Working for You!
Since 1972, advocating for the rights and value of South Dakota state employees.
Month: July, 2012

Investment Trust partner adds new employee; North Dakota "Oil Boom" effect on South Dakota

Thursday, July 26, 2012
I've been in the office all week, mostly working on SDSEO member outreach and SDSEO infrastructure (the things that help us work for you). State employee news has been fairly light as well, though I have posted a few things to Facebook.

Here's what I've posted to Facebook this week:

CategoriesInvestment Trust, Member

SDRS Board of Trustees meeting review

Friday, July 20, 2012
I spent most of yesterday at the South Dakota Retirement System's board of trustees meeting. Lots of things happened with one vote that will affect state employees and the rest of the members of the SDRS. The vote was taken on "recommended actuarial assumption changes." Here's the breakdown:
  1. The board voted 8-3 to reduce the long-term investment return assumption from 7.75% to a short-term/long-term assumption of 7.25% for five years, then to 7.50%. This action will reduce the total dollars available when system planning. There is no date for implementation, but expect something within the next couple months.
  2. Specific assumptions that will be looked at: post-termination mortality, pre-termination mortality, salary scale, retirement, termination, disability, inflation, COLA, and interest on accumulated contributions. "Assumptions" are things the SDRS considers when planning the system (e.g., fewer terminations than planned for leads to system financial losses, as the SDRS plans for, or assumes, those terminations).
  3. With the same vote, the board elected to look at changes to nearly all SDRS benefits. COLA, special early retirement, early retirement, vested benefits, and nearly everything else will be looked at. So, the overall SDRS plan design (i.e., its goals) will also be looked at.

The next meeting of the SDRS board will be Sept. 5-6.

CategoriesMeetings, South Dakota Retirement System

Two blogs about South Dakota politics

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I suppose one might consider this blog to be a political blog, inasmuch as pretty much everything that involves state employees involves politics, but I don't think Notes is at its core a blog about politics. To me, Notes is more a blog about the SDSEO and state employee issues. However, there are a couple political blogs I go to regularly. One thing to know about blogs is they are not "news"; there's more of the writer in a blogpost than there is in a news article (news articles generally go through an editor or two or three). Here's two blogs by South Dakota political reporters that I go to:

Pure Pierre Politics - Written by Bob Mercer, a longtime political reporter in South Dakota and the former press chief for Gov. Janklow. Mercer also does reporting for the Aberdeen American News; you can read his news pieces by clicking on the story titles at the right side of his blog.

Political Smokeout - Written by David Montgomery, formerly a reporter for the Rapid City Journal and now at the Argus Leader. He has some pretty good stuff there, and he seeks opinions and knowledge from his readers, so it's a good place to visit.

The South Dakota Retirement System board of trustees meets tomorrow at View 34 in Pierre. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. I'll be there, working for you.
CategoriesBlogs, Media, South Dakota Retirement System

Argus Leader story about Gov. Daugaard and key advisors

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The Argus Leader ran a feature story by journalist David Montgomery this weekend on Gov. Dennis Daugaard and some of his key staffers and advisers. It's a pretty good article that shows the inside process of politics in South Dakota. The story link is here.

SDSEO informational folders available

Friday, July 13, 2012
One of the things I've been doing over the past couple weeks is I've taken day trips east to west and north to south to distribute SDSEO informational folders. The folders' contents tell the story of the SDSEO: what we are, who we are, where we are, and what we do. Pretty much all of the folders' components have been posted here in Notes, but I thought I'd do an aggregate posting, so here are the contents of the folders:
  1. SDSEO newsletter
  2. SDSEO brochure
  3. Reinke Gray Investment Trust brochure
  4. "Accomplishments for You!" poster
  5. A letter from me
  6. An SDSEO Post-It pad or an SDSEO magnetic thermometer
  7. My business card
  8. A business reply envelope.
There are around 150 folders out there right now, and I'd like to have another 1,000 out in the next couple months. I have the contents; it's just a matter of arranging recipients. If you would like some to distribute, please contact me via email at or via telephone at 1-800-257-3736 or (605) 224-8241.

The three trips I've taken over the past two weeks have been pretty fast-paced, where I bring the folders and run through what the contents mean to potential SDSEO members and supporters. I've left from and traveled back to Pierre on each trip; there's plenty to do at the main office in Pierre, but I want to get out as often as I can or am asked to appear. If I haven't touched base with you, I probably will over these next couple months. However, if you don't hear from me, make sure you email me at or give me a call at 1-800-257-3736 or (605) 224-8241. The slogan on our material is "Working for You!", and I hold that close.
CategoriesAssociate Member, Lifetime Members, Member, SDSEO Office
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