A message from the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS)

Update on the SCERS Investment Portfolio
Rev. Mar. 24, 2020


We would like to take the opportunity to provide a brief update on the SCERS investment portfolio given recent market volatility.

Over the last few weeks, the capital markets have reacted with growing concern to Covid-19, as it has spread beyond a limited set of countries and is likely to inflict widespread economic damage. Stock markets across the globe have experienced rapid and significant losses. Interest rates have fallen substantially, and the Federal Reserve has taken significant action to help shore up the economy. The consensus expectation is for a deep recession lasting through the middle of 2020.

For our members, there are a few key things we would like to emphasize. The first, and probably the most important, is that this will not impact retiree benefits. SCERS has a welldiversified investment portfolio with sufficient funds to ensure all pension obligations are met and all expenses are paid. SCERS is a long-term investor and, while this downturn is severe, we expect investments will fluctuate over the short-term. In fact, just last year the value of our investment portfolio increased by over 17%.

Our team of investment professionals and expert advisors are constantly monitoring this situation and will make any adjustments to the portfolio that are necessary.

You can review the original document here on the SCERS website. 

You can also contact SCERS directly.


Your Retirement Advocate Since 1973

We are ARSCE – Association of Retired Seattle City Employees, with an emphasis on retired folks and their families and friends. We are the advocate for members of the Seattle Employee Retirement System, keeping an eye on actions at the local and state level which might affect us.  And, we encourage retirees and active employees to keep in touch through our bi-monthly ARSCE News, and our quarterly luncheons.   The News covers City Retirement System issues, and includes columns and articles by active and retired employees featuring everything from travel experiences to other employee get-togethers, to books and films, and to a variety of other items of interest to retirees.  Please join us for our quarterly luncheons – a great chance to meet up with old friends and associates – and enjoy the ARSCE News, our bi-monthly publication. The News will keep you current on City Retirement System issues, and also includes columns and articles by active and retired employees featuring everything from travel experiences to other employee get-togethers, to books and films, and to a variety of other items of interest to retirees.

We maintain this website to provide users with information about ARSCE.  You’ll find the ARSCE event calendar, information about membership and the luncheons, names and contact information for the officers, and a lot of documentation, including our Bylaws, past issues of the ARSCE News, and link stop other information sources of interest to retirees.

Enjoy this website, and if you are a current or retired City of Seattle employee, we hope you are a member or that you will consider becoming a member.


John Masterjohn

ARSCE President John Masterjohn’s message, March-April 2020:


This is my first article for the year 2020. Can you believe that? We have entered a new decade! As I wrote this, we had about three inches of snow on the ground–not as much as was predicted, but enough. Okay, let’s move on from the weather.


The Christmas luncheon was a big success. The prime rib was the best so far, don’t you think? I’m sorry if you missed it. I think we were a smaller group than usual, but everyone had a good time. We will be at the West Seattle Golf Course for our March luncheon with some tasty corned beef and cabbage on the menu. All the information will be on the back page of your ARSCE News. I’m not sure if you got the January/February issue, but please note the earlier start time of 11:00 a.m. The luncheon program will feature Renee Freiboth, Seattle City Benefits Manager. 


Also, in this ARSCE News on page 5, we have listed all the candidates running for the Board. The ballots are in this issue, so please fill them out and send them in, ASAP.


I want to thank all the candidates and say good luck to all. And since I am thanking people, I have a whole list here. I want to thank Alan Brittenham for stepping up and taking over the Recording Secretary position. I need to thank Joanne Kinsella who did it for so many years. I also want to thank Merle Overland who filled in, admirably, for the last six months.


There didn’t seem to be much going on for the month of December although the market was up and the current funding level of the retirement [system] is 69.4% as of October 2019. The fund assets increased from $2.9 billion to $3 billion in the third quarter.


There have been some changes to the SCERS Board (Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System) this year; the new Administration Chair is Seattle Councilperson Teresa Mosqueda. Judith Blinder has been appointed to replace Jaya Bajpai who resigned his position on the Board. The remaining Board members are Glen Lee, Bobby Humes, Sherri Crawford, Robert Harvey Jr., and Lou Walter.


I will miss the March luncheon because we will be in Arizona for a couple of weeks enjoying the Mariners Spring Training. Here’s hoping you have a nice luncheon and a safe winter and spring. 


All the best!

John Masterjohn

Contact Mr. Masterjohn at president@arsce.org


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The Association of Retired Seattle City Employees (ARSCE) was founded in 1973 to protect and improve benefits for all retired...


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