News and Updates (Archived)
RI Pension Fund Earns $117M from Investments in January 2017
February 22, 2017: Rhode Island’s pension fund earned $117 million in investment gains in January 2017, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced at today’s meeting of the State Investment Commission.
Returning 1.6% in the month of January, the fund’s market value grew to $7.8 billion, the highest in more than a year. The fund has earned more than $875 million from investments over the past 12 months, a return of 12.4%, which beats the plan’s own 11.6% benchmark and a traditional 60% stock/40% bond portfolio which would have returned 11.2%.
You can read the press release here.
ERSRI to Begin Mailing 1099-R Forms in Mid-January
January 6, 2017: ERSRI will be mailing 1099-R forms to retirees beginning in mid-January - with all 1099s 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.
For information about how to read your 1099-R please click here.
If you turned 59 ½ in 2016, 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.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Amendments were made to Chapter 10 Sections 1.1 and 9.1 to add revisions, clarifying language, and additional subsections (previously Regulations 1 and 9) and technical changes were made throughout. Download the full notice here
Marcia Reback to Join ERSRI’s Retirement Board
December 29, 2016: Ms. Marcia B. Reback will join Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island’s (ERSRI) 15-member Retirement Board, as a Retiree Member Representative, beginning with the Board’s January 11, 2017 meeting.
In November 2016, ERSRI notified members that there was an open Retiree Member Representative position on the Retirement Board. All retiree members of the retirement system were eligible to be a candidate for the seat. Interested members were required to obtain a minimum of 100 valid signatures from eligible retiree members, and return their nomination papers to the Retirement Office in order to qualify for nomination.
Ms. Reback was the sole member to return valid nomination papers by the 4:00 p.m. December 12, 2016 deadline. As such, she will take the oath of office at the outset of the Retirement Board ‘s next meeting, which will take place on January 11, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of 50 Service Avenue in Warwick, RI.
Fall 2016 Issue of Compass, ERSRI's Member Newsletter, is Available Online
You can read the issue by clicking here. Articles include:
- Treasurer Magaziner on ‘Back to Basics’ Approach to Pension Fund Investments
- Legislative Update for ERSRI Members
- Update on Pension Fund Investment Performance
- A Letter from Marcia Reback & Roger Boudreau
- TIAA Offers Free Financial Advice for Members
- Post-Retirement Employment Q&A with Frank Karpinski
ERSRI Customer Service Survey
November 14, 2016: You may have recently received an e-mail from ERSRI asking you to complete a brief survey to determine how members evaluate the quality of services provided. The surevey will take between 12-14 minutes and your answers will be useful as decisions are made to improve services. All of your answers will be kept confidential.
Your participation in this survey is voluntary. Your decision to participate or not participate will have no effect on your rights or benefits.
if you have questions, please contact ERSRI at 401-462-7600. The ERSRI Customer Service Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Rhode Island State Investment Commission Approves Hedge Fund Redemption
October 26, 2016: The State Investment Commission today unanimously voted to terminate its investment in seven hedge funds pursuant to the newly adopted 'Back to Basics' investment strategy, announced General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who chairs the Commission. With today's action, Rhode Island will redeem an estimated $585 million from hedge funds in the coming months. You can learn more here.
Treasurer Magaziner Announces 'Back to Basics' Plan to Strengthen Pension Fund
September 28, 2016: General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced today a new "Back to Basics" investment strategy for the Rhode Island pension fund, following unanimous approval by the State Investment Commission.
Among the changes that were recommended by Treasurer Magaziner is a significant reduction in the state's investments in hedge funds. Under the "Back to Basics" plan, the state will reduce its investment in hedge fund strategies by more than $500 million over the next two years, and reallocate these funds to more traditional asset classes.
You can learn more about the plan here.
ERSRI Retirees to Receive $500 Stipend
August 2, 2016: Members of Employees’ Retirement System of RI who retired on or before July 1, 2015 will receive a $500 stipend, which will be included in their August 29, 2016 pension payment.
It is the second of two $500 stipends that were negotiated as part of The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 (RIRSA) and the 2015 Settlement Agreement.
R.I. Budget Includes New Tax Exemption for Retirees
July 5, 2016: Rhode Island’s 2017 fiscal year budget, which took effect on July 1, 2016, includes a new tax exemption for qualified retirees.
The first $15,000 of retirement income will be exempt from state personal income tax for retirees who have reached full social security retirement age and have a gross income of $80,000 or less for single filers, or $100,000 in gross income for joint filers.
In the 2016 budget, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a similar initiative that provided a tax exemption only for Social Security benefits. This year’s budget also includes an exemption for other types of retirement income, including public and private pensions. The exemption is expected to provide over $6 million in tax relief in 2017 and nearly $14 million in tax relief in 2018, reducing the tax burden for over 60,000 Rhode Island taxpayers.
On behalf of the members of the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, Treasurer Magaziner commends House Speaker Mattiello, Senate President Paiva Weed and the members of the General Assembly for their leadership on this initiative.
You can read more about Rhode Island’s 2017 budget here.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice. Please consult a tax advisor for information on your specific situation.