Bill Carey, (1929 - 2018)
William (“Bill”) Carey served the City of Milwaukee Employes’ Retirement System for twenty years as the retiree-elected trustee of the Annuity and Pension Board. Mr. Carey passed away May 28, 2018 at the age of 89. During his tenure he served as Chair for two years, Vice-Chair for over six years, and as a member of the following committees: Administration & Operations, Investments (including as Vice Chair), Legislative (including as Chair), and Litigation. While serving on the pension board, Bill was pivotal in advising the pensioners during the Global Pension Settlement of 2001 and the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Bill’s City career spanned from 1969-1989, while serving the Mayor Maier administration as the City’s “fiscal coordinator and lobbyist.” He then went on to become Director of Fiscal Liaison. Bill’s earlier career highlights include: being elected to the Fond du Lac County Board at age 21; journalist for the Appleton Post from 1962-1968 (including appearing as a TV analyst); serving on the Appleton Post pension board; and journalist for the Milwaukee Sentinel. After working for the City, Bill went on to work for the state, where he won a national award for developing a grant tracking system that allowed each department in state government to apply for federal grants. He also enjoyed traveling with Governor Thompson during the governor's "Take government to the people" excursions. Bill was married to his beloved, late, wife, Daisy, for 48 years. He was also the proud father of five children and grandfather of 12 grandchildren.
His obituary may be found here.
Update on Our Fund
The City of Milwaukee Pension Fund had a flat return of 0.0%, net of fees, in the first quarter of 2018. This return outperformed the Fund’s blended benchmark by 0.3%. First-quarter GDP growth in the U.S. came in at 2.3%, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of growth greater than 2.0%. Consumer confidence remains near a ten-year high while unemployment was reported at 4.1%, which in part allowed the Federal Reserve to continue on its recent path to raise short-term interest rates in March. Although the markets exhibited very strong equity returns in January, volatility started in February due to inflation fears and heightened concern of possible trade friction among U.S. trading partners. The first quarter return for the Fund’s public equity allocation was unchanged, net of fees, while the Fund’s fixed income and absolute return asset class returns were -1.2% and -0.1% respectively, net of fees. Real estate was up 2.3%, net of fees, in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is the most recent quarterly data available. The market value of the Fund on March 31, 2018 totaled approximately $5.36 billion.
Phone Tree Changes
In order to serve you better, we are updating our phone system. When it is released, you will hear our new menu options that will allow you to be directly connected to the staff person you need. When you call, please listen carefully to these new options.
New Medicare Cards in 2018
CMS, the authority that manages Medicare, has begun issuing replacement Medicare cards and is anticipating the replacement of all cards over the next year. This new card will replace the existing Medicare cards you have, and will include a new identity number called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will replace the HICN that is currently used (that looks a lot like your social security number). More information about this can be found on CMS's website. Your benefits will not be impacted with this change.
1099-Rs for 2017
If you need a replacement 1099-R tax statement for 2017 (or any earlier year), please contact the ERS office. Since it is after April 17, 2018, there is a $15.00 processing fee for each reissued 1099-R tax statement. You will need to submit a check payable to the Employes’ Retirement System and a note with your name, mailing address, social security number or payee ID number, and the year(s) for which you will need a replacement.