Treasurer's Statement on Recommendations to Reduce Pension & OPEB Liabilities
The Treasurer’s Office is working collaboratively to find a solution to our pension challenge. Treasurer Pearce is in regular contact with union leadership, lawmakers, and the administration, as hearings continue in legislative committees. We are also reviewing all of the feedback we hear from public employees around Vermont.
The Treasurer is committed to preserving Defined Benefit (DB) pensions for current and future retirees. As the January 15 pension report shows, this will require action. The Treasurer’s Office is focused on ensuring our retirees are held harmless and future retirees have adequate and reliable income in retirement. The January 15 report was a starting point for dialogue. This conversation will continue throughout the legislative session.
While we fully expect the General Assembly to act, there is no plan in place at present and it is premature to speculate on what changes may take place. Any bill that is passed will provide sufficient time for employees to review their personal circumstances and make decisions on real data. Retirement staff will be available during the phase-in to assist employees.
Retirement Division - COVID-19 INFORMATION
Retirees in Vermont’s defined benefit plans can rest assured that their benefit payments are secure and will continue to go out on the last business day of the month. Our staff continues to serve member and retiree needs through remote services. Retirement counseling sessions are available by phone only. Staff are prioritizing those members who are within 90 days of retirement. Limited phone coverage will be available on the main number (802) 828-2305. If you leave a message, please leave your name and number, and staff will return your call during regularly scheduled business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Members are encouraged to email questions to email@example.com.
If you are more than 90 days away from retirement and would like an estimate, you can access our online portal and receive this information by visiting retire.vermont.gov.
For employers in our VMERS system experiencing furloughs or reduced work schedules, please see the guidance on employer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic - VMERS Guidance: Payroll Reporting Furloughed Employees
NOTICE REGARDING YOUR DENTAL INSURANCE:
Northeast Delta Dental is providing a “premium credit” for the month of July in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no premium charged to you for your dental insurance coverage for the month of July. You are still enrolled in the insurance policy. You will receive a statement reflecting this change and a statement at the end of July when the premium resumes.
Retirement plans administered by the State Treasurer's Office serve more than 56,000 active and retired members through three statutory pension plans. The membership as of June 30, 2020 was:
- 26,552 active
- 7,133 inactive
- 2,582 terminated vested
- 20,702 retired
The three pension plans are:
- Vermont Municipal Employees' Retirement System (VMERS)
- Vermont State Employees' Retirement System (VSERS)
- Vermont State Teachers' Retirement System (VSTRS)
Table of Contents
- New Announcements
- GASB Resource Page
- Fiduciary Oversight
- Public Retirement Study Committee
- Retirement Office
- Retirement Specialists
- Informational Seminars
- More Resources
Retiree 2021 Cost of Living Adjustments Announced
VSERS Members - Information on Employee Contribution Rates
VSERS Members - Information on your 1095 Tax Form (proof of health insurance)
VSTRS Members - Information on your 1095 Tax Form (proof of health insurance)
Make Sense of Your 1099-R Form
A Board of Trustees for each system is vested with the general administration of the system, as well as the responsibility for formulating administrative policy and procedures for its members and their beneficiaries. The day-to-day retirement operations and pension investment functions are administered through the State Treasurer's Office. The State Treasurer is a member of each Board of Trustees. Board meetings are open to the public and members are welcome to attend at any time. VMERS VSERS VSTRS
Vermont State Employees' Retirement System (VSERS) and Vermont State Teachers' Retirement System (VSTRS) are funded by employee contributions as well as contributions made by the State. The Vermont Municipal Employees' Retirement System (VMERS) is funded by employee contributions and local municipal employer contributions, and receives no State contributions.
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is an organization whose main purpose is to improve and create accounting reporting standards or generally accepted accounting principals. GASB approved two new standards in June 2012 that will impact the Vermont State Retirement System and its participating employers. The Treasurer's office has compiled resources on this page to assist accounting and financial administrators with the implementation of the new standards.
Oversight and management of the three systems' assets are under the governance of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC).
The State Legislature directed the creation of the Public Retirement Study Committee in the 2014 session. An Interim Study of the Feasibility of Establishing a Public Retirement Plan was due to the General Assembly this session. The committee has recommended to the legislature that their work be extended for another year to allow more time to study the issues.
The Retirement Operations Division comprises 13 full-time staff members. The primary function of the staff is to serve the needs of the active contributing members and retired members receiving benefit payments. On the active member side, the Retirement Operations Division oversees enrollments, transfers, refunds, and adjustments to members' accounts. On the retiree side, the Division oversees the issuance of the payroll, changes to dependents, adjustments to payments, and replacement checks. Other responsibilities include employee reinstatements, calculation of buybacks and refunds, disability retirements, and determination of survivor benefits.
The retirement specialists provide one-on-one counseling to prospective retirees. Specialists provide estimates of pension and beneficiary payments by verifying a member's creditable service, salaries, and personal information (i.e., date of birth, beneficiary date of birth, etc.).
Specialists and supervisory staff also conduct informational seminars which include individual counseling sessions and informational sessions for members of the three systems. For more information please see the Retirement Division Operations section of the Treasurer's Office Annual Report.
Newsletters are published twice a year and provide the latest retirement system announcements, as well as information and resources to assist you in making the decisions affecting your retirement. VMERS VSERS VSTRS
Financial Literacy & Preparing for Retirement
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