Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 | 8:05 p.m.
Tina Leiss, the second in command of the $28.7 billion state Public Employees' Retirement System, has been named its executive director.
The board of directors of the system today unanimously chose Leiss to succeed Dana Bilyeu who has resigned effective Sept. 6 to take a job with a national organization.
Board member Rusty McAllister said Leiss has “established her roots here” starting as legal counsel to the system in 1999 and then taking her current job as operations officer in 2004.
There were no other nominations considered by the board.
Bilyeu, who is leaving to be executive director of the nonprofit National Association of State Retirement Administrators, said the board will negotiate a contract with Leiss with the salary range between $140,000 and $150,000.
Leiss, 46, was in private law practice for seven years before joining the state Attorney General’s Office where she was assigned as legal counsel to the system.
Board Chairman Mark Vincent said, “I don’t know where we would find anybody better than Tina.” He said she has the “ability to lead” and this appointment will give confidence to the staff.
As operations officer, Leiss oversees all aspects of benefit administration including survivor, disability and retirement benefit programs.
Bilyeu said she will be able to choose in her new job where she lives but will be spending a “ton of the workweek” in Washington, D.C.
The system has an estimated 100,000 active state and local government workers and pays pensions to some 49,000 retirees.
The board also received a report from its investment manager Ken Lambert that the fund gained a 12.9 percent rate of return on its investments in fiscal 2013.
He said the system is ranked No. 14 in the nation among large public employee pension funds on its interest earned during the past five years.