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Six candidates vie for staff seats on pension advisory board

Six UC employees are running for two open staff seats on the UC Retirement System (UCRS) Advisory Board. The board meets three times each year to discuss issues pertaining to UC’s retirement plans and shares ideas with UC Office of the President leaders.

Active, eligible UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) staff members who are not members of the Academic Senate will be invited to vote for two new representatives from May 19 through June 17. See below for more details on voting eligibility and procedures.

Following is a list of the candidates, with an excerpt from his/her candidate statement:

Michael A. Fehr, computer resource specialist at UCLA

In life there are few guarantees. This is why our pension is one of the most valuable benefits of being a UC employee.

Craig R. Harmelin, assistant director, study abroad, at UC Merced

My goals for my time on the UCRS Advisory Board include defending the best features of our pension, advocating for better post-employment benefits, identifying and developing tools to help UC staff and faculty take a more active role in their retirement planning.

Naomi Nakamura, pharmacy technician 2, UCSF Medical Center

I believe I would bring an important perspective to the UCRS Advisory Board as a UC employee on the “union” modified pension tier negotiated in 2013-14 by CNA, UPTE and AFSCME.

Aman K. Parikh, health sciences associate clinical professor at UC Davis Medical Center

I have seen how important retirement benefits are to all of us and how critical they are to ensuring we continue to have a robust UC community.

Shirleyrae Reed, research administrator at UC Berkeley

With numerous changes that take place on our campuses, I want to be a part of something where I can make a difference, not just for myself but for all employees at our universities.

Brian A. Ross, senior educational facilities planner at UC Office of the President

I am an informed investor who believes that our investment options in the 403(b), 457(b) and DC Plans should include low-cost, diverse index funds that provide an informative prospectus.

How to cast a ballot

All active, eligible UCRP members who are not part of the Academic Senate may vote for two candidates to sit on the board for a four-year term.

VR Election Services (VRES) is conducting the online election. VRES has more than 25 years’ experience conducting retirement board elections, including elections for many of the largest public retirement systems in the country.

Eligible UCRP members with UC email addresses will receive an email announcing that they are eligible to vote. The email will include a link to the e-ballot, a unique PIN and voting instructions. The PIN ensures that eligible voters cast only one ballot.

UCRP members without UC email addresses will receive a ballot and instructions in the mail at their home address. The election information will also include instructions and a PIN for voting online. The members can either mail in the paper ballot or vote online using the PIN provided in the election packet.

VRES has email and telephone helplines. Contact VRES via email at or call toll-free at 800-218-4026, Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT.

Final election results will be posted at the UCRS Advisory Board election website by the end of June.

About the UCRS Advisory Board

The 11-member UCRS Advisory Board is composed of a cross-section of the university community. In addition to the two seats held by elected staff representatives, the board includes members appointed by the president, faculty appointed by the UC Academic Senate, and the chairs of the Council of UC Emeriti Associations and the Council of UC Retiree Associations.

The advisory board meets three times a year to discuss and share its opinions with UC leadership on issues relating to all members, retirees and their beneficiaries for the following plans:

  • University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP)
  • Tax-Deferred 403(b) Plan
  • 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Defined Contribution Plan
  • The 415(m) Restoration Plan

Comment ( 1 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. Blaze Farrar May 20, 2015 Reply

    I wish the information we were getting about these candidates was more substantive. We have their brief statements, but do not know how or if they are qualified to represent us. This “info blurb” is entirely pulled from the UCRP website and doesn’t tell us if this elected (mostly appointed) body has any real teeth. We all care about our retirement, but this election doesn’t seem to mean we are having any influence on the decisions that will affect our retirement resources.

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