By Tom Moutes, RLACEI Legislative Director
With Mayor Eric Garcetti likely heading off to India in the near future, it’s a good time to review the structure of the LACERS Board of Administration.
The LACERS Board consists of seven members:
- Four are appointed by the mayor (one of whom is required to be a LACERS Retiree);
- Two are elected by active LACERS members; and
- One is elected by Retired LACERS members.
The Board members are appointed to fixed five-year terms and have staggered end dates at the end of fiscal years.
The four appointed Board members frequently are replaced fairly shortly after a new mayor comes into office. Often, a new mayor will replace board members on higher profile City commissions before getting around to the LACERS Board, but traditionally the time does come for new appointments.
Because the mayor does get to appoint a majority of the LACERS Board, the selection and vetting of the proposed commissioners should be very important to LACERS members. This is especially true for the appointed Board member who is a LACERS retiree, as this position presumably was created to help provide some balance between the appointed and elected Board members.
As the appointed Board members tend to be replaced with each new mayoral administration, it’s important to have experienced elected commissioners during these times of transition. It takes time – usually a couple of years – for new Board members to fully understand their roles and the various retirement concepts they need to grasp. While the learning process is taking place, it is the experienced commissioners – usually the elected ones – who must be extra vigilant for the protection of our hard-earned retirement benefits.