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Rhode Island Employees board votes to reduce assumed rate of return to 7%

The board of the $7.8 billion Rhode Island Employees’ Retirement System, Providence, voted Monday to reduce its assumed rate of return to 7% from 7.5%, said Evan England, spokesman for state Treasurer Seth Magaziner, who oversees the Rhode Island State Investment Commission, Providence.

The change is expected to lower the plan’s funding level to 53.2% from 56% next year. This would make its current assets roughly half of what is needed to pay its liabilities.

Mr. England clarified that the funding figure will fluctuate depending on the final performance data for fiscal year 2017, which ends June 30.