PLANSPONSOR Recognizes Plan Sponsors of the Year

February 7, 2007 ( - Each year, the editors of PLANSPONSOR magazine recognize a specific plan sponsor that demonstrates leadership in providing a more secure retirement for workers.

And, in what has surely been a period of extraordinary change for plan sponsors, we are proud to acknowledge the contributions of not one, but two, Plan Sponsors of the Year.

Read PLANSPONSOR’s Special Coverage of our Plan Sponsors of the Year

American Airlines: Slow and Steady

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System: The Oregon Trail

Each of these plan sponsors – American Airlines in the private sector, and Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) from the public – had pension commitments threatened by extraordinary financial challenges. Both had to embrace painful and difficult changes to restore financial integrity. Both had in-house investment management teams that contributed significantly to the investment performance of those portfolios. Ultimately, of course, both have richly demonstrated the innovative approach and commitment to excellence in process and result that has earned them recognition as Plan Sponsor of the Year.

For American Airlines , a slow-and-steady approach to investments – and a relentless focus on its pension commitment to its workforce – has allowed the company to maintain defined benefit pension plans for its 133,000 participants, amidst an industry where many of its competitors have abandoned these plans.

Strong investment performance and bold system reforms have allowed the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) to close a $17 billion pension funding gap, and earned the system recognition as PLANSPONSOR’s Public Plan Sponsor of the Year.

Both organizations will be honored at PLANSPONSOR ‘s annual Awards for Excellence banquet on March 29, 2007, at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, in New York City. They will also be featured in the February issue of PLANSPONSOR magazine, the nation’s leading authority on retirement issues.

Previous recipients of the Plan Sponsor of the Year award have included IBM ; the United Methodist Church ; Gary Amelio, Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board ; David Bronner, Head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama ; the FDNY Pension Fund ; and General Motors Asset Management’s Allen Reed .

Read the press release about the award for American Airlines HERE

Read the press release about the award for the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) HERE