About DRS

The Department of Retirement Systems serves a diverse population of more than 330,000 Washington public employees, including firefighters, teachers and police officers.

Led by Tracy Guerin and supported by the DRS Advisory Committee, DRS administers one of the most complex public retirement systems in the country, comprising 15 plans across eight individual retirement systems. We also administer the state’s Deferred Compensation Program.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

  • We provide information, tools, expertise and services that ensure our members receive the retirement benefits they earn while in public service.

Vision

  • Satisfied customers
  • Valued team members

Values

  • Customer focus
  • Team member engagement
  • Valued relationships
  • Performance excellence
  • Resource stewardship

2023 Strategic Plan Summary

Goals
  • Reliable (Accurate/Timely/Responsive)
  • Equitable (Respectful/Inclusive)
  • Financial (Fiscal Accountability)
Strategies
  1. Support team member growth through development.
  2. Adopt secure, modern and flexible tools populated with accurate data.
  3. Adopt a leadership development program.
  4. Mature organizational governance.
  5. Adopt a dynamic talent acquisition and management program.
  6. Reduce risk of fraud by eliminating unnecessary access to agency held data.
  7. Develop a holistic communications plan so partners, customers and employers have access to information and tools.
  8. Monitor and adopt best practices related to increasing retirement savings.
  9. Re-imagine retirement-related business processes.
  10. Increase linkage of budgeted resources to projected mandatory workload.
Leadership Behaviors
  • Listen: Lead with positive intent. Create psychological safety. Listen to understand. Be curious. Clarify with questions. Avoid assumptions.
  • Equip: Communicate. Educate. Share the vision. Engage learning. Encourage practice. Build skill. Provide professional development.
  • Empower: Say “Yes.” Share knowledge. Create opportunities that support team member’s goals, strengths and professional development.
  • Challenge: Reach, stretch, explore and expand. Improve capabilities, processes and teams. Share problem-solving.
  • Support: Coach. Appreciate failure as an important step toward success. Provide help, stability, and encouragement.
Cultural Objectives
  • Broad collaboration and trust: Trust in mutual commitment to shared outcomes. Collaborate proactively. Expect tools to perform as designed.
  • Strategic, data-driven work: Think big-picture for decision-making and customer service. Consider qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Consistent processes: Value standardized processes that support consistent outcomes.
  • Embrace change: Embrace change as a vital element of a thriving organization

Quick Stats

Membership (as of quarter ending Sept. 30, 2023)
  • 355,064 active members – working and contributing to the plans
  • 229,077 annuitants – retirees, beneficiaries and others who receive monthly payments
  • 339,193 inactive members – left employment but are not yet receiving payments
Financial (as of fiscal year ending June 30, 2023)
  • $189 billion held in retirement trust fund assets
  • $5.5 billion collected annually in contributions from members and employers
  • $7.9 billion paid annually in benefits and contribution refunds
Organizational
  • 275 employees
  • $90.6 million budget
  • Created in 1976

See more about public pensions in Washington.

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