Friday, March 27, 2015

LASERS Board Takes Positions on Prefiled Retirement Bills

The LASERS Board of Trustees met on March 26 and voted to take positions on eight prefiled retirement bills that would directly impact LASERS if passed.

Trustees voted to support HB 42 by Representative Sam Jones to authorize a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) of up to 1.5 percent for LASERS retirees and beneficiaries. This COLA would be funded through the LASERS Experience Account which currently has a balance of $117 million.

Trustees also supported SB 16 by Senator Elbert Guillory which would clarify provisions created in Act 399 of 2014 regarding excess investment earnings, employer contributions, and Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs).

Several measures were supported by the Board insofar as they would reduce system debt:

  • HB 33 by Representative Berthelot would increase litter fines and distribute 50 percent of the fines to the retirement system of the law enforcement agency issuing the litter citation.
  • HB 55 by Representative Ritchie and SB 15 by Senator Nevers are identical measures that call for a Constitutional Amendment that would levy a tax on the use of hydrocarbon processing facilities and dedicate a portion of the tax proceeds to payment of the Initial Unfunded Accrued Liability (IUAL) of LASERS. 
Trustees voted to take a neutral position on the following bills:

  • HB 45 by Representative Pearson provides that membership is optional for persons age sixty-two or older at the time of employment, consistent with the age sixty-two retirement eligibility for new hires after July 1, 2015.
  • HB 46 by Representative Reynolds provides relative to benefits for minor children of certain wildlife agents in the enforcement division of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
  • SB 14 by Senator Guillory includes non-investment related administrative expenses in calculating the required employer contribution rate.
The positions taken are based on the initial language of the legislation. For more information, visit the LASERS website.

The 2015 Legislative Session convenes April 13 and ends June 11. Progress on these proposed retirement bills will be tracked and updated on the LASERS website frequently. Check back often for updates.

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