|Public Release Date: February 5, 1998||No. 98-04|
The Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) administers pension funds that serve approximately 200,000 county, school, and local public employees, their survivors and dependents. Approximately 2,000 separate Minnesota government units participate in the retirement funds administered by PERA. These units include counties, cities, townships, and school districts.
The association administers three defined benefit funds. These funds provide retirement annuities and survivor and disability benefits to members. The PERA Board of Trustees is responsible for administering these funds in accordance with state statutes and has a fiduciary obligation to PERA's members, the employers, and the state. PERA also administers a defined contribution plan. PERA assets at June 30, 1997, totaled approximately $12.5 billion for all of its retirement plans.
The primary objective of our audit was to render an opinion on PERA's financial statements. These financial statements are included in both PERA's and in the state of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 1997. Our objective included determining whether PERA's financial statements presented fairly its financial position, results of operations, and changes in cash flows in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.
As part of our work, we gained an understanding of the internal control structure and ascertained whether PERA complied with laws and regulations that may have a material effect on its financial statements. During our audit, we gained an understanding of the contributions, annuities, refunds, Police and Fire Consolidation Fund mergers, and the financial statement preparation cycles. We also tested the association's administrative expenditures.
PERA's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 1997, includes our unqualified audit opinion thereon, dated December 8, 1997. The PERA financial statements are also included in the state of Minnesota's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 1997, which includes our audit opinion dated December 8, 1997. PERA designed internal controls for its material financial activities and complied with material legal provisions for the items tested.