|The Essex Regional Retirement System (ERRS) administers the public pension system for 47 local entities, including 19 towns, five school districts, 17 housing authorities and six special districts
throughout Essex County, Massachusetts. As of December 31, 2013, there were 5,590 total members and beneficiaries, of which 2,740 are active members of ERRS, 1,354 are superannuation retirees, 1,159 are inactive members, 14 are ordinary disability retirees, 114 are accidental disability retirees and 209 are beneficiaries and survivor benefit recipients. As of January 1, 2013, ERRS' total actuarial value of assets was $314,565,925. The total actuarial accrued liability for the retirement system was $619,339,080 and the unfunded actuarial accrued liability was $304,773,155. ERRS has a funded ratio of 51% and its current funding schedule requires that the system be fully funded by 2035. ERRS assumed rate of investment return is 8.00%.
Originally created in 1937 as part of Essex County government, the retirement system is a member of the Massachusetts Contributory Retirement System and is governed by Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) is the state agency responsible for oversight of the Commonwealth's public retirement systems, including ERRS. ERRS members received retirement benefits based on the requirements of Chapter 32, supplemental regulations submitted by the retirement system and approved by PERAC, or in compliance with policies adopted by members of the Board of Directors. ERRS operates on a calendar year basis in accordance with the standards and procedures established by the Executive Director of PERAC.
Formerly known as the Essex Regional Retirement Board, ERRS was created by special legislation signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in July of 2010 (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 34B, Section 19A.) ERRS is governed by a five member Board who establish the policies under which ERRS operates. Board members also approve all financial transactions, including the approval of retirement benefits to members. The Board also conducts hearings into disability
applications and awards other retirement related benefits in accordance with Chapter 32. Board members also approve all contract awards, personnel appointments and a variety of other retirement system business matters. The Board typically meets once per month, usually on the last Monday of the month. Meetings are held at 8:30 a.m. at the offices of the retirement system.
ERRS is managed by a six member staff led by the Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of ERRS, which includes the oversight of all ERRS finances, personnel, operations and other business matters. The Executive Director is the main point of contact for ERRS with the public, its members units, legislators and state officials. ERRS staff are responsible for the variety of services ERRS provides to its units, members and retirees, including benefit counseling, guidance on membership eligibility issues, processing the monthly pension payroll, and refunding or transferring member accounts as necessary.
The legislative body for the Essex Regional Retirement System is the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council consists of the full-time treasurers or other qualified officials of the member units of ERRS. The Advisory Council is required by law to meet twice per year and is responsible for receiving certain financial reports and for approving certain actions of the Board of Directors. All Advisory Council meetings are open to the public.
The Essex Regional Retirement System is located in Danvers, Massachusetts, at 491 Maple Street, in the Hathorne Office Park. ERRS occupies Suites 201 and 202 in Building 200 and its offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ERRS staff can be reached at (978) 739-9151 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.