Thursday, May 16, 2013

Five Retirement Bills Impacting LASERS Considered Wednesday

The House Retirement Committee met on Wednesday, May 15 and took action on the following bills impacting LASERS:

HCR 108 (Stokes) was reported favorably with amendments. This bill requires the state and statewide public retirement systems to report relative to the promulgation and distribution of forms related to pension forfeiture.The deadline to report was changed from May 20 to July 1, 2013. LASERS is already in compliance with this requirement.

SB 14 (Martiny) was reported favorably. This bill provides relative to upgrading accrual rates and no longer impacts LASERS.

HB 61 (Badon) was passed over at the request of the author. This bill creates a divided benefit for purposes of calculating the final average compensation (FAC) and was opposed by the LASERS Board and the other retirement systems.

SCR 1 (Cortez) was reported favorably. This bill suspends implementation of the current Cash Balance Plan until July 1, 2014. The LASERS Board supports this bill.

HB 68 (Pearson) was favorably reported by a vote of 7 to 5. This bill recreates the Cash Balance Plan and places a 10 percent cap on interest which can be earned by the members. Testimony was provided by LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou and LASERS attorney Bob Klausner to explain the opposition to the bill expressed by the LASERS Board of Trustees. Primary concerns included the lack of retirement security offered to members who have no Social Security safety net and the failure of the legislation to address many of LASERS administrative concerns. Others providing testimony in opposition to the bill included a number of LSU professors, various teacher organizations, and the RSEA.

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