Fond Farewell to Tucson

Education, Connections and Cactus... Oh My!

Tucson, Arizona - home to countless varieties of cacti (some, they say, even jump), amazing hiking trails, and site of the 2018 NPEA annual conference.

Conference attendees were treated to beautiful weather, top-notch speakers and unique networking opportunities. We even rolled out a new app where all conference information could be accessed on a mobile device!

Thank you to the nearly 140 attendees representing 56 systems from across the country, and a special thank you to our 36 first-time attendees.

If you missed us in the Grand Canyon state, here are just a few of the exciting things the annual conference offered this year…

Protecting our plans from both cybersecurity and political threats 

One of our breakout sessions featured a cyber attack focused on retiree account takeovers. Frank Williams of Texas TRS provided additional insight on what the bad guys are out there doing and how systems can protect themselves. NASRA's Jeanine Markoe Raymond provided a glimpse in to Washington, what policy changes may be in store and how those changes could affect pension systems across the country.

The silver bullet for engaging members 

While there is no one way to overcome our common dilemma of keeping members interested in understanding their retirement, three of our member systems shared great communication ideas and tools they use to engage a new generation of members entering the workforce. We are all doing our best to provide information how and where our members choose to receive it. We saw a demo of video counseling showcasing how one system is using technology to serve their growing member base.

Physical presence makes a difference when having those tough conversations

Our keynote speaker Aaron Anderson of the Frontier Project shared how seemingly trivial details like where you sit or stand can have a significant impact on communication with your staff and members. Being aware of your physical presence makes a big difference during those critical communications. 

InFRE sessions provided valuable professional development opportunities

An important part of the conference each year are the "pre-con" sessions provided by the International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE). These sessions provide continuing education credit for those who hold the InFRE Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC)© certification, but are open to all attendees for industry-specific professional development. 

Social Security, Elder Fraud, Call Center Insights, Behavioral Finance, Actuarial ABCs and legal update were all part of this year’s conference agenda

The speakers and topics did not disappoint. Each were thought-provoking, providing new ideas or maybe just the validation that we all face similar challenges as we head back to our own systems.

Happy Trails and All the Best…

Erika Glaster has been a member of NPEA for more than 30 years and decided it was time to step down from the NPEA Board of Directors in 2018. Erika was always a voice of reason on the board, there to welcome new members to the conference and a friendly, familiar face in her service to this organization. Erika, you will be greatly missed!

Expect even more exciting topics, networking opportunities and fun next year for the 2019 NPEA annual conference in Naples, Florida October 19-23, 2019.