About Wyoming Retirement System
Our Mission-Providing expert administration and responsible investment of Wyoming’s public retirement and supplemental savings program
Our Vision-Partnering to build financial security for members and their families
Our Values-Integrity, accountability, commitment and excellence
The Wyoming Retirement System (WRS) began in 1953 when the Wyoming Teachers Retirement System (established in 1943) and the State Employees Retirement Association (established in 1949) were merged.
WRS has grown to encompass most nonfederal public employees in Wyoming. WRS is administered by an 11-member board, which hires an executive director to oversee a staff of 38 employees.
WRS consists of nine separate defined benefit pension plans, including: the Public Employee Plan; the Warden, Patrol and DCI Plan; two Paid Firefighter Plans; the Volunteer Firefighter Plan; Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician Plan; the Air Guard Firefighter Plan; the Law Enforcement Plan and the Judicial Plan. The WRS 457 Deferred Compensation program and the State’s Social Security 218 program are also administered by the Wyoming Retirement Board.
WRS administers retirement benefits for employees of nearly 700 public employers statewide. Currently, the membership totals nearly 42,000 active members, 23,000 retired members and approximately 20,510 inactive members. The active membership is comprised of employees from school districts, the University of Wyoming and community colleges, state and local government and various other political subdivisions.
Ruth Ryerson serves as executive director of the Wyoming Retirement System. As executive director, she is responsible for running the $7 billion system, which serves roughly 42,000 public employees in Wyoming and 23,000 retirees. Ryerson manages the staff and day-to-day operations, and also serves as WRS board secretary.
Ryerson brings to the position 25 years of experience in the retirement industry. Prior to joining WRS, she served as executive director and chief investment officer of the Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund, a position she held from 2006 through July 2013.
Ryerson also spent 19 years at the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado in Denver serving as accounting manager in 1987,deputy executive director in 1991 and chief executive officer from 1993 to 2006. Before working for the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado, she worked as an audit supervisor for the city auditor’s office in Colorado Springs.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in International Business from Regis University, Denver. Her professional certifications in accounting and finance include Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Government Financial Manager.
Ryerson’s pension and benefits certifications include Certified Benefit Specialist, Chartered Pension Professional, Chartered Pension Executive, Certified Trustee (Texas Public Employee Retirement System), and Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor.
WRS celebrates 60 years
To celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2013, WRS compiled facts about the system. Check out the links to learn more about WRS, its history, its programs and general retirement information.