ERSRI.org is your source for the latest information from Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, the state’s largest public employee retirement system.
The $8 billion retirement system works with state employees, teachers, the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS), MERS police and fire, correctional officers, BHDDH nurses, state police, and judges.
Here, you'll find the latest tools to help you plan for your retirement, calculate your benefits and eligibility, and understand how laws and regulations may affect you.
Are You Planning to Retire Soon?
Are you planning to retire within the next nine months? If so, ERSRI offers group retirement counseling sessions at our Warwick office. During your counseling session, ERSRI will provide you with a benefit estimate and the required retirement forms. You may also want to review ERSRI's Retirement Planning Checklist.
Please schedule your counseling session six to nine months before retirement by calling ERSRI at 401-462-7600.
If you have additional questions, please contact ERSRI using our "Contact Us" page or by phone at 401-462-7600.
The ERSRI Member Service Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
News and Updates
Rhode Island's pension system outperforms most peers for second year in a row
August 16, 2019: Rhode Island's pension system continues to improve its relative investment performance when compared to similarly sized public pension funds, outperforming 78% of its peers in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2019.
Leading market intelligence firm, InvMetrics, found that Rhode Island performed in the top quartile among public pension funds over $1 billion, according to a report from New England Pension Consulting, which serves as a consultant to pension plans throughout the country, including Rhode Island.
Rhode Island's performance continues to steadily improve compared to its peers, marking the second consecutive fiscal year in which the plan outperformed the median in its peer group. This recent success stands in contrast to historical performance, in which Rhode Island often lagged its peers. The system's relative performance ranked in the sixty-sixth percentile among peers for a ten-year period, while improving to fifty-seventh in a five-year period, and twenty-second over a one-year period.
Under Treasurer Magaziner's leadership, the state adopted the 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, which is designed to provide long-term growth over time and stability when markets are challenging. Since implementation of Back to Basics began in September 2016, the fund has earned $1.8 billion from investments as of July 31, 2019.
Detailed information about the fund, including the 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, performance, and detailed information about its managers are published online as part of Treasurer Magaziner's "Transparent Treasury" initiative.
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Rhode Island's pension fund earns $291 million in June
July 24, 2019: Rhode Island's pension plan earned $291,411,038 in the month of June, posting a 3.56% return. The positive performance was driven by the investments in the global stock market - mostly low fee index funds designed to provide long-term growth.
Under Treasurer Magaziner's leadership, the state adopted the 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, which is designed to provide long-term growth over time and stability when markets are challenging. Since implementation of Back to Basics began in September 2016, the fund has earned $1.83 billion from investments.
In the twelve-month period ending June 30, 2019, the fund earned 6.54%, closing fiscal year 2019 with value of $8,468,762,460. Over the past three years, the fund has posted an average annual return of 8.71%, outperforming its benchmark return of 8.44% for the same period.
Detailed information about the fund, including the 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, performance, and detailed information about its managers are published online as part of Treasurer Magaziner's "Transparent Treasury" initiative at investments.treasury.ri.gov.
Note: All performance is reported on a "net of fees" basis.
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Legislative Update for Fiscal Year 2019
July 2019: During the 2019 legislative session the Rhode Island General Assembly passed several bills that may affect members of Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island:
Contribution Timing: Beginning July 1, 2020, employers will have 3 business days to transmit contributions to the Retirement System. Currently, an employer has up to 45 days to transmit contributions to the Retirement System. This new law will enable the Retirement System to process retirement paperwork more quickly; helping reduce the delay in providing new retirees with their first retirement check.
Correctional Officer / State Employee – Combining Service Credit: Members of the Retirement System who have worked both as a Correctional Officer and as a State employee will now be able to combine their service when determining their retirement eligibility date and the calculation of their retirement benefits.
Central Falls Has the Option to Join the State Retirement System: With the passage of this law, the City of Central Falls’ public safety pension plans now have the opportunity to join the State Retirement System if all stakeholder groups approve. Importantly, this legislation does not require the City’s public safety employees to join the Retirement System, it simply gives the City and the members of its public safety pension plans the option. Central Falls’ municipal employee plan is currently managed by the State Retirement System.
The funded status and liability of each municipal plan managed by the Retirement System is calculated separately. When a municipal plan joins the Retirement System there is no impact to the existing municipal plans, or to the State Employee plan.
You may read more about the 2019 legislative changes here.
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Retirement Board Welcomes Two New Members
June 2019: Following a special election which began on April 30, 2019, Rhode Island’s Retirement Board recently added two new members.
Raymond J. Pouliot will complete the remaining six months of Retiree Representative Marcia B. Reback’s four-year term, as he was the only candidate for the board seat who collected and returned 100 valid signatures on his nomination papers.
Michael J. Twohey will complete the remaining six months of Active Teacher Representative William B. Finelli’s four-year term, as he was the only candidate for the board seat who collected and returned 100 valid signatures on his nomination papers.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Raymond and Michael, who have shown their initiative and enthusiasm to represent their colleagues on the Retirement Board,” said Treasurer Magaziner.
Consistent with ERSRI Regulations, as only one candidate for each position returned 100 valid signatures, those candidates are elected to their respective board seats.
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Spring 2019 Issue of Compass is Available
The Spring 2019 issue of Compass is now available for download.
Articles include: a pension system update, information on how to guard against identity theft, a profile of Bill Patenaude, who has worked with the Department of Environmental Management, as well as how to meet with a financial consultant at no cost.
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Treasurer Magaziner, Mastercard Reach Agreement on Increased Transparency of Corporate Lobbying Expenses
April 4, 2019: Treasurer Magaziner has successfully resolved a shareholder engagement with Mastercard, following an agreement by the company to significantly increase its public disclosure of lobbying expenses
"As long-term investors in Mastercard we believe that full disclosure of the company's direct and indirect lobbying activities and expenditures will help investors assess whether the Company's lobbying is consistent with its expressed goals and in the best interests of shareholders," said Magaziner.
Last fall, Treasurer Magaziner filed a shareholder proposal with Mastercard requesting that the board of directors annually disclose information regarding payments used for direct or indirect lobbying, including payments to trade associations, as well as disclosing any grassroots lobbying activity.
Investors are increasingly concerned that inadequate lobbying disclosure by publicly-traded companies presents reputational risks. Numerous large companies have angered customers, investors and other stakeholders in recent years when they were revealed to be supporting controversial causes including climate denial and the erosion of consumer protections...
You can read the entire press release here.
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Treasurer Magaziner Releases Annual Report Highlighting Recent Accomplishments
March 25, 2019: General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today released his Office's 2018 Annual Report, which highlights work to support small businesses, make a once-in-a-generation investment in schools across Rhode Island, and how his office is returning millions of dollars in unclaimed property back to its rightful owners.
"Over the past four years, we have found new and innovative ways to use the Treasurer's office to strengthen our economy," said Treasurer Magaziner. "I hope this report will give Rhode Islanders a glimpse into the work our team does every day to strengthen the finances of our state and make a real, tangible difference in peoples' lives."
The report can be downloaded at www.treasury.ri.gov/annualreport
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There, you will see a “Changing Your Personal Information” box, which looks like this:
Simply update any outdated information and click the green “Update” button and you’re done.