December 15, 2021
Consolidated, individual employer valuations available
Admin. Townsend: “Breakthrough year” for funding levels, plan sustainability
ARIZONA – Consolidated actuarial valuations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, are available online for PSPRS, CORP and EORP, along with individual employer valuations and contribution rates for counties, municipalities and agencies across the State of Arizona.
Consolidated plan reports and individual employer valuations can be viewed and downloaded on the PSPRS financial reporting webpage.
While results for public safety and corrections plans vary according to employer, aggregate funding levels for both plans increased considerably due to a record-setting amount of additional employer contributions and a record-setting 27.8 percent return on investments for the 2021 fiscal year.
In all, PSPRS-managed plans reduced their unfunded pension liabilities by more than $1.6 billion as dozens of employers paid down pension debts through bonding measures and direct appropriations. As of June 30, 2021, the trust’s balance had risen to $15.7 billion –an all-time high for the system. Combined unfunded liabilities were approximately $10.9 billion.
“The 2021 fiscal year was a breakthrough moment for improving funding levels and ensuring plan sustainability for our membership at lower costs to employers and taxpayers,” said Administrator Mike Townsend. “We had unbelievable cooperation from employers and incredible investment returns, both of which provided a substantial benefit in terms of actuarial and market-based values.”
The high returns and additional employer contributions also helped employers absorb increases to short-term costs that were the result of the PSPRS Board of Trustees’ August 2020 adoption of more conservative actuarial payroll growth assumptions and a shortened 15-year amortization schedule.
“Our board and the agency are committed to full transparency and stakeholder outreach and the immense progress made over the past year reflects that,” said PSPRS Board of Trustees Chairman Scott McCarty. “We’re continuing our education efforts to help employers, stakeholders, and the public understand pension financing as we work to make PSPRS-managed retirement plans sustainable for first responders, corrections officers and public officials.”
In approving the 2021 employer valuations and consolidated financial statements, the PSPRS Board of Trustees opted to leave Tier 3 public safety and corrections officer contribution rates unchanged. Both Tier 3 plans remain more than fully funded while the board awaits the results of a 2022 detailed experience study before considering reducing Tier 3 contribution rates.