A post-retirement increase of 2 percent went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Members who started receiving a benefit on or before July 1, 2012, will get a 2 percent increase. Members who started receiving a benefit between July 2, 2012 and June 1, 2013, will get a prorated increase. (To receive the full increase, members have to have been receiving a benefit for at least 18 months.)
If you are eligible for a post-retirement increase, you may have already received a letter detailing the increase to your monthly benefit, along with current tax information. State and federal tax tables are available HERE.
Your 1099 forms are now available online. Paper copies will be in the mail by the end of January.
Last spring, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a law requiring the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association (DTRFA), the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association (SPTRFA) and the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) to jointly study the feasibility and requirements necessary for consolidating DTRFA and SPTRFA into TRA.
The report, due to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) on Jan. 6, is now complete and includes detailed actuarial analysis, proposed cost allocation, implementation plans, asset investment management considerations, and education/communication plans.
The TRA board took a position that it is willing to accept the financial and administrative responsibilities of merging DTRFA and SPTRFA into TRA with the condition that financial assistance is provided to TRA through ongoing annual payments that are sufficient to fully fund any merging entity.
Read the report HERE.
Detroit’s bankruptcy and Chicago’s pension problems have prompted a wave of speculation about city finances. What are the facts? The underlying problems in financially troubled cities have been decades in the making: population loss, declining tax bases, and other patterns of fiscal mismanagement.
New research from the Center for State & Local Government Excellence finds that:
Read the report HERE.
There is some confusion about the new early-retirement calculations approved by legislature in the 2013 pension bill. Those members who qualify for Rule of 90 are not affected. The new calculations mainly affect those who became TRA members on July 1, 1989, or later.
Upon reaching your Rule of 90 date, you are eligible for unreduced benefits under the Step Formula method. The new early-retirement calculations only affect members whose benefits are determined under the Level Formula.
For more, please read our early-retirement Q&A.
SEPT. 11, 2013 – After a six-month nationwide search led by Korn/Ferry International, Mansco Perry III, chief investment officer at Macalester College, has been named executive director of the Minnesota State Board of Investment, succeeding executive director Howard Bicker, who will retire next month after 42 years at the agency.
The SBI invests $68 billion in state and pension fund assets. Its board includes the governor, state auditor, attorney general and secretary of state.
Perry, 60, has over 23 years of experience in public fund financial management. He was assistant executive director of the Minnesota SBI from 1990 to 2008, and was chief investment officer
at the $40 billion Maryland State Retirement Agency from 2008 to 2010. He has been chief investment officer at Macalester since 2010. Perry has been awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, and the Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement designations.
Read more HERE.
Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the 2013 Omnibus Pension Bill, which authorizes changes to public employee early-retirement benefit calculations, two years of increased state aid to the struggling St. Paul and Duluth teachers’ retirement funds, and a study on a potential merger of the two independent teacher funds into TRA.
A combined $13 million in aid will be appropriated in each of the next two years on Oct. 1, 2013, and again on Oct. 1, 2014, to help the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association (SPTRFA) and the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association (DTRFA) achieve solvency. Dayton told lawmakers that he would not make a long-term commitment to state aid beyond two years unless the two funds merge into TRA.
The legislation requires that the merger study be undertaken by the actuaries, boards of trustees and staff of the three funds beginning this summer, and a report is due to the legislature by Jan. 6, 2014. (Story continues HERE.)
Read our Q&A on the merger study HERE. For details about the new early-retirement calculations, click HERE. A summary of the bill can be found on the “Omnibus Retirement Bill” page of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement website.
New accounting changes from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) are raising false alarm in the press and among members of the public regarding the financial well-being of public pension plans, including Minnesota’s. Read our FAQ fact sheet HERE.
Employers: Visit our GASB page for detailed information and check it periodically for updates.
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Note: Construction work on I-35E between Maryland and University begins December 2. Refer to this map to see if your route to the St. Paul TRA office is affected.
2014 Bill Tracking
Pension commission meetings begin Jan. 28; legislative session begins Feb. 25.
TRA Tax Withholding Calculator (Federal and State) for 2014