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Rhode Island's Unfunded Pension Liability Decreases by More Than $100 million in FY2020

The Rhode Island Treasurer's office announced that despite a tumultuous year in the financial markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the unfunded liability of the RI pension system decreased by more than $112,534,284 million in FY 2020.

This is the second year in a row that the unfunded liability has decreased.

"I'm committed to a strong management of Rhode Island's finances and protecting the growth and funding of the pension even during times of market volatility," said Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "We're pleased the Rhode Island Pension Plan continues to stay on target, performing better than 87% of its peers this year and showing the largest decrease in unfunded liability since pension reform was enacted in 2011. This is in large part due to our 'Back to the Basics' investment plan, which prioritizes long-term growth and stability even when markets are challenging."

Additionally, for the segments of the system whose valuations were received today, the total aggregate funded status of the system rose on the year to 62.5% from 61.5%. Among the 117 municipal plans managed by the pension system, 30 are more than 100% funded (up from 27 last year), and 76 are at least 80% funded (up from 69 last year).

Due to the strong performance of the system, most retirees are entitled under law to receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2021. The COLA will be 1.06% and will be applied to the first $27,608 of the pension benefit for most retirees. Retirees will see their benefit amount adjust up in 2021 starting after the month in which they retired.

"I believe all Rhode Islanders deserve a secure retirement, especially those who have spent their careers serving others. I'm glad to announce that due to the strong performance of the Pension Fund this year - despite challenging markets - most retirees will see a cost of living adjustment in 2021," said Treasurer Seth Magaziner.

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Contact: Rosie Hilmer, Communications Director (401) 439-2199|

Related links

  • Department or agency: Office of General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
  • Online:
  • Release date: 12-09-2020

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