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City of Tacoma WA Assistant Retirement Director in Tacoma, Washington

Assistant Retirement Director


$133,328.00 - $187,720.00 Annually


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Remote Employment


Job Number






Opening Date


Closing Date

3/8/2024 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (TERS) i s recruiting for the position of Assistant Director, a pivotal role in our executive management team. As the second in command of the department, you will contribute to the day-to-day management and support of TERS, focusing on financial reporting, investment knowledge, budgeting, and operational excellence. This role serves in an acting capacity for the Director when required .

Distinguishing Characteristics: This executive management position demands a strategic leader with a proven ability to collaborate seamlessly across diverse teams. The successful candidate will embody supervisory and organizational authority, playing a crucial role in directing, planning, and coordinating operational areas. Recognized as a representative on behalf of the department and department director, the Assistant Director will contribute significantly to policy implementation and strategic objectives .

Essential Duties:

  • Management and Leadership: Directs and manages subordinates, schedules work, ensures quality control, conducts performance evaluations, and leads hiring and discipline procedures.

  • Financial Management: Manages department financial activities, including budget development and monitoring of budgets, procurement, revenues, and expenditures.

  • Department Representation: Represents the department to internal leadership, elected officials, boards, commissions, and outside agencies on behalf of the Retirement Director.

  • Operations Management: Oversees day-to-day TERS operations, ensuring timely and accurate pension/refund payments, processing of contributions, and handling member inquiries.

  • Investment Support : Collaborate closely with the Retirement Chief Investment Officer, ensuring seamless alignment with investment strategies and communication with the Retirement Director and TERS Board members.

  • Financial Reporting: Manages financial reporting, Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and Summary Annual Financial Report production, and financial audits to ensure compliance with accounting principles and standards.

Financial and Operational Responsibilities:

The Assistant Director will oversee staff tasked with interacting with TERS members, ensuring all participants comprehend the complexities of the benefit.

Annually, the incumbent will lead the timely preparation of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, including collaboration with internal stakeholders and external auditors to facilitate the financial audit. They will stay abreast of GASB standards, ensuring compliance and integrating necessary adjustments into reporting processes.

The individual will also work closely with the Retirement Chief Investment Officer to provide pertinent information for accurate financial reporting. Proactive engagement with external service providers (including the System’s investment consultant and actuary) will inform the process, ensuring alignment with industry standards. Additionally, meticulous record-keeping will support transparency and audit trail integrity throughout the reporting cycle.


Be part of a dynamic team where your leadership, investment knowledge, and collaborative spirit will contribute to the success of TERS. If you are a strategic thinker with a commitment to operational excellence and collaborative leadership, we encourage you to apply .


Minimum Education*

Bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance or directly related field

Minimum Experience*

10 years of public or private pension system management including prior supervisory, managerial and/or subject-matter expert experience.

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desired Qualifications

Investment Experience

Knowledge & Skills

  • Ability to guide and inspire a team toward operational excellence, fostering a culture of high achievement.

  • Proficiency in navigating challenges with adaptability and resilience, demonstrating strategic thinking in overcoming obstacles.

  • Advanced knowledge of accounting, auditing, and retirement fund investment strategies.

  • Adept at aligning investment decisions with broader organizational goals, ensuring portfolios contribute to the overall mission.

  • Experienced in oversight of department financial activity, ensuring fiscal responsibility, compliance with GAAP, TMC, RCW, federal laws, GASB pronouncements, and industry standards.

  • Financial acumen in decision-making and budget management, making sound financial decisions that optimize departmental budgets.

  • Proficiency in communications and experience representing departments to internal and external stakeholders, effectively communicating goals and initiatives.

  • Ability to act on behalf of the Retirement Director when required, assuming leadership responsibilities to ensure continuity and strategic direction.

  • Skilled in collaboration and cooperation within the team and across departments, cultivating a collaborative environment that promotes teamwork.

  • Experience in navigating diverse perspectives with effective interpersonal skills, fostering inclusivity and collaboration within the organization.

  • Advanced knowledge of GAAP, TMC, RCW, federal laws, GASB pronouncements, and industry standards.

  • Effective strategic management and leadership skills.

  • Experience handling sensitive or confidential information.

  • Excellent communication, management, organizational, and problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to work independently, self-motivate, and meet deadlines.

  • Excellent editing and proofreading skills.

  • Experience working with actuaries and consultants.

  • Customer service-oriented mindset.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play .

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

Tacoma Employees' Retirement System

TERS is a defined benefit plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is governed by a nine-member Board of Administration (‘Board’ or ‘TERS Board’) whose members include the Mayor, the Director of Finance, a designee of the City Manager, a designee of the Tacoma Public Utilities Director, three elected employee members, one elected retiree member, and one resident member (not employed by the City) appointed by the eight other members.

The employer contribution is currently 11.34% with an additional employee contribution of 9.2% of gross pay. As of January 1, 2023, the TERS system had an Actuarial Value of Assets of approximately $2.150 billion versus an Actuarial Accrued Liability of $2.153 billion, or 99.9% funded using actuarial value of assets with a conservative 6.75% expected rate of return. TERS investments are governed by the prudent person rule. Accordingly, TERS maintains a well-diversified investment portfolio that primarily consists of global equities, various fixed income strategies, and private equity/infrastructure covering a wide range of investment strategies and objectives.

By statute, TERS maintains an independent Investment Advisory Committee (‘IAC’) to provide additional expertise to TERS in the investment process. This Committee does not have fiduciary responsibility for investment decisions, which remains with the TERS Board. The Retirement Department (which includes both TERS and LEOFF 1) currently has a staff of ten and an annual operating budget of $262 million which includes benefit payments, asset management fees, and administrative expenses.

For more information about the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System please visit the website at:


Interested individuals should apply online. Please attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received for interview consideration.

Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via email during the application process. Emails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk email folders.

For assistance with the NEOGOV application process, questions regarding this job announcement, or if you are experiencing complications while applying, please contact the Human Resources office at (253) 591.5400 by 4:00 pm of the closing date of the job announcement. This will allow us to assist you before the job announcement closes.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


Responses to supplemental questions must be original content created by the applicant using their own words. The use of online tools or resources to create responses, such as Artificial Intelligence (ChatGPT, etc.), Google, Bing, etc., or plagiarism in any form, is considered cheating and falsification of the application. I understand that any form of cheating or falsification will disqualify my application for further consideration.

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have an equivalent combination to a: Bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, finance or directly related field and 10 years of public or private pension system management including prior supervisory and managerial experience.

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you possess a Master's degree in business or directly related field? Note: Selecting a "No" response will not disqualify you for this position.

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you possess a CPA/CFA charter? Note: Selecting a "No" response will not disqualify you for this position.

  • Yes

  • No


    In 300 words or less, please describe your experience in retirement system administration, oversight of fund accounting, actuarial practices, financial legislative processes, or investment management.

    If you do not have relevant experience in any of these capacities, please indicate that and provide any transferable skills you believe would be valuable in this context.

    Please refrain from referring to your resume while answering this question.


    One of the guiding principles at the City Tacoma is equity. In 200 words or less could you share an example from your professional background where you proactively promoted equity and inclusion within a complex organizational structure. How did you ensure that diverse perspectives were considered in decision-making processes, and what specific steps did you take to foster an inclusive environment?


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening.

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    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. This information is used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings. Thank you for your feedback.

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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