Your Retirement Advocate Since 1973
We are ARSCE – Active and Retired Seattle City Employees Association, 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.
ARSCE President John Masterjohn’s message, May/June 2019:
I am sitting here looking out my front room window at 3 to 4 inches of snow that is still on my yard. I am writing this column early because I will be away visiting a warmer place when this article is due to the editor.
In my last article, I mentioned several goals that the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) set for the coming year.
#1. Deliver outstanding service to members and beneficiaries
One measure of this improvement will be found in the processing of retirement estimate requests. When they started tracking these requests in 2014, there were 250 outstanding requests on the books, with an average turnaround time of 12 weeks. As of the end of 2018, there were zero (0) outstanding requests, with the prior average turnaround time of two and a half weeks. There are a number of other ways they feel they have met this goal.
#2. Implement technology-based solutions
These provide accurate and timely information. They completed the fourth and final phase of the Pension Administration System (PAS) whch went live in January of 2019. This will allow SCERS to take a more proactive approach in providing services.
#3. Maintain a strong and secure financial position
Over a time frame of 5 to 7 years, that is typical of a market cycle, to achieve a net return that matches or exceeds the policy index. SCERS has modestly underperformed the policy by 0.1% (5.0% SCERS, 5.1% policy index) and 0.4% (7.4% SCERS, 7.8% policy index) on an annualized basis over the last 5 and 7 years, respectively. While the medium-term objective was not fully met, relative performance has meaningfully improved over time. For example, SCERS had underperformed the policy index by 1.2% for the preceding five year period from 2009 to 2013. Also, SCERS approved a revised set of economic and demographic assumptions as part of the experience study process that Milliman (actuary) undertakes every four years. The investment return assumption was reduced from 7.5% to 7.25% reflecting that capital market return expectations have taken over the last several years. New assumptions will go into effect on January 1st, 2020 and will result in a modestly lower funding ratio and higher City contribution. This may affect your retirement benefits, so if you are considering retirement soon you need to contact the retirement office to see if they may affect your plans.
#4. Develop a five year Strategic Plan
SCERS has hired two highly qualified city employees for key management positions. SCERS leadership provided guidance and professional input to the Seattle Retirement Savings Plan (SRSP) that was adopted by the Seattle City Council on November 20, 2017 and signed into law by Mayor Time Burgess on November 22, 2017. Also, they completed the transition of all SCERS retirees to direct deposit, a more secure and timely payment method.
Now if you think I came up with all this information by myself, you would be highly mistaken. I am giving all the credit to Paige Alderete and Jason Malinowski, both top people on the staff, and to their 2018 SCERS Progress Report. As you probably figured out, I’m just sharing with you selected sections from the report.
Well, we went off to that warmer spot as promised, so I hope spring came early and you all enjoyed the March Luncheon.
Contact Mr. Masterjohn at email@example.com