Focus Topic – Retirement- Pensions- Survivor Benefits- Public Service Benefits

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

These are all bills that are related to retirement

House Bill 20 (HB20) – (Montoucet) Extends the deferred retirement option plan for firefighters with 27 years of service to five years from three.

House Bill 22 (HB22) – (Danahay) makes some changes to how the average compensation over five years is calculated for the sheriff’s pension and relief fund in order to bring the five year system more in line with present law for the way averages are calculated over three years.

House Bill 25 (HB25)- (Pierre) would allow members of the Firefighters’ Retirement System (FRS) to convert unused sick and annual leave to retirement credit.

House Bill 33 (HB33)-  (Pearson) if an employer withdraws employees from the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana they have to pay their share of unfunded accrued liability in the retirement system.

House Bill 34 (HB34)- (Barrow) allows members of state retirement plans whose jobs are affected by a layoff plan to transfer an amount equal to their accrued benefit to another qualified plan or a retirement account.

House Bill 35 (HB35)–  (Barrow) a provision for members of the state retirement plan who are employed by a state hospital, who have 25 years or more of service, and whose jobs are affected by a layoff plan. Under this bill these members are eligible for retirement, regardless of age, and would not have their benefit actuarially reduced.

House Bill 36 (HB36)-  (Danahay) Would change amount of time required in the Sheriff’s pension and relief fund required to transfer in credit from a prior state retirement plan from 6 months to one year. Doesn’t change time requirements for other systems.

House Bill 37 (HB37)- (N. Landry) requires the board of trustees of the Registrars of Voters Employees’ Retirement System to take actions to comply with an IRS requirement to show assumptions in order to maintain the plan’s tax status.

House Bill 38 (HB38)- (Greene) allows the board of trustees of the Registrars of Voters Employees’ Retirement System to raise the employee contribution rate from 7% to a range between 7 and 9 percent.

House Bill 39 (HB39)- (S. Bishop) adds age requirement for retirement (of 55) to the 30 years of service level and ups age requirement with 12 years of service from 55 to 60 for retirement for members of the La. Assessors’ Retirement Fund hired on or after October 1, 2013.

House Bill 40 (HB40)- (Arnold) sets a special interest rate for payments owed to the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans which would be based on the system’s actuarial valuation rate or market return rate- whichever is greater.

House Bill 41 (HB41)- (Arnold) Provides for 3 additional appointed members of the board of trustees of the New Orleans Fire Fighters Pension and Relief Fund and extends terms of elected members from 2 to 4 years. Adds a requirement a 2/3 vote of the board to approve a cost-of-living increase.

House Bill 42 (HB42)- (Arnold) changes the averaging period for pay for retirement in the New Orleans Fire Fighters Pension and Relief Fund from 48 months to 60 months

House Bill 43 (HB43)-  (Thibaut) removes any responsibility for local school boards to pay to the Louisiana state retirement fund any unfunded accrued liability related to positions the school board has privatized.

House Bill 44 (HB44)-  (Hazel) makes an exemption to confidentiality laws surrounding addresses of public employees in the case or a member of the firefighters retirement system if requested by a state legislator, an agency or employer reporting information to the retirement system, or a recognized association of system members.

House Bill 46 (HB46)-   (Price) Authorizes a cost-of-living benefit increase for certain retirees in the La. School Employees’ Retirement System who retired prior to July 1, 2001. The law only allows for such a cost of living adjustment through legislative action.

House Bill 49 (HB49)-  (Pearson) reduces the board of trustees of the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans from 10 members to 5. Reduces the number of active and firefighters serving on the board severely.

House Bill 50 (HB50)- (Pearson) changes employee contribution for the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans from 6% to 10% and eliminates exemption from contribution for members with 20 years of service

House Bill 51 (HB51)- (Pearson) Changes number of months used to calculate highest average salary for   the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans from 48 to 60.

House Bill 52 (HB52)-  (Pearson) removes the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans from the city of New Orleans and transfers it to Orleans Parish. Law that would be removed established funding requirements from the city for the fund and new law does not establish a similar requirement for the parish. This same legislator put in the bill to raise the required contribution for the firefighters.

House Bill 53 (HB53)- (Seabaugh) Repeals provisions providing for membership of La. High School Athletic Association employees who are not teachers in the Teachers’ Retirement System of La. and provides for refunds of employee contributions attributable to such membership but all service credit into the system from such membership will be abolished.

House Bill 55 (HB55)-  (Arnold) would change eligible groups for survivor benefits- eliminating payments to children unless they are disabled and eliminating payments to the parents of unmarried members- for the Harbor Police Retirement System. Would up the service requirement for disability retirement from 5 years to 10. Eliminates current actuarial assumptions and requires the board to put new ones in place.

House Bill 56 (HB56)-  (Jones) creates a different retirement earnings calculation system for members of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System if their pay increases at a rate greater than 15% from one year to the next.

House Bill 57 (HB57)-  (Pearson) sets up a five year system for averaging pay for all state retirement systems and increases employee contribution requirements to these systems. Includes clause that if it is found unconstitutional for some classes of employees it will then apply to the others.

House Bill 58 (HB58)-  (Foil)  Adds certain legal investigators in the East Baton Rouge Parish attorney’s office to membership in the Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System

House Bill 60 (HB60)-  (Talbot) For state and statewide retirement systems, requires the suspension of benefits for reemployed retirees who retire on or after July 1, 2013, and  prohibits the accrual of additional benefits during such reemployment. Also requires employer and reemployed retiree to notify the retirement system and requires any benefits paid if the system hasn’t received notice to be returned.

House Bill 61 (HB61)-  (Badon) establishes a new benefit calculation for any member of a state or statewide retirement system whose salary increases by more than 30%, comparing one month to the average of the previous 12.

House Bill 63 (HB63)-  (Robideaux) Authorizes a cost-of-living benefit increase for retirees and beneficiaries of state retirement systems. Such a cost of living increase has to be approved by the state legislature.

House Bill 64 (HB64)- (Arnold) Increases employee contribution requirements for the Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund in the city of New Orleans.

House Bill 65 (HB65)– (Johnson) removes the requirement for the increased proportion and requires the health insurance premiums for Haz Duty Plan members to be calculated according to the same method as other state retirees.

House Bill 66 (HB66)-  (Chaney) requires the premium costs of group hospital, surgical, and medical expense insurance, and the first $10,000 of life insurance to be paid by the sheriff of Richland Parish for all sheriffs and deputy sheriffs who retire after Aug. 1, 2013, as follows:(1) 50% with at least 25 years of service with the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office at 55 years of age. (2) 100% with at least 30 years of service with the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office, regardless of age.

House Bill 67 (HB67)- (Arnold) Changes retirement requirements for Harbor Police Retirement System in the city of New Orleans Members who are hired after January 1, 2014. Also establishes an option for a cost of living adjustment based retirement plan. Alters system for disability retirement. Also makes alterations to survivor benefit system.

House Bill 68 (HB68)– (Pearson) requires certain members to have membership in both a regular defined benefit plan and a cash balance plan and lays out all the rules to govern said dual membership.

House Bill 119 (HB119)-  (Lorusso) Says that employees of the Housing Authority of New Orleans are not included in the category of state civil service.

House Bill 128 (HB128)- (Jones) Adds tribal law enforcement agency officers to the officers for whom’s families the state makes survivor benefits available.

Senate Bill 2(SB2) – (Peacock) Adds two additional members to the board of trustees for the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System: the commissioner of administration and The state treasurer. This will increase the board from 9 members to 11.

Senate Bill 3 (SB3) -(Johns) Adds the West Calcasieu Parish Community Center Authority as a participating employer in the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System.

Senate Bill 4 (SB4) – (E. Guillory) changes the way valuation is calculated for the La. State Employees’ Retirement system and the Teachers’ Retirement System of La. Changes the valuation calculation method from projected unit credit to entry age normal. I looked up the two methods but I don’t speak accountant well enough to know the difference. If I get a brief explanation from someone of the difference I will add it here.

Senate Bill 5 (SB 5)-  (LaFleur) is a constitutional amendment to eliminate the current mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges.

Senate Bill 7 (SB7)-  (Peacock)  Changes the period averaged over for pay average for state retirement systems from 36 months to 60 months. Makes the amount of increase allowed per year for averaging 15% uniformly from a prior range of percents that varied.

Senate Bill 9 (SB9)- (E. Guillory) Adds specific judges to those not qualified to participate in the states cash balance plan.

Senate Bill 10 (SB10) – (E. Guillory) This would allow various statewide retirement systems to opt into a law that would allow them to make a cost of living adjustment in one of three scenarios.

(1) The system has a funded ratio of 90% or more and has not granted a benefit increase to retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries in the most recent fiscal year. (2) The system has a funded ratio of 80% or more and has not granted a benefit increase to retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries in either of the two most recent fiscal years. (3) The system has a funded ratio of 70% or more and has not granted a benefit increase to retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries in any of the three most recent fiscal years.

The various systems would have to decide whether to opt into this new law by end of 2013. Otherwise they would state with present law which provides the authority to grant cost-of-living adjustment based on the funded status of that system in 1986, and its progress towards 100% funding by 2016.

Senate Bill 11 (SB11)- (E. Guillory) This law requires an increase in employee contributions to state retirement plans. It also changes the averaging period for figuring highest average pay for such plans from 36 to 60 months. The law also has an increase for some state retirees in post retirement benefits.  It has qualifications for eligibility for this increase and lays out the increase amount.

Senate Bill 13 (SB13)-  (Long) Sets up a system for the board of trustees of the Louisiana State Police Retirement System to appoint an actuary and lays out the duties of said actuary. Sets up a system for interest rates for the retirement system and requires disclosure.

Senate Bill 14 (SB14)-  (Martiny) Sets out a system for transferring service credits between state retirement systems under certain circumstances.

Senate Bill 16 (SB16)- (Long) Adds to a law the definition that references to “regular retirement plan” mean “tier 1 of the teachers’ defined benefit plan”

 Senate Bill 17 (SB17)-  (E. Guillory) Sets up a plan for 2% of state revenue in excess of 2011-2012 levels to go to dealing with unfunded accrued liabilities of the state retirement plans and also for funding benefit increases for state retirees.

Senate Bill 46 (SB46)- (Dorsey-Colomb) Requires 100% payment of insurance premiums for retired East Baton Rouge Parish clerk of court office employees who meet the following criteria:  are entitled to receive monthly benefits from the LA Clerks’ of Court Retirement and Relief Fund, have at least 12 years of service, and are at least 55 years of age

House Bill 195 (HB195)- (Chaney) Requires more service years to have health and life insurance premiums to be 100% paid for new retirees of the Richland Parish Sheriff’s office and establish a level at which 50% is paid. Currently there are individuals who have 100% paid under the current law who if they had retired under the new system would not even get the 50% paid.

House Bill 237 (HB237)-  (Jones) For full time employees who are not part of a public retirement system, governing authorities must provide social security coverage.

House Bill 360(HB360)– (Shadoin) This bill adds vision insurance to the premiums covered for retired sheriffs and employees of the Lincoln Parish Sheriffs Office. Ups all premium coverage for these retirees from 50 to 100 percent.

House Bill 477 (HB477)– (M. Guillory) Removes retirees who are elected after retirement to the school board from the definition of “members of the school board” for the purposes of determining eligibility to participate in group health insurance.

House Concurrent Resolution 2 (HCR2)– (Harrison) Suspend the law to switch some members of the state retirement plan to a cash balance plan until either July 2014 or certain conditions are met – resolving the questions surrounding the switch. The questions the resolution raises pertain to social security exemption and tax qualified status of the new plan versus the old.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 (SCR1)– (Cortez) Temporarily suspends state retirement cash balance plan – R.S. 11:1399.1 through 1399.7 due to legal questions about the constitutionality of its adoption due both to questions related to irs status of social security equivalency and a court ruling that Act 483 of the 2012 session was enacted unconstitutionally for lack of two-thirds vote.


–to be periodically updated as new bills are filed–