AFSCME Council 5 Retirees United

Pension Issues

Party-line vote doesn’t go far enough to protect pensions, cuts retiree COLAs Read more >>>

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Minnesota Public Pension System Facts:

• MSRS and PERA retirees have a defined benefit pension, which provides a monthly benefit for the lifetime of the retiree and her/his spouse.
• Defined contribution pensions do NOT guarantee lifetime benefits.
• The average benefit overall is $1,189 per month for PERA retirees ($14,268/year), and $1,485 per month ($17,820/year) for MSRS retirees.
• PERA and MSRS funding and benefits are set by Minnesota law.
• Both employees and employers contribute to pension funds.
• 33% of pension funding comes from contributions by the employees and employers.
• Most of the pension funding comes from investment earnings (67%).
• Annual increases for retirees are currently 2% per year for MSRS and 1% per year for PERA.
• Pension increases will remain at current rates until the pensions achieve a 90% funded ratio.
• Reform legislation passed in 2010 continues to increase the funded ratio.
• Pension system governing boards are a mixture of the elected and appointed members, and a director who serves at the pleasure of the governing Board. These Boards are:
o PERA Board of Trustees
o MSRS Board of Directors
o Teachers Retirement Association (TRA statewide)
• The State Board of Investment (SBI) invests the pension funds.
• The SBI is a state agency made up of:
o Investment specialists (employees of the state)
o The Constitutional Officers (Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General), who are elected by the people of Minnesota
o The Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)
o The statewide pension fund directors (PERA, MSRS, TRA)
• The SBI works with the Investment Advisory Council, which has 17 members
o Investment community leaders (10)
o MMB Commissioner and statewide pension fund directors (MSRS, PERA, TRA)
o Employee/retiree representatives (2 active, 1 retiree) appointed by the Governor
• The Directors of the SBI and the three statewide pension systems serve at the pleasure of their respective Boards

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