RD705 - Virginia Retirement System – Popular and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2020

Executive Summary:

When a worldwide pandemic disrupted life and work as we knew it in 2020, public servants across the commonwealth quickly pivoted.

Some VRS members, including VRS staff, transitioned to a remote workforce to continue business operations. Other members provided essential in-person services by finding creative ways to distribute meals to students, continuing public services like refuse collection and even supporting virus testing with 24-hour lab operations. Indeed, the role of public servants took on a new meaning this year, which is why we are dedicating our financial report to Honoring Our Heroes.

In an extraordinary year that has required teamwork and agility, I am pleased to report that VRS continued its focus on serving those who serve others. Because of our comprehensive mobility initiative, VRS was well-positioned for the transition to remote work. Team members exhibited unwavering commitment to providing a continued high level of customer service.

We delivered additional COVID-19 support to our employers, members and retirees through a dedicated page on our website. Our award-winning myVRS Financial Wellness program responded with a COVID-19 Resource Guide, offering timely information and tools for those experiencing financial insecurity.

All the while, we continued with our daily mission. VRS staff adapted to providing member and retiree counseling online, by phone and through virtual benefit fairs. We completed the second voluntary contribution auto-escalation since the launch of the Hybrid Retirement Plan, allowing plan members to save more toward their retirement. The agency received several awards recognizing our communications and outreach, as well as our continued excellence in financial reporting.

We are committed to leveraging the strengths of a diverse staff and including differing perspectives as we improve services for our members. Since 2008, our Diversity and Inclusion Committee has engaged employees in conversation and activities to increase knowledge and build understanding and community. Our work will continue as we move forward with strategic questions that will guide our future.

As you browse through the PAFR, you’ll see financial results, investment information and other statistics from fiscal year 2020. VRS’ long-term investment strategy and diversified portfolio balances risks with rewards and focuses on performance over 20 years and longer. That stable foundation will allow us to continue Honoring Our Heroes throughout their careers and as they enter retirement.

Patricia S. Bishop