Overcoming challenges of the pandemic, our member services staff ensured that all on‑time filers during the 2020 and 2021 retirement seasons received their first payments on-time.
Although processing retirement benefits is always of the utmost importance to the MTRS, there was justifiable concern going into the 2020 retirement season that there could be delays due to business interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the diligent work of our member services staff, working both remotely and in our offices, we were able to maintain and reach our goal in 2021 to pay timely benefits as we continued to work in a hybrid in-office/remote model.
There was a 4.73% increase in the overall number of new retirements in calendar year 2021 versus 2020. Though the amount of annual retirements has been trending downward in recent years, this small increase is likely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, as illustrated in the adjacent chart, the months seeing the largest increases coincide with tail-end of the 2020-21 school year and the rise of the Delta variant in the fall of 2021.
With the exception of 2021, the annual total of retirements have been trending downward in recent years, attributable to the overall decrease in members eligible for retirement. Baby-boomers (especially those in the older range of the generation) now account for 64% of our current benefit
recipients but only 18% of our active membership. In total, the MTRS has approximately 60,000 active and retired members in the baby-boomer generation, accounting for 37% of our total membership. The next largest population is Generation X, of which there are approximately 40,000 members, accounting for 42% of our active membership, 0.5% of our retired membership and only 25% of our total population.*
*Numbers are approximations based on the 2021 MTRS Actuarial Valuation Report, which is published by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC).