Friday, May 3, 2013

Two LASERS Opposed Bills Voluntarily Deferred

The House Retirement Committee met Thursday afternoon and considered two bills which would impact LASERS.

HB 57 and HB 68, sponsored by Rep. Pearson, were both voluntarily deferred.

HB 57 would increase the employee contribution rate for all members by two percent to pay toward the debt, owed to the system by the state. It also would provide for a 60-month final average compensation (FAC) and 15 percent anti-spiking for all LASERS members. The LASERS Board opposes this bill.

HB 68 was heard by the committee as a substitute bill that would amend and reenact the Cash Balance Plan. The substitute bill would provide a lesser benefit to the member than is currently contained in the Cash Balance Plan that was enacted last year.  That plan is currently under review by the state Supreme Court. Two motions failed with a tie vote of 6-6. One motion was to approve the measure with amendments and the other to involuntarily defer the bill. Rep. Pearson then voluntarily deferred the measure. LASERS Executive Director Cindy Rougeou and Deputy Director Maris LeBlanc provided testimony expressing LASERS concerns with the bill. In particular, Rougeou pointed out the lack of retirement security offered by the Cash Balance Plan for LASERS members who have no Social Security safety net. The Cash Balance Plan would create a new retirement plan for certain LASERS future members. The LASERS Board opposed the bill.

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