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2010 The Fund earned 14.59% and increased assets from $43.2 to $45.8 billion for the fiscal year.  While the investment markets began to recover, the long-term underfunding of the System continued. 

Historic pension reform legislation (Act 120 of 2010) was signed into law.  This legislation included a series of actuarial and funding changes to PSERS and significant benefit reductions for individuals who became new members of PSERS on or after July 1, 2011.  Act 120 addressed the pending employer contribution rate spike projected for FY 2013 by putting a long-term plan in place to pay off existing pension liabilities and reduced the employer normal cost to nearly 3.00% for new members hired on or after July 1, 2011.  The number of membership classes increased to four:  Class T-C, Class T-D, Class T-E and Class T-F.    

2011 PSERS began to phase in the implementation of Act 120 of 2010. As of December 2011, 18% of new members elected class T-F while 82% of new members remained in class T-E.   

PSERS also continued efforts to increase efficiency in the System’s operations.  During 2011 PSERS saw an increase of approximately 34% in retirements processed (13,206 in 2011 and 9,863 in 2010) and 84% of the retirement applications processed were finalized in a one-step. Historically PSERS had paid retirement benefits in two steps – a reduced initial benefit within about 10 weeks of retirement and then a final benefit with retroactive monies in about 18 months. The one-step benefits are being paid in an average of less than four weeks.   

For fiscal year 2011 PSERS’ investment portfolio generated a rate of return of 20.37% which resulted in $9.2 billion of net investment income.   

PSERS was named the “2011 Large Public Plan of the Year” during the annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards.   

2012 – The PSERS Southcentral Regional Office relocated to the PSERS Headquarters in Harrisburg from its previous location in Mechanicsburg.  This move enabled the office to better serve the membership in southcentral Pennsylvania while providing long-term economic savings.

PSERS continued to implement the many facets of Act 120 of 2010.  While Act 120 provided historic pension reform and made dramatic progress toward addressing funding issues at PSERS, difficult budget issues remained for both the Commonwealth and school employers.  Discussions about additional pension reform continued.

PSERS enhanced customer service by formalizing a process to review member accounts at periodic milestones and event triggers in order to ensure each detail of a member’s account is accurately portrayed prior to the member applying for retirement.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) approved a pair of related Statements that made substantial changes to the accounting and financial reporting of pensions by state and local governments and pension plans.

Statement No. 67 significantly changed related financial reporting through note disclosures and new required supplementary information (RSI) schedules for public employee pension plans such as PSERS.

Statement No. 68 required cost-sharing governments (employers) to report a net pension liability, pension expense, and pension-related deferred inflows and outflows of resources based on their proportionate share of the collective amounts for all the employers in the plan.  Additionally, all government employers participating in the plan are required to include plan information in their note disclosures and RSI schedules.

2013 - Implementation of Acts 32 and 33 of 2013:  Legislation was passed on July 1, 2013, that impacts active members who are on a military leave that began on or after July 1, 2013.  The legislation primarily changed the rules regarding service credit and eligibility points earned during the military leave, purchasing this service upon return to school employment, what occurs in the event of a member’s death or disability while on a new military leave, and the employer’s role in the aforementioned activities.

PSERS continued its efforts to provide retirement benefits in a timely fashion through a one-step process. The number of benefits processed in one step increased from 74% in FY 2012 to 88% in FY 2013.  This increase was achieved largely in part due to the 2012 change in PSERS’ process to review member accounts at periodic milestones and event triggers to ensure each detail of a member’s account is accurately portrayed prior to the member applying for retirement.

Implementation of the actuarial, funding, and benefit changes in Act 120 of 2010 continued throughout the year.

The multi-year technology refresh effort to upgrade PSERS’ entire core client-server based pension administrative system began.  This refresh from the existing “classic” version to a new “browser-based” version not only will help ensure the viability of PSERS’ core pension administration system into the future, it will provide an enhanced baseline platform with built-in features that will make future business process and member self-service enhancements much easier to implement.

For the 30th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded the PSERS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The Public Pension Coordinating Council awarded its Public Pension Standards Award to PSERS for 2012.  This award was in recognition of meeting professional standards for plan design and administration as set forth in the Public Pension Standards.

2014 - The funding issue remained the greatest challenge PSERS has faced in its history.  Significant discussion on additional pension reform continued to take place.

PSERS adopted Statement No. 67 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, which changed related financial reporting through note disclosures and new required supplementary information schedules for public employee pension plans.  Beginning in 2013, PSERS reached out to its employers by speaking at various conferences held by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).

As of June 30, 2014, approximately 38,000 of PSERS’ active membership were under the new reduced benefit structure of Act 120.  As the Act 120 membership grows, the annual savings from the lower Act 120 benefit cost structure will allow an increasing amount of employer contributions to pay down PSERS’ existing unfunded liability.  An estimated $85 million is expected in cost savings during FY 2015 from the reduced Act 120 benefit tiers.

PSERS implemented the “shared risk” provisions of Act 120.  With a shared risk program, Class T-E and Class T-F members share some of the risk when investments underperform.  Because PSERS’ three-year return outperformed the investment performance hurdle mandated by Act 120, the member contribution rate did not change.

PSERS made enhancements to its call center operations and system, moving from a private branch exchange (PBX) based telephone system to a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone system.  This change enabled staff to answer thousands of more calls while also positioning PSERS to be able to implement additional enhancements in the future.

PSERS Health Options Program (HOP) reached the 20th year milestone.  The Health Options Program became effective January 1, 1994, with plans underwritten by Capital Blue Cross and US Healthcare.

PSERS ranked 10th in private equity returns for large U.S. public pension funds in the Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC) annual pension study.

2015 - Executive Director, Jeffrey B. Clay, retired in March after 26 years of Commonwealth service and nearly 12 years as Executive Director of PSERS.  The PSERS Board of Trustees named Mr. Glen R. Grell as the new Executive Director of PSERS effective May 1, 2015.

Act 120 of 2010 continued to put PSERS on the path toward proper funding.  Since 2010, Act 120 has slowly increased employer contributions to the System and has raised the annual required contribution (ARC) to a level closer to other states.  The ARC percentage received fell to a low of 27% before Act 120 was enacted.  In FY 2015, PSERS received 69% of the ARC and is projected to receive 80% of the ARC in FY 2016.

PSERS provided nearly $6.6 billion in pension and healthcare benefits to its members in FY 2015.  Over 90% of benefits were distributed to Commonwealth residents.

PSERS continued to make enhancements to its processes to operate more efficiently and provide quality customer service.  A major focus of this past year was the enhancement of death benefit processing.  Much of this manually-intensive process became automated, resulting in greater efficiency and improved communications.  Additionally, approximately 90% of the retirement benefits processed in FY 2015 were paid in one step.  As a result, the average number of days to process a retirement benefit decreased from an average of 23.7 days down to 19.1 days.

PSERS won the award for Large Public Plan of the Year during the Institutional Investor Magazine’s Hedge Fund Industry Awards.

2016 - PSERS is now in the 6th year of a multi-year phase in of Act 120 of 2010. Act 120 made dramatic progress toward addressing funding issues at PSERS. The gradual employer rate increases under Act 120 have raised PSERS’ employer contributions to the 100% annual required contribution (ARC) goal, now referred to as the actuarially determined contribution (ADC), for the first time in 15 years. An ARC includes both the employer’s normal cost and the amount required to amortize the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL).

PSERS’ Board certified an employer contribution rate of 32.57% for FY 2017-18 in compliance with Act 120. This is the second consecutive year PSERS’ contribution rate provides 100% of the actuarially required rate based on sound actuarial practices and principles and now exceeds the average ARC percentage of 95% for public funds based on the December 2016 Public Fund Survey prepared by NASRA.

2017- Retirement Code legislation was signed into law as Act 5 of 2017. This legislation included significant benefit changes to individuals who become new members of PSERS on or after July 1, 2019. Act 5 created two hybrid options (Class T-G and T-H) and one defined contribution plan (Class DC) option for new members to elect. Existing members who were active on July 1, 2019, had the option to elect one of the new classes if they chose.  The membership classes increased to seven: Class T-C, Class T-D, Class T-E, Class T-F, Class T-G, Class T-H, and Class DC.

The PSERS regional office located in Fleetwood (just outside of Reading), PA permanently closed on June 30, 2017.

PSERS Board certified 33.43% as the Employer Contribution Rate for FY 2019, meeting the actuarially required rate for the third consecutive year.

2018 – PSERS successfully completed its pension administration system upgrade. This system is used by PSERS' professionals and employers to execute PSERS' primary pension administration functions for its members. Additionally, this upgrade allows members and employers to conduct transactions for themselves which would have previously required intervention by PSERS staff. Members can now receive correspondence from PSERS electronically.

PSERS Board certified 34.29% as the Employer Contribution Rate for FY 2020, meeting the actuarially required rate for the fourth consecutive year.

2019 –This year was not only PSERS' 100th anniversary, but also a year of new beginnings. PSERS introduced its new logo and slogan ("With PSERS, you're on your way!") as well as implemented PSERS Defined Contribution (DC) Plan. PSERS browser-based administration system continued to allow users to access their pension account online, anytime. PSERS also received approval to begin to use social media in 2019.

The Defined Contribution (DC) Plan was successfully implemented with the assistance of Voya Institutional Plan Services (VIPS), as the Third-Party Administrator for the DC plan, and Charles W. Cammack Associates, as the pension consultant. School employees who become new members of PSERS on or after July 1, 2019, can choose from three classes of membership: two consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution components and one that is a stand-alone defined contribution plan. As of June 2020, over 16,000 participants were enrolled in the DC plan. Additionally, current members who were active on July 1, 2019, had a one-time option to elect prospectively into one of the new membership classes; only 10 current members made such election.

Act 1 of 2019 passed and expanded the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act. The law mandates that all service and benefits payable to a PSERS member be forfeited if the member is found guilty of, or enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, any crime identified in the Forfeiture Act, when the crime is committed through the member's position as a public employee or official or when the member's public employment places the member in a position to commit the crime(s). In 2019, the law was modified  to include all Pennsylvania criminal offenses that are classified as  felonies or punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding five years are forfeitable offenses. Several misdemeanor crimes also are forfeitable offenses.  

PSERS Member Self-Service (MSS) Portal reached nearly 150,000 members in December 2019. Those members completed over 163,000 transactions. Paperless delivery helped save over $500,000 in printing and mailing costs.

PSERS also launched its Twitter handle @PA_PSERS and continues to post content daily.

PSERS Board certified 34.77% as the Employer Contribution Rate for FY 2021, meeting the actuarially required rate for the fifth consecutive year.

2020 – Early emergency planning positioned PSERS to remain operational when the state and federal governments ordered large-scale closures in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic. PSERS moved from a 100% on-site presence to a 95+% teleworking presence within three weeks of mandated physical office closings. While office locations, including the member call center, were initially closed, PSERS continued to process daily and monthly benefit payrolls, invest assets, process retirements, respond to member inquiries through emails, and issue refunds, all while working remotely.

PSERS Retirement Exit Counseling (REC) sessions also needed to be migrated to remote technology during this time. PSERS quickly converted REC sessions for members who were retiring, from small in-person group meetings of 8 to 10 members to small group online counseling sessions. Additionally, PSERS provided recordings of the Foundations for Your Future presentation on its website.

The Board of Trustees board and committee meetings were conducted through a hybrid system of in-person attendees and virtual attendees who participated remotely. Public meetings were also streamed online.

PSERS Member Self-Service (MSS) Portal reached nearly 180,000 members in December 2020. Those members completed over 237,000 transactions. Paperless delivery also helped save over $250,000 annually in printing and mailing costs.

PSERS Board certified 34.94% as the Employer Contribution Rate for FY 2022, meeting the actuarially required rate for the sixth consecutive year

2021 - During FY 2021, the Fund earned a positive 24.58% which added $14.8 billion in net investment income. The investment portfolio, which is one part of the System's net position, totaled $72.2 billion, at fair value, as of June 30, 2021.

Since March 16, 2020, most PSERS employees have been working remotely from their homes, with limited visits to physical office locations. PSERS operations and processes quickly adjusted with staff working remotely with only brief interruptions to call center and walk-in, in-person assistance availability. In-person counseling sessions began again in September 2021, while participating in these via a webinar will also continue to be an available option.

PSERS public Board and committee meetings continued to be streamed remotely.

PSERS Prescription Drug Employer Group Waiver Plan received the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) highest rating, 5 Stars, for this year for use in 2022. PSERS PDP is among only nine other plans in the U.S. to receive this award of excellence. CMS' Medicare Star Rating program rates Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Programs (PDP) based on a number of metrics around quality and performance. Rating criteria is based on a 1- to 5- point system. The ratings help members select the best plans for themselves or their families. This marks the first time PSERS earned a 5 Star Rating in the 15-year history of offering a Medicare Part D program.

PSERS partnered with the Governor's Office of Administration, Office of Information Technology, Geospatial Services to create interactive, web-based maps that visualize PSERS benefit payments and membership by U.S. Congressional districts, PA State Senate districts, and PA State House districts.

In 2021, the System received subpoenas from various federal agencies regarding the certification of the shared risk member contribution rate in December 2020, as well as the purchase and valuation of certain directly held properties. PSERS cooperated fully with the federal investigations and the PSERS Board retained outside counsel to conduct an independent internal investigation of the shared risk calculation and the purchase and valuation of certain directly held properties.

PSERS Member Self-Service (MSS) Portal reached nearly 208,000 members in December 2021. Those members completed over 311,000 transactions. Paperless delivery also helped save over $250,000 annually in printing and mailing costs.

PSERS Board certified 35.26% as the Employer Contribution Rate for FY 2023, meeting the actuarially required rate for the seventh consecutive year.