STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
May 12, 1997
TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES
|ATTENTION:||Personnel and Payroll Officers|
On April 27, 1997 there occurred legislative ratification of a collective bargaining agreement (SEBAC V) between the State of Connecticut and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition which addresses pension and health care issues for a twenty year period commencing on July 1, 1997 and terminating on June 30, 2017. As it is the responsibility of the Comptroller's Retirement & Benefit Services Division (Division), under the guidance of the State Employees Retirement Commission and the Health Care Cost Containment Committee, to administer SEBAC V, the purpose of this memorandum is to describe in summary fashion the major changes contained in the agreement and present an implementation strategy for each such revision.
Parenthetically, the legislative ratification which occurred operates to cover only bargaining unit employees by the provisions of SEBAC V. However, the Division is advised that the state intends to issue administrative orders under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-200(p) for the purpose of extending SEBAC V to members of the unclassified service, as well as employees who are not included under any prevailing bargaining unit contract.
The summary which follows is not intended to be a comprehensive review of SEBAC V's entire contents; rather, its purpose is to highlight those provisions of the agreement which the Division believes are especially meaningful for agencies, employees, and retirees. Along these lines, please note that SEBAC V does not authorize an early retirement incentive program; instead, it provides for interim negotiations on early retirement which, as of this writing, have commenced but remain unresolved.
Finally, as the dissemination of information is critical to the Division's implementation and administration of SEBAC V, feel free to share this memorandum with employees of your agency.
60% of the annual increase in the CPI-W up to 6.0%
75% of the annual increase in the CPI-W above 6.0%
Be aware that by decreasing taxable gross income, the employer pick-up may affect employees who defer a high percentage of their salary through the deferred compensation (457) plan or the tax-sheltered annuities (403b) program.
Agencies will be provided with a separate memorandum from the Division addressing specific changes in payroll procedures necessitated by this provision of SEBAC V; and employees will be furnished with a paycheck insert reminding them of the employer pick-up implementation.
This provision of SEBAC V will be incorporated in the revised Summary Plan Description for Tier II.
Veterans may now obtain retirement credit for all or part of the period in question. Further, to the extent that the conversion of the period in question to war service diminishes the national emergency service previously obtained as retirement credit, additional credit for national emergency service, if any, may be obtained.
These provisions of SEBAC V will be the subject of separate communications from the Division to state agencies; and those SERS members who retired after October 1, 1995 will be contacted directly by the Division concerning the opportunity to purchase additional retirement credit for their military service.
To implement this provision of SEBAC V, the Division will be formulating a new Summary Plan Description, revising existing and generating new Division forms as needed, and issuing a separate memorandum addressing specific changes in payroll procedures necessitated by Tier IIA.
The Division will communicate with agencies through a separate memorandum to address ARP cash withdrawals and discuss the impact of lump sum distributions on the availability of health insurance coverage.
Effective July 1, 1997, SEBAC V makes a number of health care changes, the most significant of which are summarized below.
Set forth below is the rate chart for the active employee portion of the health care premium. The chart illustrates the three tier rate structure and the increased employee premium shares. These rates will remain in effect through June 30, 1999, at which time the employee shares will increase in proportion to any increase in health care rates.
|Family|| Family Less|
|State BlueCare (P.O.E.)||$ 0.00||$21.87||$30.98||$12.76|
|State BlueCare (P.O.S.)||$ 6.46||$36.41||$42.98||$16.12|
|State Preferred (P.O.S.)||$17.40||$58.96||$70.02||$39.06|
|Kaiser Permanente||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 0.00||$ 0.00|
|M.D. Health Plan||$ 0.00||$21.87||$30.98||$12.76|
|Blue Cross Dental||$ 0.00||$ 5.46||$ 5.46||$ 2.80|
|CIGNA Dental||$ 0.00||$ 1.81||$ 3.49||$ 1.46|
As announced in Comptroller's Memorandum No. 97-18, the health insurance open enrollment for active employees will be conducted from May 15, 1997 to June 3, 1997; Health Care Planners are scheduled to be mailed to employees at their home addresses on or about May 13, 1997.
More specifically, for those who retire July 1, 1997 through and including June 1, 1999, the state will pay 100% of the premium cost for the retiree and eligible dependents up to the cost of the State BlueCare Point of Service plan, or a plan providing equivalent coverage. Those who select the Blue Cross State Preferred Point of Service plan will be required to pay the difference in rates between State BlueCare Point of Service and Blue Cross State Preferred Point of Service.
For those who retire July 1, 1999 and after, premium payments will be required, effective July 1, 2000, for both the Blue Cross State Preferred Point of Service and the State BlueCare Point of Service plans. The state will pay 100% of the premium up to the cost of the State BlueCare Point of Enrollment plan, or a plan providing equivalent coverage.
To implement the health care provisions of SEBAC V, additional follow-up from the Division will occur as needed.
Questions on the pension issues discussed herein should in the first instance be directed to the Division's Retirement Counselling Services Unit at (860) 702-3490; inquiries on health insurance matters should be made of the Division's Health Care Analysis Unit at (860) 702-3535.
Very truly yours,
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