For Immediate Release: April 1, 2022 (Updated April 8, 2022)
Contact: Marty Karlon, Director of Communications & Legislative Affairs, (603) 410-3594; firstname.lastname@example.org
CONCORD, NH – Seven bills related to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) remain active in the N.H. House of Representatives or N.H. Senate.
“Crossover Day,” which was March 31 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 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.
Legislation under consideration this year includes a one-time $500 payment to some retirees and beneficiaries; changes to the calculation of Average Final Compensation for Group II (police and fire) members hired prior to July 1, 2011, and not vested prior to January 1, 2012; and re-establishment of a state contribution toward local employer retirement contributions.
The NHRS-related bills passed by the House are:
- House Bill 536: This bill eliminates the retirement system offset for workers' compensation benefits applicable to Group I accidental death benefit annuities. Note: This bill also establishes a death benefit, funded and administered by the state, for a municipal or state public works employee killed in the line of duty.
- House Bill 1417: This bill provides that the state shall pay 7.5 percent of local employer contributions for Group I teachers and Group II police and fire members.
- House Bill 1497: This bill allows a member of the retirement system to elect a survivorship optional allowance upon joining the retirement system. The election will not be effective until the member attains eligibility for service retirement. An active member may modify the election at any point in his or her career. As amended, the bill incorporates the language in HB 1557 changing the time frame of the post-retirement grace period to change a survivor benefit optional retirement allowance.
- House Bill 1535: As amended, this bill grants a one-time $500 payment to retirees and beneficiaries retired prior to July 1, 2017, who have an annual pension benefit of $30,000 or less.
- House Bill 1587: As amended, this bill modifies the calculation of compensation paid in excess of the full base rate of pay under the definition of Average Final Compensation for Group II members hired prior to July 1, 2011, and not vested prior to January 1, 2012.
Note: HB 536 and HB 1497 have already received initial approval in the Senate and have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
The NHRS-related bill passed by the Senate is:
- Senate Bill 363: This bill allows members who commenced Group II service between January 1, 2002 and June 30, 2011 to purchase nonqualified service time in order to reduce certain transition provision requirements for retirement.
In addition, House Bill 1318, which was passed by the House and subsequently amended by the Senate, will go back to the House. The House must vote to concur (pass), non-concur (kill), or request a committee of conference to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill. This bill, which was requested by NHRS, establishes an employer penalty for noncompliance with certain data reporting requirements necessary for the administration of the retirement system. The penalty amount was increased by the Senate.
Seven other 2022 bills related to NHRS have been killed, tabled, or retained in committee by the House or Senate and no further action is expected on these bills.
Additional information on NHRS-related legislation is compiled on the NHRS Legislative Updates page (https://www.nhrs.org/about-nhrs/legislative-updates). From this page, users can click on the bill number 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 more than 460 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers. NHRS has more than 48,500 active members and 41,000 benefit 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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