As managers of the VRS Trust Fund, the investment team knows that decisions made today must support current and future needs of Virginia’s teachers, local government workers and state employees.

Investment Objectives

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Step 1
 

VRS collects contributions from Virginia's public employees and their employers.

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Step 2
 

VRS invests those contributions to maximize returns while managing risk.

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Step 3
 

VRS pays a monthly benefit to retirees.

To fulfill our mission of delivering benefits through sound financial stewardship, VRS strategically manages the trust fund to maximize returns while mitigating risk.

With a focus on long-term returns and performance, the VRS Board of Trustees, governed by the Code of Virginia, sets the portfolio policy. Our professional investment team executes the board’s policy through external investment manager selection, active management of in-house portfolios and active management of overall investment exposures. Those efforts have resulted in about $2.5 billion in additional dollars for the fund over the past 10 years.

Other contributions to the fund come from members and employers:

  • Members contribute a percentage of their compensation each month.
  • Employers make monthly contributions based on their total employee population.

These funds are invested to pay for future benefits. Currently, VRS pays approximately $5.5 billion annually to retirees and beneficiaries.

Asset Allocation as of June 30, 2021

Source: Bank of New York Mellon

Diversification creates a stable foundation and helps moderate risk associated with the stock market. By mixing stocks, bonds, real assets and other investment strategies, VRS creates a diverse portfolio, which also minimizes significant fluctuation in the rates that employers pay into the fund.

Investment Returns by Fiscal Year


Current Investment Return Assumption: 6.75%
*2001-2003: Tech bubble burst; **2008-2009: Great Recession

VRS focuses on performance over the long term, 20 to 40 years, not simply a single year. Over short periods (monthly, quarterly and even a few years), some asset classes will do well, while others will underperform.

The VRS Board of Trustees, with the expertise of an outside consultant, sets the assumed rate of return, annualized over 30 years. The board also sets the VRS benchmark to measure performance of each investment type within the portfolio. The portfolio is positioned to match the long-term needs of VRS members. Investing solely in the stock market, S&P Index or other indices would lack diversification necessary to support the future needs of VRS retirees and their beneficiaries.

By balancing risk with reward in the portfolio, the VRS fund is projected to grow steadily over time, meeting or exceeding the assumed rate of return.

Net Position by Fiscal Year

The net position of the VRS Trust Fund reflects resources available to pay benefits. Approximately two-thirds of benefit payments come from investment earnings.

In addition to a long-term investment strategy, VRS implements other policy and legislatively driven measures to ensure the long-term health of the fund:

  • Introducing pension plan design changes, such as VRS Plan 2 and the Hybrid Retirement Plan, which have lowered the future cost of benefits.
  • Ensuring a plan is in place to pay down unfunded liabilities for the state employee and teacher plans.
  • Conducting experience studies, which compare actual economic and demographic experiences in recent years with VRS’ earlier projections. Experience studies help VRS estimate future costs based on recent experience and emerging trends.
  • Certifying employer contribution rates with the goal of providing budget stability for employers and helping ensure sufficient funds are available to pay employees throughout retirement.

Quarterly Reports

June 30, 2021 Download
March 31, 2021 Download
December 31, 2020 Download
September 30, 2020 Download
June 30, 2020 Download
March 31, 2020 Download
December 31, 2019 Download
September 30, 2019 Download
June 30, 2019 Download
March 31, 2019 Download
December 31, 2018 Download
September 30, 2018 Download
June 30, 2018 Download
March 31, 2018 Download
December 31, 2017 Download
September 30, 2017 Download
June 30, 2017 Download
March 31, 2017 Download
December 31, 2016 Download
September 30, 2016 Download
June 30, 2016 Download
March 31, 2016 Download