Retirement Systems

WHAT’S NEW

Information on Cost-of-Living Adjustments effective January 1, 2023

CY 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment Memo

It is hard to escape the fact that, over the past year, inflation has dramatically increased. In our pension systems, the Legislature has established automatic increases to pension amounts that vary based on System and Group. In years where inflation is high, like now, the COLAs are designed to be less than the actual amount of inflation. On the other side, when inflation is negative, you are protected from receiving a downward adjustment to your pension payment. Please see the attached worksheet to see how much your COLA will be, effective January 1.

Information on VSERS and VSTRS pension changes in Act 114 and Act 173 of 2022

This year, the Vermont General Assembly made significant changes to the pension plans for active employees in the Vermont State Employees Retirement System (VSERS) and the Vermont State Teachers Retirement System (VSTRS), effective July 1, 2022. Please click here for additional detail.

Act No. 114 as enacted can be found here. A bill summary prepared by legislative counsel is here.

Act No. 173 can be found here.

*Acts 114 and 173 do not make any changes to members of the Vermont Municipal Employees Retirement System (VMERS). For VMERS plan benefit information, click here.

Planning to Retire?

Are you planning to retire within the next year?  We know that deciding when to retire presents a unique set of opportunities and anxieties.  We are here to help you through this exciting time in your life.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you consider your options.

  • Start your planning well in advance of your retirement date.  Planning to retire involves a significant amount of financial planning.  Make sure you have all your financial information collected and begin a list of questions.  If you have not done so already, reach out to Social Security and Medicare to understand what you need to do to receive benefits to which you are entitled.  And remember, wait times can be significant, so it helps to start early, at least six months in advance of your planned retirement.
  • Check out Member Direct.  Member Direct is our online resource allowing you view your membership information You are also able to run benefits estimate for any eligible date of your choosing, so that you can get a sense of your approximate benefit.  Member direct can be accessed by clicking this https://retire.vermont.gov/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f">https://retire.vermont.gov
  • Make an appointment with our Retirement Specialists.  The Retirement Division of the State Treasurer’s Office has a staff of highly trained Retirement Specialists who complete benefit estimates, estimate cost of any purchase you may be eligible for and answer any questions you have about the process of retiring and applying for your benefits. Once you have decided when you would like to retire, you may submit a request for a benefit estimate/purchase information from one of our Specialists.

BY EMAIL: Send an email with your name, birthday, system (State, Teacher, or Municipal), proposed retirement date, and any other information to Tre.retirementoffice@vermont.gov">mailto:Tre.retirementoffice@vermont.gov">Tre.retirementoffice@vermont.gov

BY PHONE: Please call us at 802-828-2305 or 1-800-642-3191 (toll-free in Vermont only)

PLEASE NOTE:  In order to accommodate a high volume of requests, we can only process one potential retirement date per request at a time.  If, after receiving an estimate, you would like to submit a second request for another retirement date, you may do so, but you will need to resubmit your request at the information above.  This will allow us to serve everyone on a timely basis.

Key Statistics

Retirement plans administered by the State Treasurer's Office serve more than 58,000 active and retired members through three statutory pension plans. The membership as of June 30, 2021 was:

26,026 active

7,974 inactive

2,680 terminated vested

21,760 retired

The three pension plans are:

The Vermont State Employees’ Retirement System (VSERS) www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/state">https://www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/state">Vermont State Employees' Retirement System (VSERS) | Office of the State Treasurer (vermonttreasurer.gov)

The Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System (VSTRS) www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/vstrs-plans/group-c">https://www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/vstrs-plans/group-c">VSTRS Group C Plan Description | Office of the State Treasurer (vermonttreasurer.gov)

The Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (VMERS) www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/vmers-group-plan">https://www.vermonttreasurer.gov/content/retirement/vmers-group-plan">VMERS Group Plans | Office of the State Treasurer (vermonttreasurer.gov)

Table of Contents

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Retiree 2022 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

Administration

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  VSTRShttp://harry2015.vcms.vt.dev.cdc.nicusa.com/content/retirement/teacher/t..." target="_blank"> 

Funding

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.

GASB Resource Page

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.

Fiduciary Oversight

Oversight and management of the three systems' assets are under the governance of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC).

Public Retirement Study Committee

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. 

Retirement Office

The Retirement Operations Division comprises 14 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.

Retirement Specialists

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.).

Informational Seminars

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

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

More Resources

Financial Literacy & Preparing for Retirement

Visit the Treasurer's Office web page on saving for retirement.

Sign In or Create a my Social Security Account

You probably plan to receive Social Security benefits some day. Maybe you already do. Either way, you'll want to www.ssa.gov/myaccount/">http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/" target="_blank">create a my Social Security account for quick, secure and easy access to your Social Security information.

 

 

Contact Us

Office of the State Treasurer
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609
Main Phone: (802) 828-2301
Toll Free: (800) 642-3191

PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS TO:

Ashlynn Doyon at treasurers.office@vermont.gov

Click Here - For Public Records Database

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