National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Utah

The Utah Retirement System administers pension and other benefits for substantially all public employees in the state. The system maintains a contributory and a noncontributory plan for state employees, teachers, and employees of political subdivisions, and plans for law enforcement personnel, firefighters, judges, and the governor and legislators. The system also maintains a 401(k) and 457 plan. More than 85 percent of active members belong to the Noncontributory Plan.

Authorizing Statutes

Title 49 of the Utah Code establishes the Utah Retirement System. According to 49-11-201

There is established the Utah State Retirement Office, which may also be known and function as the Utah State Retirement Systems.

49-11-202 establishes the Retirement Board

There is established the Utah State Retirement Board composed of seven board members determined as follows:

  • Four board members, with experience in investments or banking, shall be appointed by the governor from the general public;

  • One board member shall be a school employee appointed by the governor from at least three nominations submitted by the governing board of the school employees' association that is representative of a majority of the school employees who are members of a system administered by the board;

  • One board member shall be a public employee appointed by the governor from at least three nominations submitted by the governing board of the public employee association that is representative of a majority of the public employees who are members of a system administered by the board;

  • One board member shall be the state treasurer.

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

Utah Retirement Systems

7

6

0

2

1

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2011, employer contributions to Utah state and local government pension plans were 3.46 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection based on impairment of contract principles. Johnson v. Utah State Retirement Bd., 770 P.2d 93 (Utah 1988)(recognizing that vested rights cannot be impaired); Newcomb v. Ogden City Pub. School Teachers' Retirement Comm'n, 243 P.2d 941, 948 (1952)("Legislature may not provide for the termination of a retirement system unless a substantial substitute is provided."). (UT CONST., Article 1, §18) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Utah (December 21, 1913)[6]

Population (2015) 2,995,919

Utah public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2015 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$27,107,869

Active Members

102,552

Annuitants

57,258

Benefits Paid

$1,335,738

Employee Contributions

$38,776

Employer Contributions

$1,005,185

Systems

10

More Data

Other Resources