November 2013
October 25, 2013

ERS: Independent review finds NYSLRS secure, well funded

Author: New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Source: NYSUT United

It seems like every time you pick up a paper or turn on the television, you see a story about state or local pension systems that are in trouble. Fortunately, as a member of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLRS), you do not have to worry about your retirement security.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoliThe Common Retirement Fund — the pool of moneys from which retirement benefits are paid — has the assets to pay your retirement benefit for your lifetime and, if you choose a continuing benefit, the lifetime of your beneficiary as well. NYSLRS is among the nation's best-funded public pension funds, according to the Public Fund Survey of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

The fund is strong too. At the end of our 2012-13 fiscal year, the fund's assets totaled $164.2 billion. What's more, in the past fiscal year, the fund returned 10.38 percent on its investments. This was the fourth consecutive year of positive performance for the fund following the 2008-09 fiscal crisis.

An independent review of the fund released this past February by Funston Advisory Services found that the fund is well run, operates with industry-leading openness and invests effectively on behalf of its members.

Among its findings, the Funston report shows that the fund is one of the most transparent and ethically managed pension funds in the country. According to the report, the fund makes appropriate use of external managers, is a leader in most categories of data and policy disclosure, and has policies and practices concerning conflicts of interests for investment managers, consultants and advisers which are consistent with prevailing industry practices.

You can take comfort in knowing that you and your loved ones will receive the benefits you have earned, that your fund is managed according to the highest ethical standards, and that investment decisions are made exclusively for the benefit of members such as yourself.

Q: Where can I read more about the Funston report?

A: To read the report, visit www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/pension/NYSCRF_Fiduciary_and_Conflict_of_Interest_Review.pdf.

Q: Where can I learn more about the fund?

A: The NYSLRS publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) by Sept. 30 of each year. The last several CAFRs are available on our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/publications.

Q: Where can I learn more about the retirement system?

A: Visit our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire and click on "About Us," or contact us at 866-805-0990.

Every month state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System, provides information on the system, which delivers retirement benefits to many NYSUT School-Related Professionals and other support staff. If you are an ERS member with a question of general interest, email united@nysutmail.org.

For immediate assistance, contact the ERS Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990, or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District area.