State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti visits RPEC Chapters
There are many reasons to attend your local Retired Public Employees Council chapter meetings. You can get the latest news about issues that impact your retirement security, take action at the local level, learn from interesting guest speakers, and enjoy food and fellowship. You might also get to meet the State Treasurer.
State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti has recently visited nine RPEC chapters and is planning to visit more. As the elected official responsible for overseeing the state’s assets, including the $178 billion invested in public employee pensions, he is uniquely positioned to share insights on the long-term health of our pension systems.
While many states are saddled by underfunded pensions, Washington has one of the top three funded pension systems in the nation. In his time as Treasurer, Pellicciotti has consistently advocated for fully funding public employee pensions. As he is quick to point out, pension debt is one of the most expensive types of debt that a state can have, so it’s critical that the Legislature makes responsible financial decisions.
Another key to healthy pensions is a successful investment strategy. Pension contributions from both employees and employers are invested by the Washington State Investment Board (WSIB), which Pellicciotti serves on. WSIB is widely regarded as one of the most successful public pension investors in the nation, outperforming all but one of its peers in 2022. Part of WSIB’s success is due to its diverse investment portfolio which includes a unique mix of private and public equity, real estate, and bonds. (As a fun fact and side note, RPEC is the only retiree organization with a gubernatorial appointed voting WSIB member. Yona Makowski, a long-standing RPEC member, serves on the WSIB on your behalf.)
Before he was elected State Treasurer in 2020, Pellicciotti served two terms as State Representative from the Federal Way area. In the Legislature, he co-sponsored multiple bills to provide cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to retirees in PERS 1 and TRS 1, the only state-managed plans that don’t receive automatic annual COLAs. His commitment to public employee pensions is connected to his late grandmother, whose pension allowed her to lead a long and dignified retirement.
Since last September, Treasurer Pellicciotti has visited nearly every RPEC chapter in King, Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap counties. With the legislative session now concluded, he will be looking for opportunities to visit chapters in other parts of the state.
So don’t miss your next RPEC Chapter meeting. You just might get to meet the State Treasurer.