Public Pensions in Washington

Governance and Administration

Unlike many other states, the governance and administration of Washington's public pensions is shared among several entities:

  • The Department of Retirement Systems collects and accounts for contributions, verifies data reported by employers, maintains records, communicates pension information and pays retirement benefits.
  • The Legislature enacts retirement plan policy, including funding policy, and establishes contribution rates.
  • The Select Committee on Pension Policy studies pension issues and recommends any retirement plan changes to the Legislature. Committee members represent active and retired members of the retirement systems, as well as state legislators.
  • The Office of the State Actuary is staff support for the Select Committee on Pension Policy and performs regular valuations of the retirement plans, determining overall health and funding status, and recommends employer/state and member contribution rates to the Pension Funding Council.
  • The Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' (LEOFF) Plan 2 Retirement Board adopts actuarial standards, provides for additional benefits as allowed by law and establishes contribution rates for LEOFF Plan 2.
  • The Pension Funding Council evaluates and adopts pension funding assumptions and recommended contribution rates.
  • The Washington State Investment Board serves as pension fund trustee and invests and accounts for the trust fund dollars.