The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) was established in 1967 as a contributory, public employee defined benefit pension plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and funded through a trust which is exempt from tax under Code section 501(a). The plan provides lifetime pension benefits that are determined at retirement under formulas prescribed by law; the pension benefit is not based on investment returns or contributions.
The retirement system provides Service, Early Service, Disability, and Vested Deferred Retirement benefits, as well as pre- and post-retirement death benefits. It also provides a post-retirement Medical Subsidy to eligible members and beneficiaries.
NHRS does not provide health insurance for retirees or their beneficiaries.
Benefit formulas and eligibility requirements are set by state law (RSA 100-A). The retirement system is also governed by administrative rules, policies adopted by the NHRS Board of Trustees, and the Internal Revenue Code.
NHRS benefits are funded by member contributions, employer contributions, and net investment returns. Investment returns have historically provided the bulk of funding for pension benefits.
In fiscal year 2018, the average annual NHRS pension benefit was just over $20,000.
More than 94 percent of pension recipients receive an annual pension benefit under $50,000, 66 percent receive an annual pension benefit under $25,000, and practically one-third (29 percent) receive an annual pension benefit under $10,000. A little more than one percent of pension recipients receive more than $75,000 per year.
More than 80 percent of pension recipients live in New Hampshire.
For more than five decades, NHRS has played an important role in securing the economic well-being of New Hampshire’s retired public employees, teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The retirement system celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. To mark this golden anniversary, we posted facts about the retirement system, photos of current and former members, and other related material in a special section.