Dear members and beneficiaries:
On behalf of the North Miami Retirement Systems (“your Plans”), we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a quick update regarding “retirement security” in these unsettled times.
To begin with, thank you for your service and patience as we navigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Please rest assured that your Plans and the Plans’ Trustees and staff fully understand the importance of regular monthly pension payments for all retirees. For the actively employed participants, you are also entitled to know that your future retirement benefits are safe.
Your Plans are funded on a “sound actuarial basis.” In plain language that means your Plans’ assets are invested over the long term and your city guarantees the benefits. Be assured that the assets in your Plans remain safely held in trust.
Here are some answers to questions that have been asked by retirees:
• Q. What happens to the Plans if there is a recession?
A. The Plans are long-term investors that were designed to withstand rises and falls in the investment markets. The country’s financial system has had fluctuations before and has remained stable over the long term. All of the assets in your Plans are managed by professional investment advisors who are trained to address the kinds of issues prevalent in today’s markets.
• Q. Does the investment market change my monthly retirement benefit?
A. No. You are in a defined benefit plan, also called a “DB” plan for short. Your Plan guarantees a fixed amount every month based on your years of service and your final average compensation. The Florida courts have recognized for decades that your Plan benefits are constitutionally protected and guaranteed by your employer.
• Q. Are the Plans expected to continue making my payments on time and in full?
A. Yes. Your Plans expect to continue making retiree and survivor payments without change. The Board has been in contact with both the Administrator and the City. These entities assure us that they are committed to making sure that the payments will continue to be made in full and on time, even in a quarantine.
• Q. Will the current loss of investment income affect COLA earnings?
A. No, because the amount of the COLA that you receive is not based on the Plans’ investment income or loss.
On behalf of the Trustees, we hope that you and yours remain safe as we collectively get through these challenging times.