NHRS 2019 Legislative Update

Six bills dealing with NHRS enacted into law, including first COLA granted since 2010

Sep 10, 2019
  • Retirees
  • Members
  • Employers
  • Legislation

For Immediate Release: September 10, 2019
Contact: Marty Karlon, Public Information Officer, (603) 410-3594; public_relations@nhrs.org

– Six bills related to RSA 100-A were enacted by the New Hampshire Legislature during the 2019 session and signed into law by the Governor. RSA 100-A is the statute governing the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system).

Here is a summary of all NHRS-related legislation passed in 2019:

House Bill 616 (Chapter 340, Laws of 2019; effective July 1, 2020) grants a one-time, 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on the first $50,000 of an annual pension benefit to members who retired on or before July 1, 2014, or any beneficiary of such member who is receiving a survivorship pension benefit. The COLA will take effect on the retired member’s first anniversary date of retirement occurring after July 1, 2020. The COLA will be funded over 20 years through an increase in employer contribution rates that will begin in fiscal year 2022.

For additional information on this bill, see:

House Bill 110 (Chapter 339, Laws of 2019; effective Nov. 5, 2019) requires that the annual costs 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 fees.

House Bill 116 (Chapter 147, Laws of 2019; effective Aug. 30, 2019) changes the method for determining the proper NHRS membership classification of state “correctional line personnel” as defined in RSA 100-A. Note: An amendment to House Bill 110 (above) repeals this change effective July 1, 2020.

House Bill 468 (Chapter 214, Laws of 2019; effective Sept. 10, 2019) classifies 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. The bill also enables summer adjunct wages earned by full-time community college faculty to be included as earnable compensation.

For additional information, see: https://www.nhrs.org/news/article/2019/08/23/additional-pay-types-includable-as-earnable-compensation

House Bill 675 (Chapter 038, Laws of 2019; effective July 14, 2019) 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.

For additional information, see: https://www.nhrs.org/about-nhrs/news/article/2019/07/31/service-credit-formulas-updated-for-prior-military-service-employer-oversight

Senate Bill 28 (Chapter 061, Laws of 2019; effective Aug. 4, 2019) 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.

In 2019, 10 bills related to RSA 100-A were introduced. Pursuant to RSA 100-A:14, XII, NHRS issues a notice to participating employers at the beginning of the legislative session about legislation that may have a cost impact on political subdivision employers. Under the same statute, NHRS notifies employers if legislation with a cost impact is ultimately adopted. 

Additional information on all 2019 NHRS-related legislation is available at: https://www.nhrs.org/about-nhrs/legislative-updates

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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