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NO. 165.  AN ACT RELATING TO ADJUSTMENTS TO THE RETIREMENT SYSTEMS OF STATE EMPLOYEES AND TEACHERS.

(H.547)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 455(a)(13) is amended to read:

(13)  “Normal retirement date” shall mean (A) with respect to a group A member, the first day of the calendar month next following (i) attainment of age 65, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004 or (ii) attainment of age 62 and completion of 20 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier; (B) with respect to a group C member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 55, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004 or completion of 30 years of service, whichever is earlier; (C) with respect to a group D member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 62 and completion of five years of creditable service; and (D) with respect to a group F member, the first day of the calendar month next following attainment of age 62, and following completion of five years of creditable service for those members hired on or after July 1, 2004, or completion of 30 years of creditable service, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 479(c) is added to read:

(c)  As of January 1, 2007 and thereafter, upon retirement, members entitled to prorated group medical benefit plan premium payments from the retirement system under the terms of this section shall have a one‑time option to reduce the percentage of premium payments from the retirement system during the member’s life, with the provision that the fund shall continue making an equal percentage of premium payments after the member’s death for the life of the dependent beneficiary nominated by the member under section 468 of this title, should such dependent beneficiary survive the member.  The retirement board, after consultation with its actuary, shall establish reduced premium payment percentages that are as cost neutral to the fund as possible.

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 1944(c)(12)(G) is added to read:

(G)  As of January 1, 2007 and thereafter, upon retirement, members entitled to prorated group medical benefit plan premium payments from the retirement system under the terms of this section shall have a one‑time option to reduce the percentage of premium payments from the fund during the member’s life, with the provision that the fund shall continue making an equal percentage of premium payments after the member’s death for the life of the dependent beneficiary nominated by the member under section 1941 of this title, should such dependent beneficiary survive the member.  The retirement board, after consultation with its actuary, shall establish reduced premium payment percentages that are as cost neutral to the fund as possible.

Sec. 4.  ONE-TIME ELECTION FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT STATE

             EMPLOYEES

(a)  Members of the Vermont state retirement system who are “law enforcement officers,” as defined in subdivision 2358(c)(1) of Title 20, who participate in a group plan other than the group C plan shall have a one-time option to transfer to the group C plan.  Election to join the group C plan under this subsection shall be made by June 30, 2007 and shall be irrevocable.

(b)  The effective date of participation in a new group plan for those employees covered under this section and who elect to transfer shall be July 1, 2007.  All past service accrued through the date of transfer shall be calculated based upon the plan in which it was accrued, with all provisions and penalties, if applicable, applied.

Sec. 5.  VERMONT STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM; STUDY

(a)  A study committee is created which shall be comprised of the state treasurer or designee, the director of retirement or designee, the commissioner of human resources or designee, the director of the Vermont state employees’ association or designee, the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs or designee, the chair of the house committee on government operations, the chair of the senate committee on government operations, the chair of the state employee retirement board or designee, one appointee of the director of the Vermont state employees’ association, and one appointee of the secretary of administration.

(b)  The committee shall:

(1)  study options for providing existing and future state employees with the opportunity to recapture medical benefit insurance and medical benefits for new hires.  The committee shall obtain actuarial costs as needed for any options under consideration or recommended, including the costs of possible contribution rates for recapturing medical benefit insurance and any corresponding increase in individual member or group plan rates;

(2)  study criteria for membership, plan structure, and contribution rates of the group C plan;

(3)  evaluate the appropriate retirement group plan for state’s attorneys and the attorney general;

(4)  conduct a survey of members of the group F plan relating to postretirement cost of living adjustments; and

(5)  consult with the membership of all groups affected by the issues within the scope of the study.

(c)  The committee shall file a report of its recommendations with the house and senate committees on government operations by December 15, 2006.

(d)  Legislative members shall be entitled to per diems and reimbursement for travel‑related expenses pursuant to section 406 of Title 2.

(e)  The office of the state treasurer shall provide administrative support for the committee.  The state treasurer may expend money from the pension accumulation fund to cover the costs of administering this section and educating members.

Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 4 of this act shall take effect on January 1, 2007.

Approved:  May 19, 2006



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us