Executive Director's message to NHRS members, retirees and beneficiaries

Feb 17, 2021
  • Employers
  • Retirees
  • Members

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2021
Contact: [email protected]

As you may be aware, I will be retiring as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Retirement System at the end of the month. After nine years in the position, I am confident that NHRS will benefit from new leadership and that the retirement system is well positioned to continue to deliver on its mission of providing secure retirement benefits and superior service. We expect to have my successor in place effective April 1; Deputy Director Tim Crutchfield will be acting Executive Director until that time.

Since the Great Recession, thanks largely to the work of our Independent Investment Committee, pension assets have increased from $5.8 billion in 2012 to more than $10 billion as of December 31, 2020.  Over that same timeframe, there have been two actuarial experience studies, resulting in revisions to the plan’s demographic and investment assumptions, including two decreases in our assumed rate of investment return from 7.75% to the current 6.75%.  While these decisions increased our unfunded liability in terms of dollars, our funded ratio has improved from 56.1% to 61.0% and we continue our progress to extinguish the bulk of our unfunded liability by 2039. 

Operationally, we have dedicated significant resources to technology, improving our IT infrastructure and security in order to assure the protection of the system’s assets and your personal and financial information.  We have also initiated a four-year project to replace our 17-year-old pension administration system with an updated, web-based platform. The result will be improved efficiency, a reduction in paper and manual processes, and enhanced management reporting.

In line with our mission statement, we have focused heavily on providing superior service.  In addition to utilizing customer satisfaction surveys, I have personally spoken with more than 1,000 members over the past three years, inquiring about their experience with NHRS.  Our survey results from multiple sources have consistently shown overall satisfaction rates at or above 95%.

In December, we initiated a customer contact center.  Although it has been in place less than ninety days, we are enthusiastic about what we have seen so far.  The data indicates that nine out of ten times your inquires are being responded to by our contact center agents on your first call, with the remaining calls being referred to a subject matter expert for response.

I have been fortunate in that throughout my tenure, all of our efforts have benefitted from an engaged Board of Trustees, dedicated staff, and constructive engagement with members, beneficiaries, employers, and state and local elected officials.

In closing, I want to express my appreciation for having been afforded the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Retirement System these past nine years.  To have been given the responsibility for overseeing such an important financial institution – one charged with protecting the future retirement security of 85,000 first responders, teachers and public employees – has truly been a privilege.

With Best Regards,

George P. Lagos
Executive Director
New Hampshire Retirement System