Major state pension plans still less than 60% funded

The Rhode Island state pension fund grew by $426 million in fiscal 2013 to $7.7 billion, the state Office of the Auditor General said Thursday. More

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Major state pension plans still less than 60% funded

DESPITE A TIME-WEIGHTED RATE OF RETURN of 11.07 percent in fiscal 2013, the 66,000 member state worker pension system (which has five plans) remained about 60 percent funded on average, said the state auditor general in a report released Thursday.
Posted 1/9/14

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island state pension fund grew by $426 million in fiscal 2013 to $7.7 billion, the state Office of the Auditor General said Thursday.

The Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island made $777.9 million in net investment gains during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, and took in 571.3 million in contributions from employers and employees. The system paid out $903.1 million to retirees and beneficiaries during the fiscal year.

The pension system includes five defined-benefit plans – for state employees, teachers, judges, state police and municipal workers – and the new defined-contribution plans created by the 2011 pension overhaul. The plans cover 66,000 members.

According to the audit, the defined-benefit plan for state employees was 56.3 percent funded, the teachers’ plan was 58.8 percent funded, the judges’ plan was 83.4 percent funded, the state police plan was 89.6 percent funded and the municipal workers plan was 82.5 percent funded.

The time–weighted rate of return for the system during the fiscal year was 11.07 percent.

Also included in Thursday’s report, the State Employees’ and Electing Teachers Other Post Employment Benefits System increased in value by $29 million.

The fund, which pays for retirees’ health care and other non-pension benefits, stood at $66 million at the end of June.

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The last sentence in this article is misleading. Many teacher retirees pay for their own healthcare insurance and do not rely on a state fund.

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