The New Hampshire Retirement System was created in 1967 as a contributory defined benefit plan. The plan provides lifetime pension benefits, disability benefits, and pre- and post-retirement death benefits for public employees, teachers, police officers, and firefighters.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, NHRS had approximately 48,500 active members and 41,000 retirees and beneficiaries; it paid out more than $850 million in pension benefits and nearly $50 million in Medical Subsidy payments. Nearly 80% of our retirees continue to live in-state and their benefits have a positive impact on the state's economy.
Under RSA 100-A, NHRS has a fiduciary obligation to act for the exclusive benefit of its members and beneficiaries. To carry out that obligation, its operations are governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees. The investment of the trust fund’s more than $11.5 billion in assets is the responsibility of an Independent Investment Committee, which consists of six members. Day-to-day retirement system operations are delegated by the Board to the Executive Director and administered by a staff of approximately 70.
Pursuant to Board Policy, NHRS adopts a rolling three-year strategic plan on an annual basis. The plan is developed during the third and fourth fiscal quarters and typically adopted at the April or May meeting of the Board of Trustees. As a part of that process, both the Board and the staff engages in a Preserve/Achieve/Avoid exercise to identify areas requiring action or attention. The strategic plan focuses on key priorities to be achieved over the next 12 to 36 months.
However, it is only one component of the comprehensive management process in place to assure that NHRS meets its obligations to its members and beneficiaries. At the staff level, meetings are held on a quarterly basis to update all employees on major issues, initiatives, and progress toward achieving Action Plans. Operationally, our management is committed to a culture of communication and teamwork. We ascribe to the following values, which are the foundation of how we work together to serve our members:
- Security – Providing promised benefits and guarding the confidentiality of personal information.
- Excellence – Striving to exceed expectations through innovation, accountability, and teamwork.
- Respect – By recognizing the uniqueness and importance of our stakeholders, our co-workers, and ourselves, we foster collaboration and cooperation.
- Value – Committing to be a trusted and effective fiduciary by always acting in the best interest of our membership.
- Integrity – Acting in an ethical, honest, and professional manner in all our interactions.
- Communication – Providing responsive, accurate, and timely information to our stakeholders.
- Empathy – Being aware of the feelings of others and how our actions affect them enables us to be responsive to the needs of all we encounter.
NHRS has a very important role in the economic well-being of New Hampshire’s public employees, teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Everyone at NHRS have a strong appreciation of that responsibility and we are committed to the professional management and administration of the pension trust and the retirement benefits for all of our members, retirees, and beneficiaries.