Bill Summaries: S 886 RETIREMENT TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS ACT OF 2016.-AB

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Jul 28 2016 - More information

    AN ACT TO HONOR CAPTAIN BRADLEY LONG AND ALL FUTURE FIREFIGHTERS AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY AMENDING THE NC FIREFIGHTERS' AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS' PENSION FUND TO PROVIDE A SURVIVORSHIP BENEFIT FOR MEMBERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY; TO CONSOLIDATE PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS RELATING TO RETIREMENT; AND TO MAKE OTHER RETIREMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES. Enacted July 22, 2016. Effective July 22, 2016, except as otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: Jun 30 2016 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

    Amends GS 58-86-55, concerning monthly pensions upon attaining the age of 55 years under the North Carolina Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund, by adding a new subsection (d2) to provide the manner in which benefits are to be paid when a member is killed in the line of duty and the requirements under Article 12A of GS Chapter 143 are met, based on whether (1) the member had been receiving a monthly pension fund benefit prior to being killed in the line of duty, (2) the member had been receiving a monthly pension fund benefit prior to being killed in the line of duty and the spouse is not payable as described in subdivision (1), (3) the member had not begun receiving a monthly benefit prior to being killed in the line of duty, or (4) the member had not begun receiving a monthly benefit prior to being killed in the line of duty and the spouse is not payable as described in subdivision (3). Provides that a beneficiary under new subsection (d2) is not required to make the monthly payment of $10 as required by GS 58-86-35 and GS 58-86-40 after the member has been killed in the line of duty. Repeals new subsection (d2) effective July 1, 2018.

    Deletes the effective date of July 1, 2018, for Section 1 of the act, and instead provides that Sections 1(a) and 1(d) become effective June 1, 2016, and apply to benefits paid when a member is killed in the line of duty on or after June 1, 2016, but before July 1, 2018. Provides that Section 1(e) is effective June 1, 2016. Provides that Sections 1(b) and 1(c) become effective July 1, 2018, and apply to benefits paid when a member is killed in the line of duty on or after that date. 

    Amends GS 135-6(b), which sets out the membership and terms of the Board of Trustees of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, to add the Director of the Office of State and Human Resources as an ex officio member. Reduces the number of members to be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate from nine to eight members, and removes the requirement that one of those eight members is to be a representative of higher education appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, commencing July 1, 1969, and quadrennially thereafter. Makes technical changes.

    Amends GS 135-6(g), which sets out provisions pertaining to officers and other employees of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, to establish that the State Treasurer is ex officio chair of the Board of Trustees and is to appoint a director (previously, required the Board to appoint a director by majority vote, who may but need not be one of its members). Deletes the provision making the salary of the director of the Retirement System subject to the provisions of GS Chapter 126 (North Carolina Human Resources Act).

    Amends GS 136-6(o) (intends GS 135-6(o)), which requires the actuary to make an annual valuation of the assets and liabilities of the funds in the Retirement System created in GS Chapter 135, to require the annual valuation include a supplemental section that provides an analysis of assets on a market basis using the 30-year treasury rate as of December 31 of the year of the valuation as the discount rate.

    Amends GS 128-28(h), which sets out provisions pertaining to officers and other employees of the Retirement System for Counties, Cities and Towns, to establish that the State Treasurer is ex officio chair of the Board of Trustees and is to appoint a director (previously, the Board of Trustees is to elect a chairman from its membership and, by a majority vote, appoint a director, who may, but need not be, one of its members).

    Amends GS 128-28(p), which requires the actuary to make an annual valuation of the assets and liabilities of the funds in the Retirement System created in GS Chapter 128, to require the annual valuation include a supplemental section that provides an analysis of assets on a market basis using the 30-year treasury rate as of December 31 of the year of the valuation as the discount rate (identical to addition made by the act to GS 135-6(o) relating to the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees).

    Amends GS 115C-341.2 to require that a vendor selected to administer the North Carolina Public School Teachers’ and Professional Educators’ Investment Plan (403(b) plan) must be selected pursuant to the procurement procedures used by the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees under Article 5 of GS Chapter 135. Also clarifies that administration of the 403(b) plan shall be performed under Article 5 of GS Chapter 135. Makes other technical and conforming changes. Makes identical changes to GS 115D-25.4(b), which authorizes community college employees to participate in the 403(b) plan.

    Amends GS 135-109, concerning reports of earnings under the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina, to establish that the Department of State Treasurer and Board of Trustees may require (previously, must require) each beneficiary to annually provide a statement of the beneficiary's income received as compensation for services, as described in the existing language. Establishes that the benefit payable to a beneficiary who does not or refused to provide the information requested within 120 days (previously, within 60 days) after the request may be suspended (previously, must not be paid a benefit) until the information so requested is provided, and should such refusal or failure to provide such information continue for 180 days (previously, 240 days) after such request, the right of a beneficiary to a benefit under Article 6 of GS Chapter 135 (Disability Income Plan of North Carolina) may be terminated.


  • Summary date: Jun 27 2016 - More information

    Senate amendment to the 2nd edition changes the long title.


  • Summary date: Jun 24 2016 - More information

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition. Amends GS 58-86-2, adding and defining the term killed in the line of duty to the definitions section for use in the NC Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund (Fund). Enacts GS 58-86-55(d1) to establish provisions and protocols for the paying of benefits for when a member is killed in the line of duty, depending on if the member had already begun receiving a monthly pension fund benefit and the availability and number of the beneficiaries. Specifies payment amounts and duration for those payments according to the deceased's age and other statistics. Adds language specifying that a beneficiary of someone who has been killed in the line of duty does not have to make monthly payments of $10 as otherwise required by law.

    Amends GS 58-86-60, concerning payments in lump sums from the Fund for those that have died, adding language that clarifies that for those that have died, but were not killed in the line of duty, whether or not they had begun to receive a monthly pension, payment must go first to the persons designated by the member; if no beneficiary has been chosen, then to the surviving spouse; if not to the spouse then to the deceased member's legal representative. Deletes language which previously directed payment to be made to the surviving spouse, then to surviving children, then to any heirs as can be determined. Effective July 1, 2018, applying to benefits paid when a member is killed in the line of duty on or after that date.

    Provides a statement that the General Assembly finds that the interests of clarity require statutory language to provide guidance to the Retirement Systems Divisions in determining and maintaining consistency as to what information is to be made available about the retirement accounts of State and local employees after the February 5, 2008, Attorney General’s advisory opinion entitled “Advisory Opinion: Confidentiality of Retirement Benefit Information; Session Law 2007-508.”

    Enacts GS 135-6.1, concerning member retirement record files held by the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, to establish that member retirement files are not subject to inspection and examination as authorized by GS 132-6 (emergency response plans excluded from definition of public records) except as provided in GS 135-6(p); GS 128-28(q); and subsections (c), (d), and (e) of the statute.

    Provides that the following information regarding members and individuals in receipt of a recurring monthly benefit, if held by the Retirement System, is public and subject to subsection (d) of the section: (1) name; (2) age; (3) date of membership in the applicable retirement system, first service earned date, date of first enrollment, date of first employment, and date of retirement; (4) the terms of any contract by which the member is employed whether written or oral, past and current, to the extent that the Retirement System has the written contract or a record of the oral contract in its possession; (5) current or most recently held position or title; (6) compensation and other relevant remuneration history and benefits paid; (7) date, general description, and type of each change and the corresponding employing agency; (8) the office or station to which the member is currently assigned, if any; (9) the record of benefit payments made by one of the Retirement Systems or Disability Benefits Programs administered by the Department of State Treasurer to a member or to the survivor, beneficiary, or alternate payee of a member; and (10) purchases of educational leave. 

    Requires every person having custody of the retirement file information outlined in subsection (b) of the statute to permit the information to be inspected and examined and copies thereof made by any person during regular business hours, subject only to rules and policies for the safekeeping of member retirement files adopted by the Board of Trustees. Provides that any person who is denied access to any retirement file for the purpose of inspecting, examining, or copying the file has a right to compel compliance with the provisions of this statute by application to a court of competent jurisdiction for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate relief.

    Allows the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer to disclose the name and mailing address of former State employees, former public school employees, or former community college employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 10,000 or more retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Establishes that all information other than the information listed in subsection (c) of the statute contained in a retirement file is confidential and not open for inspection and examination except to three specified persons as follows. (1) The member, or the member’s authorized agent, may examine his or her own retirement file, except for any information concerning a medical disability, mental or physical, that a prudent physician would not divulge to a patient, providing that a member’s medical record may be disclosed to a licensed physician in writing by the member. (2) A member of the General Assembly who may inspect and examine records under the authority of GS 120-19. (3) A party by authority of a proper court order may inspect and examine a particular confidential portion of a member’s retirement file.

    Establishes that any public official or employee who knowingly and willfully permits any person to have access to or custody or possession of any portion of a retirement file designated as confidential by the statute, unless the person is one specifically authorized by this statute to have access thereto for inspection and examination, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction must only be fined in the discretion of the court, not to exceed $500.

    Establishes that any person not specifically authorized by the statute to have access to a retirement file designated as confidential by the statute who knowingly and willfully examines, removes, or copies any portion of a confidential retirement file is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction is to be fined in the discretion of the court but not to exceed $500.

    Enacts GS 128-33.1, concerning public records held by the Retirement System for Counties, Cities and Towns, to establish that member retirement files are not subject to inspection and examination as authorized by GS 132-6 (emergency response plans excluded from definition of public records) except as provided in GS 135-6(p); GS 128-28(q); and subsections (c), (d), and (e) of the statute. Enacts identical subsections (a) through (h) as enacted in GS 135-6.1.

    Amends GS 126-22, concerning personnel files not subject to inspection under GS 132-6, by amending the definition of personnel file to remove any employment-related or personal information gathered by the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer from the definition. Amends subsection (c) to remove personnel files maintained by the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer from the exception to the law that personnel files of former State employees who have been separated for 10 or more years may be open to inspection and examination. Instead, provides that retirement files maintained by the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer are to be made public pursuant to GS 128-33.1 and GS 135-6.1, as enacted by this act. Eliminates subsection (d), providing that, notwithstanding any provision of the statute to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address of former State employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 10,000 or more retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Repeals GS 115C-321(b1), which provided that, notwithstanding any provision of the statute to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address of former public school employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 10,000 or more retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Repeals GS 115D-29(c), which provided that, notwithstanding any provision of the statute to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address of former community college employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 2,000 or more active or retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Repeals GS 153A-98(c3), which provided that, notwithstanding any provision of the statute to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address of former local governmental employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 2,000 or more active or retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Repeals GS 160A-168(c3), which provided that, notwithstanding any provision of the statute to the contrary, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer may disclose the name and mailing address of former local governmental employees to domiciled, nonprofit organizations representing 2,000 or more active or retired State government, local government, or public school employees.

    Amends GS 135-10.1 of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees to provide that, if a member fails to respond within 120 days after preliminary option figures and the Form 6-E or Form 7-E are transmitted to a member (was, mailed), or if a member fails to respond within 120 days after the effective date of retirement, whichever is later, the Form 6 and the Form 7 are null and void, the retirement system is not liable for any benefits due on account of the voided application, and a new application must be filed establishing a subsequent effective date of retirement.

    Amends GS 128-32.1, concerning failure to respond under the Retirement System for Counties, Cities and Towns, by making the same change as that made to GS 135-10.1, as amended by this act.

    Amends GS 147-79(a) to authorize letters of credit issued by a Federal Home Loan Bank to be used as an acceptable means for securing state funds deposited by the Treasurer in an official depository.

    Directs the Board of Trustees of the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System to develop a State Contribution Rate Stabilization Policy for the NC Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund and to report to the Office of State Budget and Management and the Fiscal Research Division on or before March 1, 2017.

    Provides for severability if any provision of the act is held invalid.


  • Summary date: May 19 2016 - More information

    Identical to H 1011 filed on 4/28/15.

    Amends GS 58-86-45 concerning additional retroactive membership in the North Carolina Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund (Pension Fund) by establishing that any firefighter or rescue squad worker who is 35 years of age (currently, no minimum age language) and who is a current or former member of a fire department or rescue squad chartered by the state can purchase credit for any periods of service to any chartered fire department or rescue squad not otherwise creditable by making a lump sum payment to the Annuity Savings Fund in the amount calculated pursuant to GS 58-86-45(a1).  Amends subsection (c) to provide that a member of the Pension Fund who is not yet 35 years old can receive credit for prior service by making a lump sum payment of $10 for each month since the worker first became eligible, plus interest at an annual rate set by the board.  Also establishes that the provision for the payment of a lump sum for service not otherwise creditable is to apply to all purchases of service credits for months in which timely payments were not previously made pursuant to GS 58-86-35 or GS 58-86-40 for any firefighter or rescue squad worker who is not yet 35 years of age or older and who is a current or former member of a fire department or rescue squad chartered by the state of North Carolina.

    Repeals GS 128-25 concerning provisions for members of local pension systems to elect to become members of the North Carolina Governmental Employees' Retirement System.

    Amends GS 128-26(a1) to establish that, with respect to a member retiring on or after July 1, 1967, the governing board of a participating city, town, or county in the Retirement System (System), established pursuant to Article 3 of GS Chapter 128, can allow credit for any period of military service in the Armed Forces of the United States if the person returned to the service of the person's employer within two years after having been not dishonorably discharged (was, after having been honorably discharged) or becoming entitled to be discharged, released, or separated from such the Armed Forces of the United States.  Also establishes that, pursuant to 38 USC § 4318(b)(1), when a member who has been on military leave returns to work consistent with the provisions concerning return to service within two years after the member's earliest eligibility for separation or release from military service, then the member's employer must remit to the System all the employer and employee contributions (was, only the employer contributions) for the full period of that member's military service.  Effective January 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 135-5(g), concerning the option of a member of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees to receive the member's retirement benefits in a retirement allowance, and GS 128-27(g), concerning the option of a member of the Retirement System for a county, city, or town to receive the member's retirement benefits in a retirement allowance. Establishes that, upon the death of a member of either retirement system after the effective date of a retirement for which the member has been approved but prior to the receipt by the Board of Trustees (of the applicable retirement system) of an election of benefits, the member's designated beneficiary, if there is only one eligible beneficiary to receive the return of accumulated contributions, may elect to receive the benefit, but if more than one beneficiary is eligible to receive the return of accumulated contributions, or if no beneficiary has been designated (currently, no language to provide for when no beneficiary has been designated), the administrator or executor of the member's estate will select an option and name the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

    Amends GS 135-5(m2), concerning the special retirement allowance option for a member of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, and GS 128-27(m2), concerning the special retirement allowance for a member of the Retirement System for a county, city, or town. Establishes that at any time coincident with or following retirement, a member of either retirement system may make a one-time, irrevocable election (currently, a one-time election) to transfer any portion of the member's eligible accumulated contributions, not including any Roth after-tax contributions and the earnings thereon, from the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan of North Carolina or the North Carolina Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan to this Retirement System and receive, in addition to the member's basic service, early, or disability retirement allowance, a special retirement allowance based upon the member's transferred balance.  Also establishes that a member of either retirement system who became a member of the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan prior to retirement and who remains a member of the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan may make a one-time, irrevocable election (currently, a one-time election) to transfer eligible balances, not including any Roth after-tax contributions and the earnings thereon, from any of the specified plans to the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan, subject to the applicable requirements of the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan, and then through the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan to this Retirement System.

    Amends GS 135-8(b)(5) to clarify that the Board of Trustees of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees can approve the purchase of creditable service by any member for leaves of absence or for interrupted service to an employer only for the purpose of (currently, the sole purpose of) acquiring knowledge, talents, or abilities and to increase the efficiency of service to the employer, subject to the provisions of GS 135-8(b) concerning the Annuity Savings Fund.  Amends GS 128-30(b)(4) to clarify that the Board of Trustees of the retirement system of a county, city, or town can approve the purchase of creditable service by any member for leaves of absence or for interrupted service to an employer only for the purpose of (currently, for the sole purpose of) acquiring knowledge, talents, or abilities and to increase the efficiency of service to the employer, subject to the provisions of GS 128-30(b). Establishes that a leave of absence or interrupted service may be approved for purchase under this subdivision for a period of employment as a teacher in a charter school.  Establishes that, similar to the provisions set out in GS 135-8(b)(5) concerning the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, any other leave of absence or interrupted service must qualify for purchase under this subdivision only if (1) during the time of the leave or interrupted service the member is enrolled and participates in a full-time degree program at an accredited institution of higher education; (2) the member is not paid for the activity in which he or she is acquiring knowledge, talents, or abilities; and (3) the service is not purchased for any month in which the member performed any services for any of the organizations listed in GS 135-27(a) or GS 135-27(f), or a successor to any of those organizations. Approval by the Board of Trustees of the Retirement System for the county, city, or town under this subdivision must be made prior to the purchase of the creditable service is limited to a career total of four years for each member and may be obtained in the manner laid out by GS 128-30(b)(4).  Effective January 1, 2017.

    Amends GS 135-8(f)(2) concerning the collection of employers' contributions under the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees to provide that each employer must transmit to the Retirement System on account of each member who retires on or after January 1, 2015, having earned his or her last month of membership service as an employee of that employer the lump sum payment, as calculated under GS 135-4(jj) for inclusion in the Pension Accumulation Fund [currently, under GS 135-4(jj)], that would have been necessary in order for the retirement system to restore the member's retirement allowance to the pre-cap amount.  Amends GS 135-8(f)(3) to provide that, in the event the employee or employer contributions required under this section are not received by the date set by the Board of Trustees, the Board must assess the employer with a penalty, in lieu of interest, and a one-time exception has not been agreed upon in advance due to exigent circumstances (currently, no provision for a situation where a one-time exception has been agreed upon in advance due to exigent circumstances), of 1% per month with a minimum penalty of $25.

    Amends GS 128-30(g)(2) concerning the collection of employers' contributions under the Retirement System of a county, city, or town to provide that each employer must transmit to the Retirement System on account of each member who retires on or after January 1, 2015, having earned his or her last month of membership service as an employee of that employer the lump sum payment, as calculated under GS 128-26(y) for inclusion in the Pension Accumulation Fund [currently, under GS 128-26(y)], that would have been necessary in order for the retirement system to restore the member's retirement allowance to the pre-cap amount.  Amends GS 128-30(g)(3) to provide that, in the event the employee or employer contributions required under this section are not received by the date set by the Board of Trustees, the Board must assess the employer with a penalty, in lieu of interest, and a one-time exception has not been agreed upon in advance due to exigent circumstances (currently, no provision for a situation where a one-time exception has been agreed upon in advance due to exigent circumstances), of 1% per month with a minimum penalty of $25.

    Amends GS 147-86.71(b)(3) by providing that contributions to an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, under Article 6F of GS Chapter 147, must be made only in US Dollars (was, cash).

    Amends GS 147-86.72(c)(3) by adding a provision that provides that notwithstanding the provisions of Article 3 of GS Chapter 143 concerning the Governor, the Board of Trustees of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program has a duty to retain the services of auditors, attorneys, investment counseling firms, custodians, or other persons or firms possessing specialized skills or knowledge necessary for the proper administration of investment programs that the Board administers pursuant to Article 6F of GS Chapter 143.

    Repeals GS 147-86.71(d)(4), requiring that an ABLE account may only be established for a designated beneficiary who is a resident of North Carolina or a resident of a contracting state, and GS 147-86.70(b)(4), defining a contracting state.

    Amends GS 135-48.40(d)(13) concerning the categories of eligibility for the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees to include persons receiving a pension from the North Carolina Firefighters' (currently, Firemen) and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund.

    Amends GS 135-5(g), GS 128-27(g), and GS 128-30(g) by making the language gender neutral.

    Includes a severability clause.

     


© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.

Printer-friendly: Click to view