PERS director retiring; will head national group | NevadaAppeal.com

PERS director retiring; will head national group

Sandra Chereb
The Associated Press

The executive director of the Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System announced Tuesday she is stepping down to head a national organization.

Dana Bilyeu, 52, has been employed with the state’s public retirement system since 1989. She has served as executive director for the past 10 years and before that was operations officer for the nearly $30 billion pension fund. She was also PERS general counsel.

Bilyeu told The Associated Press she will retire from state service sometime in early September.

She has been hired as the executive director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, a nonprofit educational and research group with offices in Washington, D.C., and Kentucky.

The organization provides research and guidance to about 90 of the nation’s largest public retirement systems with combined asset holdings totaling more than $3 trillion, representing benefits for some 8 million public workers, Bilyeu said.

“I look forward to moving on to a national perspective,” she said.

She has served on that organization’s executive committee since 2008.

Under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in the late 1990s, Bilyeu’s replacement will be chosen by the seven-member board that oversees PERS.

Nevada’s public employee pension plan covers about 100,000 active state and local government workers and pays benefits to about 49,000 retirees.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, the system saw a 12.4 percent return on investments amounting to $2.9 billion.

The 2013 return followed a 2.9 percent gain in 2012, a record 21 percent gain in 2011 and a 10.8 percent return in 2010.

Bilyeu said the fund’s annualized return for the last 29 years is 9.3 percent, 1.3 percentage points above performance targets.

A report on the system’s long-term unfunded liability for 2013 is expected later this fall.

At the turn of the century the retirement plan was 85 percent funded. It was 71 percent funded in 2012, up slightly from the previous year.