Monday, April 27, 2009

LASERS Board Supports minimum benefit bill; Oppose Consolidation and DROP suspension bills

The state employees’ retirement system board will support a measure to provide a minimum benefit for its retirees, since key legislators have backed away from a cost-of-living increase this year.

As many as 800 people are estimated to benefit from the legislation, which could add $300 a month to some retirees with monthly pensions under $1,200.

“While it’s not a LASERS bill,” LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou said about the minimum benefit legislation, “this is the only COLA that will be granted.”

The LASERS board is opposed to the following bills:

House Bill 230-which would consolidate the administrative duties of the four state retirement systems into one board of trustees. Board members and system officials said they are concerned about the lack of retiree and system representation on the proposed board, and oversight of their system’s interest in a volatile market.

House Bill 357-which would require state retirement systems to direct 50 percent of the commissions on all trades of domestic and international equities through Louisiana broker-dealers.

House Bill 584-which provides that no member may participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) during the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2012.

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