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GOVERNMENT

Hoyle releases audit results for pension, benefit systems

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PROVIDENCE – Auditor General Dennis E. Hoyle released the results of the audit on the state’s pension and post-employment benefit systems on Friday.

Net assets of the state’s retirement system decreased by $204 million to $7.3 billion during fiscal year 2012, according to the report. As the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Rhode Island decreased, the State Employees and Electing Teachers OPEB System net assets increased by $22 million to $37 million for the year ended June 30, 2012.

The financial statements for the retirement system and the OPEB system and the audit reports issued by Hoyle were released today by the Joint Committee of Legislative Services.

The auditors concluded that the financial statements of the retirement system and the OPEB system “present fairly” the condition of the plans. The report said that, in all material respects, the fiduciary net assets of both plans and the changes in the net assets for the year ended June 30, 2012, were in conformity with accounting principles accepted in the United States.

The four pension plans encompassed by the audit cover state employees and teachers, state police, judges and participating municipal employees. According to the report, those four plans covered more than 66,000 members as of June 30, 2011.

As of June 30, 2012, the combined fair value of the four plans was roughly $7.3 billion. According to Hoyle’s report, the time weighted rate of return during the fiscal year was 1.55 percent and the net investment income was $115.6 million.

Pension benefits paid to retirees and beneficiaries during the 2012 fiscal year totaled $881 million. Employee and employer contributions totaled $582.7 million.

The report showed a 57.4 percent funded ratio for state employee pension plans. Teachers were 59.7 percent funded, the judicial system was 86.1 percent funded, state police was 98.6 percent funded and municipal employees were 84.3 percent funded.

The Other Post-Employment Benefit system audit encompassed the six defined benefit and other post-employment benefit plans administered, including separate plans for: state employees, electing teachers, state police, judges, legislators and certain employees of the Board of Governors for education.

According to Hoyle’s report, these six plans covered entire health care benefits for roughly 26,000 members as of June 30, 2011.

As of June 30, 2012, the combined fair value of the net assets of the plans was roughly $37 million, a reflection of net assets accumulated after the second year of trust operations.

OPEB benefits paid to retirees during the 2012 fiscal year totaled $58.3 million. Member and employer contributions totaled $76.1 million.

Dennis E. Hoyle, auditor general, pension, pension reform, OPEB system, retirement system, retirement benefits

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