Retirement Systems

Articles about Retirement Boards that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.


Boards Adopting Laws Sponsored By Association

SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: One of the guiding principles of this Association has always been to improve the pension and insurance benefits for surviving spouses,” states Ralph White. “And, when we are successful in enacting legislation toward that end, it must be adopted locally in order to take effect.


White is Candidate

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013: Although no longer President of the Association, Ralph White will remain active in the public retirement arena.

His first chore is to win reelection to the State Board of Retirement for a new three-year term beginning in January. The election is now underway.


Busy Schedule For Public Service Committee

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: With the summer recess now in the rearview mirror, the state Legislature has returned to Beacon Hill with an aggressive fall agenda.

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Joint Committee on Public Service will reconvene with what is expected to be a lengthy public hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. Association officials will be on hand to testify on further increases to the COLA base (S1259 & S1263) and the Option B & C recalculation (H2235).

Pension Fund Reaches $50 Billion Mark

Continues Climb From '08 Disaster

MARCH 2013 VOICE: A strong investment earnings last year, 2012, of 13.82%, has pushed the Commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund’s value over the $50 billion mark for the first time since 2007, when its peak value was $53.7 billion.

The recovery since Year 2008, a disasterous market year’s loss of -29.5 billion, which plunged the fund’s value to $37.8 billion has been a steady process with three of the past four years showing double-digit returns bringing the new value to $51.97 billion.

Pension bonds risky for state and local governments-Moody's

Municipal bonds that states and local governments use to pay for some of their public pension obligations rarely improve the issuer's credit quality, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.

"If bond proceeds substitute for annual contributions to pension plans or are used to pay pensioners, we consider it a deficit borrowing and would view the financing as credit negative," Marcia Van Wagner, the senior Moody's analyst who wrote the report, said in a statement.



NOVEMBER 26, 2012: It was a busy Thanksgiving weekend for the staff of the State Board of Retirement who were engaged in the process of moving to their new home at 1 Winter Street in downtown Boston.


NOVEMBER 2012 VOICE: Buoyed by a strong market surge, the Commonwealth’s $50 billion Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund increased in value by 8.27% for the first eight months of this year.

This is in contrast to our headline earlier this year, which reported that Year 2011 had been a dismal year with zero earnings, and a closing value of $47.1 billion.

On pensions, Boston should avoid extra annual hike

Boston Globe Editorial, June 24, 2012:

Mass. needs more realistic goal for pension fund returns

Boston Globe Editorial, June 24, 2012

In some ways, lowering expectations for returns on the state’s pension fund investments is an easy call. Current state law requires the Massachusetts pension board to assume an 8.25 percent annualized rate of return, but in recent years that has come to seem too optimistic. Massachusetts needs to start stepping its pension expectations down — but in a deliberate way, to limit the impact on government agencies that will need to contribute more.

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

JUNE 11, 2012: The resignation of Stan Mavromates, the longtime chief investment officer of the Commonwealth’s $50 billion pension fund, has caused some concern among the retirement systems of the Commonwealth holding membership in the fund.

Although the bulk of the Fund is the State and Teachers’ Pension fund, the majority of our 103 city, town and county boards have placed their pension funds within PRIT and depend on PRIT’s investment earnings to increase the growth and value of their own funds.