NHRS legislative update at crossover

Bill to grant 1.5% COLA in 2020 sent to Senate; six other bills remain under consideration

Apr 10, 2019
  • Legislation

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2019
Contact: Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; [email protected]

CONCORD, NH – Six bills related to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) have been passed by the N.H. House of Representatives in the current legislative session and have crossed over to the N.H. Senate for further action. In addition, one bill was passed by the Senate and sent to the House.

Crossover day, which was April 4 this year, is the deadline for all House bills – excluding budget bills – to go to the Senate and all Senate bills to go to the House. Not all bills that cross over will 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 bill that has generated the most interest among NHRS retirees this year is House Bill 616, which would grant a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on the first $50,000 of the pension benefit to retirees who retired on or before July 1, 2014, or any beneficiary of such member who is receiving a pension benefit. The COLA – which would be a permanent addition to the pension benefit – would take effect on the retired member’s first anniversary date of retirement occurring after July 1, 2020.  The last COLA was issued in 2010.

Other bills adopted by the House and Senate are:

  • House Bill 110: This bill requires that the cost to the retirement system of preparing statutorily required fiscal analysis of proposed legislation be reimbursed to NHRS by the state.  These costs relate mainly to actuarial and legal fees.
  • House Bill 116: This bill changes the method for determining the proper NHRS membership classification of NH Department of Corrections staff whose job descriptions meet the definition of correctional line personnel in RSA 100-A.
  • House Bill 418: This bill modifies the “grandfathering” provision for retirees working part-time for NHRS participating employers on January 1, 2019. (Note: The Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee has voted to recommend to the full Senate that this bill is “inexpedient to legislate”.)
  • House Bill 468: This bill reclassifies annual attendance stipends or bonuses as earnable compensation for NHRS provided that they are paid pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, personnel policy, or other agreement applicable to substantially all employees and the amount of which is determined by reference to the amount of sick days an employee used in the calendar or fiscal year.  Under current law, such cash awards are not treated as earnable compensation.
  • House Bill 675: This bill modifies the cost calculation methodologies for the purchase of service credit in the retirement system for active service in the armed forces prior to NHRS membership and in cases of employer enrollment oversight.
  • Senate Bill 28: This bill adds an active NHRS member to the NHRS Independent Investment Committee as a non-voting committee member. The member would be appointed by the Governor from a list of nominations provided by public employee labor organizations.

How to follow NHRS-related legislation

Additional information on all 2019 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.

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 37,000 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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