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
Members of 50 MERS Plans Will Receive a COLA in 2019
January 16, 2019: Members of fifty municipal (MERS) pension plans will receive a cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in 2019.
All members of these 50 plans who retired before June 30, 2012, and were previously receiving or eligible for a COLA, will receive a COLA beginning the month following their retirement date in 2019.
More information on which MERS plans are offering a COLA in 2019, along with information on how COLAs are calculated, can be found here.
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ERSRI Begins Mailing 2018 1099-R Forms to Retirees
January 11, 2019: ERSRI has begun mailing 1099-R forms to retirees, with all 1099s expected to be mailed by January 31st. Retirees should receive their 1099-R forms by mid-February, at the latest.
Retirees can view and download their 1099-R by logging into their account. Information on how to access your 1099-R online can be found here.
For information about how to read your 1099-R please click here. If you turned 59 ½ in 2018, you may receive two separate 1099-R forms. You can read more information by clicking here.
If you do not receive your 1099-R form by mid-February, please call (401) 462-7600 and we will issue a replacement. The ERSRI Member Service Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
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Rhode Island Suing Google Over Data Breach
December 12, 2018: Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today announced the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island filed a motion with the court to lead a shareholder class action lawsuit against Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, after it was revealed that Google executives had hidden privacy breaches that compromised the personal information of 52.5 million users.
"Google had an obligation to tell its users and investors that private information wasn't being protected," said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. "Instead, Google executives decided to hide the breaches from its users and continued to mislead investors and federal regulators. This is an unconscionable violation of public trust by Google, and we are seeking financial restitution on behalf of the Rhode Island pension fund and other investors."
The underlying action is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and accuses the company of misleading shareholders and federal regulators when they failed to disclose ongoing breaches in private user information from its social media platform Google+.
In October, Google announced it was shutting down the Google+ social media platform, after whistle blowers came forward with claims that the company had hidden vulnerabilities in its security measures. On Monday, Google announced that personal information for 52.5 million users had been compromised.
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Fall Issue of Compass, ERSRI's Member Newsletter, is Available Online
October 2018: The Fall 2018 issue of Compass is available to read online. Articles in this issue include:
- Message from Treasurer Magaziner
- Retirement System Update
- Shareholder Advocacy Update
- Member Spotlight: Carol Peck
- Member News
- RI's ABLE: Saving for a Loved One with a Disability
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Treasurer Magaziner Presses Facebook to Appoint Independent Board Chair
October 17, 2018: Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner, along with Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, has co-filed a shareholder proposal at Facebook, requesting the board of directors make the role of Board Chair an independent position.
Treasurer Magaziner's action comes just weeks after Facebook disclosed that nearly thirty million users may have had their data stolen.
"Facebook's board of directors must take responsible steps to protect the interests of the Rhode Island pension fund and other investors by providing independent oversight of company management and its CEO," said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.
Read more about the Facebook shareholder proposal here.
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Rhode Island Opposes Excessive Pay Packages for Corporate Executives
September 27, 2018: Rhode Island will be voting against more compensation packages for corporate executives if the pay is not aligned with company performance, state treasurer Seth Magaziner announced today.
“At a time when income inequality has grown to alarming levels in our country, investors like the pension fund should not be paying enormous salaries to corporate executives at companies that are performing poorly,” said Treasurer Magaziner. “Executive compensation must be closely tied to long-term performance and structured in a manner that keeps corporate executives accountable to investors, including members of our pension system.”
Each year, publicly-traded companies ask shareholders to vote on items that are pending on their annual proxy ballots. Shareholders are asked to vote on a range of issues, including the approval of boards of directors, advisory votes on proposed executive pay packages, as well as on shareholder proposals concerning environmental, social and governance issues.
During the past year, Rhode Island voted against executive compensation proposals at dozens of companies, including IBM, Aflac, and American Express, where proposed pay packages were not justified by company performance.
The State Investment Commission yesterday unanimously adopted a stronger executive compensation voting policy going forward, specifying that the Rhode Island will oppose executive compensation when:
- CEO pay is more than 4 times the average pay for the company’s other top executives.
- Performance-based pay is less than 50 percent of total CEO compensation.
- CEO pay is in the top 25 percent of peer companies, but performance is below average.
- More than 4 percent of the company’s outstanding shares are paid to a CEO.
Treasurer Magaziner's 2018 Shareholder Engagement Review, along with information on proxy voting can be found at: www.treasury.ri.gov/shareholderengagement
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Rhode Island Pension Fund Continues to Deliver Strong Returns in August
September 26, 2018:
The State's investment strategy earned 0.96 percent during the month of August, outperforming its benchmark return of 0.88 percent and continuing to deliver strong returns for the pension fund.
"Our members deserve a stable and healthy retirement system," said Treasurer Magaziner. "The Back to Basics investment strategy, which we began implementing two years ago, continues to deliver both growth and protection for the pension fund and our members."
Over the past three years, the portfolio also outperformed its benchmarks, returning 8.20 percent annually, while the plan's investment benchmark earned 7.96 percent. A traditional investment portfolio -60 percent stock and 40 percent bonds- would have earned 7.84 percent during the same period.
Treasurer Magaziner's Back to Basics investment strategy was adopted in September 2016 and included the decision to exit most hedge funds, investing in more traditional strategies.
Investment information, including performance, fees and expenses, information about managers, the status of the fund, and public records requests are available on line at the Treasurer's Transparency portal at: investments.treasury.ri.gov
All performance is presented net of fees and expenses.
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Rhode Island Pension Fund Releases Overview of Recent Actions to Strengthen Corporate Accountability
September 21, 2018: Treasurer Magaziner today released an overview of the actions his office has taken this year to strengthen corporate accountability at hundreds of publicly traded companies in which the state's pension fund invests.
Each year, publicly traded companies seek votes from shareholders on items including electing board members, executive pay packages, as well as proposals from shareholders on environmental, social and governance issues. As a multi-billion-dollar investor in the U.S. and Global stock markets, Rhode Island's pension fund holds shares in thousands of companies.
quot;Every Rhode Islander deserves to retire with dignity and financial security, especially those who spend their careers in public service," said Treasurer Magaziner. "We expect companies in which we invest to engage in responsible business practices that protect members of the pension fund from financial risk. Shareholder engagement allows us to advocate for our members and hold corporations accountable."
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Pension System Receives National Recognition for Quality of Financial Reporting
August 29, 2018: The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island a "Certificate of Acievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting", its highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, for its 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
"Over the past three years, we have focused on making the pension system’s financial information easier for the public to access and understand,” said Treasurer Magaziner. “I am grateful to the hard-working professionals in our office who serve the public and am pleased that GFOA recognized our efforts."
Employee’s Retirement System of Rhode Island’s 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which was published in December 2017, was judged by an impartial panel which found that the Report demonstrated a “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate financial information, as well as an overall status report on the operations of the retirement system.
In the letter informing Treasurer Magaziner of the award, GFOA wrote “We hope that your example will encourage other government officials in their efforts to achieve and maintain an appropriate standard of excellence in financial reporting".
Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island’s 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report can be downloaded at www.treasury.ri.gov/CAFR
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R.I. Treasury's 2017 Annual Report Highlights Progress in Strengthening Pension System
Treasurer Magaziner recently released his 2017 Annual Report which highlights progress made toward improving the state's economy, strengthening its pension system and finding ways to put Treasury's resources to work for Rhode Islanders.
"As Treasurer, I remain committed to promoting economic growth and financial stability for all Rhode Islanders," said Treasurer Magaziner. "2017 saw the implementation of a number of new efforts to better serve the people of Rhode Island including programs to support small business lending, return millions of dollars in unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders automatically, and efforts to strengthen the state's retirement system."
In its first full year, Treasurer Magaziner's 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, which included exiting more than $500 million from hedge funds, the state's pension fund earned more than $1.09 billion and grew to a decade-high $8.42 billion by December 31, 2017.
You can download the Annual Report here.
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Retirees: Does ERSRI Have Your Current Mailing and E-Mail Address?
Each month, ERSRI sends an e-mail to retirees letting you know that your Pay Statement is available to view, as well as quarterly e-mails letting you know when Compass
, ERSRI’s newsletter, is available.
To update your contact information, please log into your account
and click on the “Update My Personal Information” icon, which looks like this:
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.