March 2014

Big Year For Pension Fund

Big Year For Pension Fund

Finally Recovered From FY08 Losses

MARCH 2014 VOICE: Year 2013 was cause for a modest celebration at the Commonwealth’s giant Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, chaired by State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

A strong market year saw PRIM’s Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund earn 15.2%, and finally climb back and exceed its pre-Year 2008 value with a new high of $57.9 billion at year’s end.

Leadership Agrees To Changes in Funding Schedule

Adopts Conservative Approach & Increased Funding

MARCH 2014 VOICE: Governor Deval Patrick and the state’s Legislative Leadership have agreed to significantly increase  the appropriation toward funding the Commonwealth’s unfunded pension liabilities, along with shortening the pension funding schedule by four years and adopting a more conservative set of assumptions.

State Retirement Board: White Re-Elected

MARCH 2014 VOICE: Former Association President Ralph White was elected to a new three-year term on the State Retirement Board effective this January. This will be his sixth three-year term.

Unlike his 2001 election when he was unopposed, White had three opponents in this latest election. They were Thomas Mullage, a contract manager at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital; Christine Turner, A UMass Amherst Librarian and executive board member of the MTA Society of Professors; and Randy Azzato, a former director with the Department of Correction.

Calls For Improving Social Security COLA

Triggers State/Teachers' and Local COLAs

MARCH 2014 VOICE: For some time, we’ve seen where the formula for calculating Social Security COLA (Cost-of-Living-Adjustment) benefits has been under attack as being too generous. Now there is push back against this criticism, with calls by some officials, most notably our senior US Senator Elizabeth Warren, to improve Social Security’s COLA.