Friday, May 9, 2014

Legislative Update for May 9

HB 38, which changes retirement eligibility for new hires only to five years of service at age 62, has passed both the House and Senate. The bill applies to those hired after July 1, 2015, except for members in the Hazardous Duty Services Plan. The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this bill. HB 38 now moves back to the House Floor for concurrence on Tuesday, May 13.

SB 18, which provides a 1.5 percent COLA for eligible retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries, has passed on the Senate Floor and has been approved by the House Retirement Committee. The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this bill. SB 18 now moves to the House Floor, where it is scheduled for debate on Tuesday, May 13.

HB 1225, which changes the mechanism of how funds are applied to the Experience Account, pays down System debt more quickly, and sets future COLAs based on the funded level of the System on an every-other-year basis in amounts ranging from 1.5 to 3 percent, has been unanimously approved by the House. The LASERS Board of Trustees is neutral on this bill. HB 1225 is tentatively scheduled to be heard in a special Senate Retirement Committee on Tuesday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m.

HB 1278, which provides for enrollment of new hires of the Harbor Police Department of the Port of New Orleans in the Hazardous Duty Services Plan and for administration of the Harbor Police Retirement System by LASERS, has passed on the House Floor.  The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this legislation with certain amendments. HB 1278 will next be considered in the Senate Retirement Committee meeting on Monday, May 12, at 12:30 p.m.

Upcoming House Retirement Committee Meeting

The House Retirement Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday, May 15 upon adjournment and two bills are on the agenda that would impact LASERS if passed:

  • SB 13, sponsored by Senator Peacock, was requested by the LASERS Board of Trustees to change the System's actuarial funding method from projected unit credit to entry age normal. The legislation would also make changes regarding excess earnings to be applied to the Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL) and the Experience Account; and regarding the payment of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).
  • SB 30, sponsored by Senator Cortez, would make technical corrections regarding spousal consent, survivors' benefits, and post-Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) contribution rates. The LASERS Board of Trustees supports this bill.

SCR 5, sponsored by Senator Guillory, is also on the agenda to be heard. This resolution memorializes congress to reduce or eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). SCR 5 passed unanimously on the Senate Floor.

Please note that meeting schedules are subject to change. Check the LASERS website daily for updates and for detailed information about proposed retirement legislation.

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