Legal Standards for ACERA Trustees:
ACERA trustees are fiduciaries and are held to the “prudent expert” standard in managing the trust.As fiduciaries, trustees are to “discharge their duties solely in the interest of, and for the exclusive purposes of providing benefits to, participants and their beneficiaries…” Further, trustees must act “With the care, skill, prudence and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with these matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims.” (California Government Code Section 31595.)
“The official duties of elected board members who are employees of the county or a district shall be included as part of their county or district employment and their board duties shall normally take precedence over any other duties. The elected board members who are county or district employees shall not receive any additional compensation by virtue of their election to the board.” (California Government Code Section 31522.)
The ACERA Board developed the following characteristics of an effective ACERA Trustee. This information is offered to individuals seeking election or appointment to the ACERA Board.
An ACERA Trustee:
- Resists pressures to make investment decisions for political, social or other reasons that are inconsistent with fiduciary standards.
- Subscribes to the Mission, Commitment, Goals and Objectives of the Association.
- Understands what information is to be kept confidential, and maintains that confidentiality.
- Demonstrates self-motivation in understanding activities required of a fiduciary.
- Provides leadership to ACERA by working with other Board members to set the strategic direction for the Board and executive staff.
- Adopts and consistently follows policies and procedures to carry out the Associations responsibilities.
- Devotes adequate time preparing for Board and committee meetings, which could range from 15 to 25 hours per month.
- Attends 1 Board meeting and possibly 1 – 3 committee meetings per month at the Associations offices.
- Assumes responsibility for self-evaluation, overall Board evaluation and the performance evaluation of the General Manager.
- Acquires and maintains the knowledge required to effectively evaluate those to whom duties are delegated.
- Delegates, as necessary and appropriate, to staff and outside service providers having expertise in specific areas.
- Avoids conflicts of interest and appearances of impropriety.
- Follows the provisions of the plan.
- Ensures the integrity of the Association’s financial controls and reporting.
- Approves the annual operating budget and material transactions that are outside the ordinary course of business.
- Makes the time commitment required in order to obtain the necessary education and training, and to prepare for and attend multiple monthly Board and committee meetings.
- Acquires and continues necessary education to effectively make decisions.