Welcome to the St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association!

The St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association
provides you a Defined Benefit Plan (DB) in which you are automatically enrolled. This means that you are guaranteed a lifetime, monthly retirement benefit from the SPTRFA if you meet eligibility requirements. Your benefit is not determined solely by your employee contributions. Rather, it is based on a formula, in which allowable retirement service credit and salary are key factors.

Have questions about employee benefits? Contact SPPS Human Resources.

Our Mission

The mission of the St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association is to:

  • Provide our members and their beneficiaries with retirement, survivor and disability benefits as specified in law and the Association Articles and Bylaws.
  • Assist our members in planning a secure retirement by providing friendly, high quality, consumer oriented service, pre-retirement education and information in a professional and cost effective manner.
  • Invest the assets of the fund to provide the optimum return while preserving principal by controlling the portfolio risk.

Our History

The St. Paul Teachers’ Retirement Fund Association was organized October 1, 1909, under authority granted by the Laws of Minnesota, 1909, Chapter 343. Membership was voluntary, dues were 1% of salary and there were no deductions from payroll. The first benefits were paid one year later to 15 members, commencing at $30 per month. Increases came slowly over the next several decades. Like many such programs, the SPTRFA ran a pay-as-you-go system, and did not begin reserving assets for future benefits until 1955. The State of Minnesota became the employer of record twenty years later, in 1975. Contributions were set in state law at a level insufficient to fully pre-fund future retirement benefits. Unfunded liabilities created at that time remain our greatest funding challenge 30 years later.


  • In 1978, the Coordinated Plan was created, which provides that members are covered both by our local retirement program, as well as Social Security. A tiered benefit structure was created in 1989, which resulted in improved benefits, but also created different classes of membership defined by a participant’s date of hire.
  • In 1997, the Legislature passed a sweeping measure that raised the benefit formula for our members and replaced our 13th Check post-retirement benefit increase with a guaranteed 2% annual increase coupled with an investment performance-related increase. The post-retirement benefit would later be revised in 2011 legislature (see below).
  • In 2010, legislation set statutory employer and employee contributions to increase by one percent (increments stretched over four years), with the first contribution increase effective for salary earned on or after July 1, 2011.
  • In 2011, legislation set a schedule for Post Retirement Adjustments, with a 1% increase effective annually starting January 2012 until the Fund attains an 80% level of coverage of its future liabilities. At that point, the legislation calls for an additional 1% increase in the COLA.
  • Immediate impacts to the SPTRFA due to the 2013 Pension Bill- Answered here

Recent years have witnessed increased interest at the Legislature in proposals to combine the four teacher retirement funds into a single statewide system. Such a consolidation would require the resolution of many technical and administrative issues. The Association’s trustees have steadfastly maintained that any such combination of plans would be acceptable if it first offered the members genuine benefit upgrades and equivalent value for equal periods of service. Want more information about the history of the financial health of Minnesota’s public employee pensions?
Read more at, http://www.twincities.com/pensions