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H.259

Introduced by   Representatives Evans of Essex, Donaghy of Poultney and Jerman of Essex

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Municipal government; Vermont municipal employees’ retirement system; group D; participation; cost of living adjustments; creditable service; health insurance

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to:  (1) eliminate the requirement for a special municipal meeting to approve membership in the group D plan of the Vermont municipal employees’ retirement system (VMERS); (2) provide a one-time option to transfer membership from the group C plan to the group D plan of VMERS; (3) provide for the same cost of living adjustment to members of the group D plan of VMERS that is provided to members of the group C plan of the Vermont state retirement system; and (4) require the pension accumulation fund of VMERS to pay 80 percent of the cost of the health and medical benefit for retired public safety employees and their dependents.

AN ACT RELATING TO PARTICIPATION IN THE GROUP D PLAN OF THE VERMONT MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

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

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 5068(c) is amended to read:

(c)  On or before September 30 of any year, a municipality, at an annual or special meeting warned for the purpose, the legislative body of a municipality may designate groups of employees eligible to become members of group D. Such The designation may apply to one or more of the following groups of employees:

* * *

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 5054(i) is added to read:

(i)  Employees described in subsection 5068(c) of this title who were hired prior to July 1, 2000 shall have a one-time option to participate in the group D plan in lieu of participation in the group C plan of the Vermont municipal employees’ retirement system.  The election shall be made on or before September 30, 2005.  All creditable years of service in the group C plan shall be applied to a normal or early retirement allowance equal to that for participants in the group D plan under section 5055 of this title.  Election to participate in the group D plan shall be irrevocable.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 5067(a) is amended to read:

(a)  For members, as of June 30 in each year, commencing June 30, 1987, a determination shall be made of the increase or decrease, to the nearest one-tenth of a percent of the Consumer Price Index for the preceding fiscal year.  The retirement allowance of each beneficiary in the group A, B, or C plans in receipt of an allowance for at least one year on the next following December 31st 31 shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an amount equal to one-half of the percentage increase or decrease.  The retirement allowance of each beneficiary in the group D plan in receipt of an allowance for at least one year on the next following December 31 shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, by an amount equal to the percentage increase or decrease, with a maximum adjustment of five percent and a minimum adjustment of one percent.  The increase or decrease shall commence on the January 1st 1 immediately following such December 31st 31.  The adjustment shall apply to members of the group A, B, or C plan receiving an early retirement allowance only in the year following attainment of age 62, provided the member has received benefits for at least 12 months as of December 31 of the year preceding any January adjustment.  The adjustment shall apply to members of the group D plan receiving an early retirement allowance following attainment of age 55, provided the member has received benefits for at least 12 months as of December 31 of the year preceding any January adjustment.  The maximum adjustment of any retirement allowance resulting from any such determination shall be two percent for group A members and three percent for group B, C, and D members, and no retirement allowance shall be reduced below the amount payable to the beneficiary without regard to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 4.  24 V.S.A. § 5069(c) and (d) are added to read:

(c)  The board shall enter into insurance arrangements to provide health and medical benefits for retired members of the group D retirement plan and their dependents.

(d)  Payment of a portion of the cost of health and medical benefits provided under this chapter for retired members of the group D plan shall be made from the pension accumulation fund.  The board shall pay up to the amount determined by the board to be equal to 80 percent of the cost of the applicable standard plan for retired members and their dependents.  The board shall pay an equal dollar amount for eligible retirees regardless of the plan selected.  All eligible retirees may select health plan coverage from a range of plans approved by the board.  Retired members may authorize deductions to be made from their monthly retirement allowance for the balance of the cost of health and medical benefits for the retired members and their dependents.  The board shall determine annually that part of the cost of the applicable standard plan in excess of 50 percent of the cost for retirees, allocate 41.5 percent of that amount to active members, and adjust the members’ contribution rate accordingly.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us