March 28, 2013
Present: Trustees Michael Carey, Charles Cassella, Robert Coffey,
Paul Fortier, Commission
Chairman Peter Blum (via teleconference call) and Brenda Halpin, Director of the OSC Retirement Services Division.
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. Director Halpin distributed copies of the three responses that were received to the subcommittee'S request for information concerning the hiring of legal counsel for the commission. The subcommittee members accepted the copies for review.
Following receipt of the copies, Mr. Cassella moved to go into Executive Session to discuss matters pertaining to the hiring of commission legal counsel and pending legal matters, specifically the anticipated Private Letter Ruling from the IRS concerning the SAG Award, matters pertaining to IRC Section 415 limits, the Bouchard case and the Attorney General'S opinion concerning the disability provisions of CMERS and to invite, Chairman Blum and Director Halpin to attend. Mr. Carey seconded and the motion was approved unanimously.
At 3:45 p.m., Mr. Cassella moved to come out of executive session. The motion was seconded by Mr. Carey and approved unanimously. Upon coming out of executive session, Mr. Coffey reported that the following actions had been taken by the subcommittee:
1.Mr. Cassella moved to authorize the expenditure of up to $1,000 to advertise for legal counsel for the Retirement Commission to serve under a personal services agreement. The motion was seconded by Mr. Coffey and approved unanimously.
2.Mr. Cassella moved to recommend to the Retirement Commission that it negotiate a personal services agreement with the law firm of Robinson and Cole in an amount not to exceed $20,000 to undertake responsibilities in following up with the IRS with regard to issuance of the requested Private Letter Ruling regarding the SAG award. The motion was seconded by Mr. Carey and approved unanimously.
3.Mr. Fortier moved that the subcommittee recommend to the Retirement Commission that it consider seeking legislation to apply the disability and reemployment provisions of SERS to relevant matters under CMERS. In addition, it is recommended that in the interim, prior to adoption of such legislation, that the Retirement Commission advise the Office of the State Comptroller as follows:
a.To implement practices consistent with the interpretation that the term "municipality" refers to the entire participating municipality, not to any specific CMERS division with the municipality.
b.To implement practices consistent with interpretation that the term "permanently and totally disabled" refers to the member'S current job, meaning that the member cannot perform the duties of the current job.
c.To implement practices consistent with the position that disability retirement may be granted in cases which the member is "permanently and totally disabled" as interpreted per # 2 supra, and there is no suitable employment within the employing municipality at the time the disability application is made
d.To pursue the development and promulgation of regulations to clarify and codify the administration of the CMERS, as recommended by the Office of the Attorney General.
This motion was seconded by Mr. Cassella and approved unanimously.
At 4:00 p.m. Mr. Cassella moved to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Mr. Carey and approved unanimously.
Robert D. Coffey
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