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Work Begins to Develop Defined Contribution Program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced that Treasury, along with the State Investment Commission are seeking proposals for a service provider to implement and administer Rhode Island's new defined contribution program. The authority to develop the program was created in November as part of the state's comprehensive redesign of its public employee pension system.

"The defined contribution program will be a core part of each employee's retirement plan and is intended to provide a secure source of retirement benefit, in addition to their pension benefit," Raimondo said. "Our goal is to find providers whose priorities are low cost and secure investment products, as well as strong and dependable customer service."

Proposals should include detailed answers in the following areas:

- Robust investment options and management

- Efficient plan administration and record keeping

- Effective member communication and education mechanisms

- Comprehensive retirement planning

Most Rhode Island state employees, teachers and municipal employees participating in the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS), will be required to contribute to the defined contribution program effective July 1, 2012. It is estimated that the plan will initially cover approximately 30,000 government employees and annual contributions will be in the range of $100 million to $150 million.

"The state is committed to an open and transparent process as selection begins to hire a service provider," Raimondo continued. "In the coming months, there will be several meetings of the State Investment Commission to analyze and discuss various program proposals."

Proposals must be submitted to the Treasurer's office by January 20, 2012 at 5 p.m. The State Investment Commission is expected to approve a final choice by March 1, 2012. The new program will take effect starting on July 1, 2012.


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