For Immediate Release: June 24, 2016
Contact: Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; [email protected]
CONCORD, NH – The following bills related to RSA 100-A were enacted by the New Hampshire Legislature during the 2016 session and signed into law by the Governor. RSA 100-A is the statute governing the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system).
HB 1352 (Chapter 110, Laws of 2016; effective July 19, 2016) amends RSA 100-A:16, VII to modify the administrative procedure regarding the assessment of employer penalties for noncompliance with retiree data reporting requirements.
Currently, employers are subject to a penalty of up to $25 per day for noncompliance with the retiree data reporting requirements. This bill changes the penalty assessment process so that employers will receive a written notice, identifying the reasons for the finding of noncompliance and requesting that the employer explain in writing within 30 days of the notification how the noncompliance occurred. Upon expiration of the 30-day period, all or a portion of the penalty may be assessed, unless there is a showing that the employer did not willfully, intentionally, through gross negligence, or through a pattern of negligence fail to file the data as required.
The bill also amended the same statute to clarify that employers do not have to report hour and compensation data for retirees serving as an elected official of a political subdivision in a Group II (Police and Fire) position. Retirees serving as an elected state official or as a Group I elected official of a political subdivision were previously exempted. Note: A retiree serving in a full-time Group II position with a participating employer (other than as a county sheriff) must re-enroll as an active member, regardless of whether the position is elected or appointed.
SB 129 (Chapter 292, Laws of 2016; effective August 20, 2016) amends RSA 100-A:13, II to allow a retired member to change an optional allowance (i.e. “survivorship option”) to the maximum retirement allowance beyond the 120-day statutory limit in two specific instances: (1) in cases where a final divorce decree or final settlement agreement mandates renunciation of the pension benefit and the ex-spouse refuses to comply, or (2) when the nominated beneficiary is a living, non-spouse. Note: A “non-spouse” is an individual with whom the retiree has never had a marital relationship; i.e. an “ex-spouse” cannot be removed as a beneficiary except under the circumstances outlined in section (1).
SB 390 (Chapter 49, Laws of 2016; effective July 2, 2016) amends RSA 100-A:6, I to require that the presiding officer designated by the Board of Trustees in disability hearings shall not be the same person who made an initial disability determination and recommendation to the Board.
In 2016, a total of six bills related to the retirement system were introduced and three retained bills from 2015 were acted upon. Among the bills that did not advance this session was one to create a cash balance benefit plan for new hires (tabled) and one to establish a procedure for funding and distributing additional temporary supplemental allowances to retirees (referred to interim study). For additional information on all bills related to NHRS that were introduced in 2016, see: https://www.nhrs.org/about-nhrs/legislative-updates
Other legislation of interest to State of NH retirees
There were several bills introduced in 2016 dealing with the funding of medical coverage for State of New Hampshire retirees. None of these bills became law. The state insurance program is administered by the Department of Administrative Services, not NHRS. Questions about medical coverage for state retirees should be directed to the Department of Administrative Services.
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 31,000 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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