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Retirement System Still on Healthy, Secure Path

Some municipal pension plans to receive cost-of-living adjustment

PROVIDENCE, R.I. The Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island Board today voted to approve the fiscal year 2013 valuations for state employees, teachers and the Municipal Employees' Retirement System.

These reports are continuing to show the system is on a healthy funding track, as determined in 2011 when the General Assembly voted to overhaul the state administered pension system.

"This information should provide peace of mind to public employees and retirees that the pension reform law is working," Raimondo said. "Reports like this demonstrate that the process state leaders followed to fix our broken state retirement system was thoughtful and driven by data."

This valuation will be used to set the system's contribution rates for fiscal year 2016. The valuation confirmed the following:

- The funded ratio is 56.2 percent for state employees and 58.1 percent for teachers

- For FY2016 taxpayer contribution rates and projected dollar amounts are lower than anticipated: 23.64 percent for state employees and 23.14 percent for teachers

- For FY2014 MERS plans that are over 80 percent funded will experience a .67 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (56 MERS plans fit this criteria)

- FY2013 investment performance was above plan expectations

Going forward, state employee, teacher and MERS valuations will be completed before the end of the calendar year to determine cost-of-living adjustment payments for the following calendar year.

In September, ERSRI, under the direction of the Retirement Board, hired Cheiron to audit the work of Gabriel Roeder Smith and Company (GRS), the state's actuary. The audit determined the state's actuary's work was "reliable and reasonable". The audit covered the Employees' Retirement System and the Municipal Employees' Retirement System valuations as of June 30, 2012, and the Experience Studies as of July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2010.

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Related links

Department or agency: RI Office of the General Treasurer

Online: http://www.treasury.ri.gov/

Release date: 12-17-2013

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