Decennial Retirement Commission Begins Work

Group is tasked with making recommendations to ensure the long-term viability of NHRS

Aug 30, 2017
  • Retirees
  • Members
  • Employers

For Immediate Release: August 30, 2017

Contact:  Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; [email protected]

CONCORD, NH – A statutory commission charged to make recommendations to ensure the long-term viability of the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017.

The Decennial Commission established under RSA 100-A: 57 consists of 17 members, including legislators, public experts, members, retirees, employers and the chair of the NHRS Board of Trustees. The commission is chaired by former state Rep. David Hess. The first meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in rooms 210-11 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. All meetings are open to the public.

A web page listing commission members and scheduled meetings is available on the New Hampshire General Court website at:  http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/statstudcomm/details.aspx?id=1343&rbl=1&txtkeyword=decennial

A web page listing committee materials, audio of previous meetings, and additional background information is available on the New Hampshire General Court website at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/statstudcomm/committees/1343/default.html

The Decennial Commission has the following charges, listed in the order in which they appear in the statute:

  1. Study the previous decade’s history of funding, benefits, and investment results of the New Hampshire Retirement System.
  2. Review the structure and governance of the New Hampshire retirement system.
  3. Analyze the financial status of the retirement system, and the challenges facing the system in the upcoming decade.
  4. Assess any changes to general accounting standards and their potential effect on the retirement system.
  5. Make recommendations for ensuring the long-term viability of the retirement system, including an appropriate funding methodology.
  6. Monitor the sustainability and affordability of cost of living increases for plan participants.
  7. Study other matters deemed necessary by the commission.
  8. Seek technical assistance as necessary from the New Hampshire Retirement System and from other independent financial, investment, actuarial, and retirement experts. Subject to available appropriations, the commission may employ support staff for the purposes of its duties.
  9. Evaluate the plan for amortization of the unfunded accrued liability of the retirement system and the impact on contribution rates.
  10. Review the effects of retirees returning to work for retirement system employers and make recommendations for legislative changes, if necessary.
  11. Consider the effects that changes to contribution rates have on municipalities and evaluate the options to minimize the changes.
  12. Study the feasibility and cost of eliminating the reduction in a retiree's retirement allowance upon reaching the age of 65.

The commission’s findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation, per statute, must be reported to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the House Clerk, the Senate Clerk, the Governor, and the State Library on or before Dec. 1, 2017.

In 2007, House Bill 876 created an initial retirement system review commission similar in scope to the Decennial Commission. This 21-member group – which has been referred to as the HB 876 commission, the viability commission, and the Bartlett commission (after chairman, former Senate President William Bartlett) – made a number of recommendations concerning NHRS, including the suggestion to convene a commission every 10 years. The Decennial Commission was established in House Bill 1645 (2008).

About NHRS

NHRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its eligible members and their beneficiaries.  The State of New Hampshire and nearly 470 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers.  NHRS has approximately 48,000 active members and 33,000 pension recipients. NHRS administers a defined benefit plan qualified as a tax-exempt entity under sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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