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Report: State Employee Retirement System Funded at 38%; Better Than 2016 But Worse Than 2011

November 27, 2018 By Staff
Report: State Employee Retirement System Funded at 38%; Better Than 2016 But Worse Than 2011

A new report from the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) found that, as of June 2018, the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) was funded at 38 percent. That's better than 2016's 37 percent, but worse than 2011, 2012, and 2014.

A new one-pager from the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) provides some updates on the state of Connecticut’s State Employees Retirement System (SERS).

SERS remains underfunded, according to OFA. It’s no secret that Connecticut’s long-term obligations to state employees and retirees is one of the top fiscal challenges facing the state in the next few decades, but OFA’s latest update puts some hard numbers on the problem.

Here’s some of the top statistics:

  • 38 percent: that’s the funded ratio for SERS as of June 30, 2018 ($13.0B in assets, $34.2B in liabilities, $21.2B unfunded); the funded ratio is slightly better than it was on June 30, 2016 (37 percent), but worse than it was on that date in 2014 (42 percent), 2012 (42 percent), and 2011 (48 percent)
  • 64 percent: that’s the percentage of employees in Tier 2 or Tier 2A; those hires were between July 1984 and June 1997 (Tier 2) or between July 1997 and June 2011 (Tier 2A); those employees contribute 1.5 percent of salaries or 3.5 percent of their salaries, respectively, to their defined benefit plans
  • $38,284: that’s the average pension for all retirees, according to OFA
  • $69,743: that’s the active average salary for state employees; the average age is 47.4 years old and the average service time is 13.7 years
  • 99,594: that’s the number of members in SERS; just over half (50.6 percent) are retirees and just under half (49.4 percent) are active employees

As previously mentioned on Reclaim Connecticut, the state’s retirement and health care obligations to state employees and retirees will be one of the top issues facing Gov.-Elect Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) and his administration come 2019 and 2020.