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Changes in assumptions impact retirement options for some members

The Retirement Fund Board of Trustees approved actuarial assumption changes in March 2016, based on recommendations from the recently completed three-year actuarial experience study. Included among many changes were the assumed rate of return on investments, payroll growth and life expectancy.

As a result of these changes, multiple tables and factors within the pension administration system must be updated to accurately calculate benefits based on the new assumptions. While these changes are significant, they do not impact the base benefit formula for normal, special, early, vested or disability retirement.

You may be impacted by these changes if you are considering retirement with any of the following:

• Normal or Special Retirement with the Actuarial Equivalent (AE) Lump Sum option eligible to retire         Nov. 1, 2016.
• Designated Beneficiary – an option at retirement to select a survivor benefit upon your death, available to  Tier I members who are not married and all Tier II members. (In this case, Tier II applies to general    employees hired on or after July 1, 2011.)
• DROP annuity conversion – anyone retiring from DROP Nov. 1 or Dec 1, 2016, or any retired member    with a DROP balance in the Fund.
• Service Purchase – anyone considering a service purchase between Oct. 31 and Nov. 30, 2016.

The effective date of implementation of the new actuarial assumptions into the benefit calculation is Nov. 15, 2016. If you’d like to have the Retirement Fund staff run a comparison of benefit outcomes using the old versus the new assumptions, the opportunity will be available from Sept. 15 through Oct. 10, 2016 only. Paperwork for retirement effective on or before Nov. 1, 2016 will be processed using the old actuarial assumption factors and tables.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Retirement Fund or your Member Services Specialist at 817-632-8900.