AN ACT TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY, INTEGRITY, AND RECOVERY OF ASSETS OF THE TEACHERS' AND STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE CONSOLIDATED JUDICIAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE LEGISLATIVE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE FIREFIGHTERS AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS' PENSION FUND, THE DISABILITY INCOME PLAN, AND THE STATE HEALTH PLAN FOR TEACHERS AND STATE EMPLOYEES.
Includes whereas clauses concerning public employee benefit programs.
Enacts GS 135-48.37A, requiring any member of the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees (Plan) to repay the Plan any payment of benefits or other amount to, or premiums or claims paid on behalf of, any member that is later determined to be an overpayment, erroneous payment, of benefit or amount the member was ineligible to receive. Requires amounts to be recouped to be offset against the member's net wages if the member is an employee of an employing unit. Details the parameters of offsetting wages to recoup amounts owed to the Plan after the member has failed to enter into an acceptable payment plan within 30 days of receipt of written notice from the Plan. Authorizes the Plan to seek recovery directly from the employing unit if the employing unit fails to adhere to the provisions of the statute after notice. Prohibits any amount due under the statute from being forgiven by the Board of Trustees, the Plan, the Executive Administrator, the State Treasurer, or the employing unit. Places the responsibility of pursuing repayment in full by all lawful means available, including filing a civil action, on the Plan and the employing unit. Adds that the Plan is not limited from pursuing alternative judicial remedies against a member or former member. Applies to all amounts owned by a Plan member for which notice is sent on and after the date the act becomes law, regardless of the date the benefit, claim, or premium amount for which the Plan member was ineligible, the overpayment, or the erroneous payment was made.
Amends GS 135-9, requiring any overpayment of benefits or erroneous payments to, or on behalf of, a member or beneficiary of the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees (System) to be offset against the net wages of the member or beneficiary if the member or beneficiary is employed by the state or any political subdivision. Similarly to the provisions of new GS 135-48.37A, details the parameters of offsetting wages to recoup amounts owed to the System after the member or beneficiary has failed to enter into an acceptable payment plan within 30 days of receipt of written notice from the System. Additionally, authorizes the System to seek recovery directly from the employer if the employer fails to adhere to the provisions of the statute after notice. Adds that the System is not limited from pursuing alternative judicial remedies against a member or beneficiary. Makes conforming change to the statute's title.
Makes identical changes as those made to GS 135-9 to GS 128-31 for the Retirement System for Counties, Cities, and Towns.
Changes made to GS 135-9 and GS 128-31 apply to all amounts owned by a member or beneficiary to the applicable retirement system for which notice is sent on and after the date the act becomes law, regardless of the date the overpayment of benefits or the erroneous payment was made.
Amends GS 135-48.37, authorizing the Plan to pursue alternative judicial remedies against a member who uses or otherwise disposes of any amounts recovered from a liable third party owed to the Plan in order to recover amounts owed to the Plan. Makes conforming and organizational changes.
Amends GS 1-359, establishing that when the Plan prevails in a civil action against a provider to collect an overpayment, the Plan may attach or garnish the provider's credit card receipts or other third-party payments in payment of the amount owed as provided by existing subsection (a) of the statute. Specifies that direct receipt by the Plan is a sufficient discharge for the amount paid by a credit card company, clearinghouse, or third-party payment processor. Provides identical provisions for prevailing civil actions against a participating employer to collect monies owed to the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees, the Disability Income Plan, or the Retirement System for Counties, Cities, and Towns.
Amends GS 135-48.37, establishing that any lien held by the Plan is superior to all nongovernmental liens and rights, regardless of whether other liens and rights are prior or subsequent to the lien. Incorporates this language into GS 44-49 and GS 44-50, regarding liens upon recoveries for personal injuries to secure sums due for medical attention. Amends GS 44-51, requiring disputed claims to be settled before payment of medical services or hospital fees, to except amount owed to the Plan for past-due account receivables related to claims payments from the statute's provisions.
Establishes that priority of the Plan's lien over nongovernmental liens and rights created under Section 5 apply only to nongovernmental liens and rights that have attached to the applicable property on or after the act becomes law.
Enacts GS 135-18.10B (applicable to the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees), GS 128-38.4B (applicable to the Retirement System for Counties, Cities, and Towns), GS 135-75.1B (applicable to the Judicial Retirement System), GS 120-4.33B (applicable to the Legislative Retirement System), and GS 58-86-101 (applicable to the North Carolina Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund) to prohibit any member whose retirement benefits have been forfeited pursuant to the specified statutes from subsequently purchasing or repurchasing either those forfeited benefits or any creditable membership service associated with those forfeited benefits.
Amends GS 135-4.1, concerning reciprocity of creditable service in the Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees with other state-administered retirement systems for purposes of determining eligibility for benefits under Article 1 of GS Chapter 145. Provides that for members first hired on or after July 1, 2021, service standing to the credit of a member of the Optional Retirement Program cannot be added to the creditable service standing to the credit of a member of the System. Similarly prohibits service standing to the credit of a retired member of the Optional Retirement Program prior to retirement from being added to the creditable service standing to the credit of a member of the System. Specifies that reciprocity of serving standing to the credit of a member of the Optional Retirement System can be added to the credit of a member of the System first hired prior to July 1, 2021.
Enacts GS 135-48.46, requiring an employing unit to receive written authorization from the Plan's Executive Administrator before entering into any settlement agreement with an employee or former employee as a result of its grievance process regarding health benefits covered by the Plan. Prohibits a settlement agreement between an employing unit and an employee or former employee from reinstating health benefit coverage under the Plan for more than one year prior to the date of the settlement agreement. Voids any settlement agreement in violation of the statute. Applies to any settlement agreements entered into on or after the date the act becomes law, including any settlement agreements under negotiation on or before that date.
Amends GS 135-8(f) and GS 128-30(g), concerning the retirement systems of teachers and state employees and counties, cities, and towns, respectively. Excludes a member's retirement allowance with a final compensation of more than $100,000, as indexed by the respective system's statute, from the contribution-based benefit cap if the compensation was earned from multiple simultaneous employers unless an employer's share of the average final compensation exceeds $100,000. Establishes that an employer is not required to make contributions on account of any retiree whose final average compensation exceeds $100,000 based upon compensation earned from multiple simultaneous employers unless the employer's share of the average final compensation exceeds $100,000, as indexed by the respective system's statute.
Amends GS 135-105, regarding short-term disability benefits under the Disability Income Plan. Adds new requirement that an application for short-term disability must occur no later than 180 days following the first day of the waiting period. Further, phases out the current administrative responsibilities of an employer for short-term disability benefits provided in existing subsection (d) to apply only to those benefits that begin before July 1, 2019, including the employer's right to reimbursement by the Disability Income Plan after notice to the Plan upon completion of the initial six-month disability period for the amount of short-term benefits and State Health Insurance premiums paid by the employer. For those benefits beginning on or after July 1, 2019, all administrative responsibility of the benefits rests on the employer, with benefits during the first 12 months of the disability period, including benefits from a preliminary determination of eligibility for long-term disability under subsection (f), the full responsibility of and paid by the employer. Makes technical and organizational changes. Makes language gender-neutral. Applies to applications for short-term disability benefits beginning on or after the date the act becomes law.