is a sure sign that drastic reforms are needed. 
Today I’m appointing two trustees to the MOSERS board who are committed to
seeing that the compensation system is given a full review and that the practice
of awarding large bonuses in difficult economic times is given the harsh
scrutiny it deserves,” remarked Gov. Nixon.

Gov. Nixon announced that two
seats on the MOSERS Board of Trustees will be filled by David Steelman and
Travis Morrison.  Steelman is an attorney from Rolla and Morrison is a business
owner from West Plains.  Both men served in the Missouri House of
Representatives and are known for their independence and sound judgment.  Nixon
was joined for the announcement by Commissioner of Administration Kelvin
Simmons, an ex officio MOSERS trustee. 

On February 20, 2009, MOSERS
investment staff was awarded nearly $300,000 in bonuses for their work in 2008. 
The assets managed by that staff decreased in value by about $1.8 billion over
that period.  Last June, operations staff at MOSERS was also awarded $160,000 in
bonuses.  MOSERS manages the retirement investment for more than 80,000 current
state employees and retirees.

“Employees of the state of
Missouri and the taxpayers they serve expect those managing public retirement
funds to use good judgment and proper thrift.  Concerns have been raised that
this public trust has been violated, particularly by the bonuses,” said
Steelman.

Morrison added, “It is critical
that Missouri taxpayers have confidence that their money is being spent wisely
and that the retirement investments of public workers are protected.  I am ready
to work with the rest of the board to ensure MOSERS compensation system is fair
and appropriate to today’s circumstances.”

“I have the utmost confidence
that Mr. Steelman and Mr. Morrison will work quickly and diligently to bring
common sense reforms to the way MOSERS does business.  If state employees who
save lives at our state hospitals or highway patrolmen who face deadly threats
are prohibited by law from collecting bonuses there is simply no way that those
investing and losing funds at MOSERS should be rewarded with huge bonuses. 
We’ve got to make changes to that system now,” added Gov.
Nixon.

State law provides that the
Governor appoints two members to the MOSERS Board of Trustees.  The state Senate
and state House each appoint two members to the board, the State Treasurer and
Commissioner of Administration sit on the board and state employees elect three
representatives, two active and one retired, to the board.  Appointments to the
MOSERS Board of Trustees are not subject to Senate
confirmation.

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