For Immediate Release: March 26, 2018
Contact: Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; [email protected]
CONCORD, NH – Five bills related to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) were passed by the N.H. House of Representatives in 2018 and have crossed over to the N.H. Senate for further action. In addition, five bills were passed by the Senate and sent to the House.
Crossover day, which was March 22 this year, is the deadline for all House bills to go to the Senate and all Senate bills to go to the House. Not all bills that cross over will ultimately be enacted into law. To become law, legislation must be agreed to by majorities in both the House and Senate, after which it is sent to the Governor, who may veto the bill, sign it into law, or let it become law without a signature.
The two bills that have generated the most interest among retirees, members, and employers are:
House Bill 561: This bill would limit new retirees working part-time for participating employers to a maximum of 1,300 hours per year, except in pre-reported situations where a retiree would be allowed to work up to 1,600 hours per year provided the retiree and his or her employer pay a surcharge to the retirement system. New retirees would also have to wait 28 days from their effective date of retirement before they could work in a part-time capacity for a participating employer. The amendment also contains a financial penalty for any retirees exceeding the statutory limits on annual hours worked. Retirees currently working part-time on the effective date of the law (January 1, 2019) would not be subject to the 1,300-hour limit or the surcharge for as long as they remain in the position they held on the effective date.
A different version of this bill was passed by the House in 2017 and retained by the Senate. Because the Senate amended the bill, the House has three options: vote to concur (pass), non-concur (kill), or request a committee of conference to reconcile the House and Senate versions.
House Bill 1756: This bill grants a one-time $500 payment, effective July 1, 2019, to retirees receiving an annual benefit of $30,000 or less and who have been retired more than five years. Funding for this payment would come from the state’s general fund. This bill also proposes a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), effective July 1, 2020, to retirees, or beneficiaries of deceased retirees, who have been retired more than five years as of July 1, 2019, contingent upon an as-yet undetermined funding source.
This bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
Other bills adopted by the House are:
- House Bill 1427: This bill allows a school district governing body to exempt a superintendent of schools from compulsory membership in the retirement system. The option to exempt superintendents would expire 12/31/18.
- House Bill 1603: This bill requires that one of the public members of the NHRS Independent Investment Committee be an active member appointed from a list of nominations provided by public employee labor organizations.
- House Bill 1805: This bill establishes a committee to study level dollar amortization of the retirement system’s unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) and increases NHRS trustee terms from 2 years to 3 years. This bill is based upon recommendations of the 2017 Decennial Retirement Commission.
- House Bill 1823: This bill requires the retirement system to amortize actuarial gains or losses accrued on or after July 1, 2017, for a closed, fixed period of no longer than 20 years. This bill is based upon a recommendation of the 2017 Decennial Retirement Commission.
Other bills adopted by the Senate are:
- Senate Bill 324: This bill allows a retiree whose election of a retirement system optional allowance was terminated as a result of a final divorce decree or final settlement agreement to nominate a current spouse after remarriage for a new optional allowance.
- Senate Bill 458: This bill provides for the election by a certain surviving spouse of a Group II member to purchase up to one month of creditable service.
- Senate Bill 532: This bill allows six Department of Corrections positions to be classified as Group II if filled by members with at least 10 years of prior Group II service.
- Senate Bill 538: This bill moves officers of the state office complex police force into Group II of the retirement system.
How to follow NHRS-related legislation
Additional information on all 2018 NHRS-related legislation is compiled on the NHRS Legislative Updates page. From this page, you can click on the bill numbers to go directly to the “bill docket” pages on the New Hampshire General Court website for additional details, including the current status of a bill, upcoming hearings (if any), and links to the full text.
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 35,000 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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