MINUTES OF MEETING
STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106

April 15, 2010

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter R Blum, Chair
Bob Baus
Charles Casella
Thomas Culley
Claude Poulin
Linda Yelmini
Sal Luciano
Steve Greatorex
Sandra Fae Brown-Brewton
James Dzurenda
Robert Coffey
Richard Cosgrove

ABSENT
Paul Fortier
Steve Caliendo
Ronald McLellan

OTHERS PRESENT
Mark Ojakian, Deputy Comptroller and Division Director
Craig Henrici, Counsel to the State Comptroller
Helen Kemp, Asst. Director and Division Attorney, Retirement Services
Jeanne Kopek, Asst. Director, Retirement Services
Colin Newman, Asst. Director, Retirement Services
Peggy Gray, Executive Assistant, Retirement Services
Gregory Franklin, Treasurer's Office

GUESTS
George Spurlock, CEIU

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:10 AM

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

The Federal case appeal came out in our favor. We don't know if there will be a further appeal, but the attorney felt it was a done deal.

DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

Following the close of the April 2010 retirement payroll, the current backlog of unfinalized retirement records is approximately 10,605. The Division processed 127 new retirees to payroll (110 normal, 17 disabilities). Finalizations for the month were 60. The pending disability applications as of March 31, 2010 were as follows. Applications pending review were 35. We received 28, 25 were placed on the agenda and 18 were approved. At present we are reviewing April 2010 cases. The next available meeting for scheduling is August and September of 2010. The total backlog of cases waiting for additional information are 411.

Linda Yelmini asked if there was a definition for what would be a reasonable amount for a claim and or appeal. Some times folks leave their claims sitting for twenty years before they take any action. This will be looked into by the Regulations Subcommittee.

A copy of the report published by the Center for Retirement Research was shared with the Committee. Connecticut SERS funding levels were mentioned in the report.

Claude Poulin attended an investment meeting in Washington DC. There is a whole new paradigm on. Past practices by be unrealistic in today's standards.

Steve Greatore inquired about the mitigation legislation and if the ARP/ fringe benefit account would be affected. There is a sizable surplus in that account.

Towns have contacted the Comptroller's office concerning their increase in MERF contributions from towns. This is being addressed and there is a meeting scheduled with representatives from towns.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 18, 2010 MINUTES.
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the minutes for March 18, 2010 with the correction that Mr. Coffey, not Mr. Cosgrove was listed in item # 2 of March minutes. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEESRETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the Chairman's Per Diem Expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

3. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the month of March, with the addition of a dollar figure entered for Lauren McFarland. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Disability Retirements for the month of March 2010. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING DISABILITIES RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Disability Retirements to also include the amount for Lauren McFarland. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State
Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements for the month of March 2010.

7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM PRE RETIREMENT DEATH BENEFIT RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State Employees Retirement System Pre Retirement Death Benefits for the month of March 2010. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System Retirements. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENTS FUND PERSONAL EXPENSES FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personal Expenses for the month of March 2010. All voted in favor Unanimous Decision.

10. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES, FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve The Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

11. REQUEST APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements. All voted in favor Unanimous Decision

12. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANVE OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETING OF MARCH 26, 2010 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM. Mr. Luciano Moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to accept the recommendations of the Medical Examining Board from its March 26, 2010 meeting relative to applications for Disability Retirements received from the Municipal Employees Retirement System. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

13. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEES PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustee's Per Diem and Travel Expenses Reimbursements for the month of March 2010. Mr. Baus Abstained. All voted in favor.

Majority Decision

14. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION UNION TRUSTEES PER DIEM TRAVEL AND EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2010 Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission union Trustee's Per Diem Travel and Expenses Reimbursements for the month of March 2010. Mr. Poulin Abstained All voted in favor.

Majority Decision

15. REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF THE MARCH 15, 2010 LETTER RECEIVED FROM CSEA SEIU CONCERNING BLANKA KING.

At the Commission's November 19, 2009 meeting the Chair voted to deny Mrs. King's request for waiver and to establish a repayment rate of $ 249.24 for 125 deductions and one final deduction of $79.03. The Chair noted that Mrs. King had been informed in 2002 of the overpayment and for the past seven (7) years knew both the amount of the overpayment and the fact the Commission was seeking to secure repayment of this amount. He noted that with knowledge that this overpayment existed, she sold her Connecticut home and her business and then took the monies from these sales to purchase her home in New Jersey - which by her own financial affidavit indicated over $321,000 in equity. Based upon these facts he could not find that financial hardship existed or that repayment was inequitable.

Letters were received from Hollis Block, CSEA SEIU Retiree Coordinator requesting that Ms. King's waiver be reconsidered as there was an error in the computation of her monthly income. Because of this error which shows an annual negative income, the Commission should have found financial hardship. The Division admits the error but notes that both the subcommittee and the Commission were aware in making its decision and recommendations that Ms. King had negative income in both 2007 and 2008. The Division also noted discrepancies on Ms. King's submissions - for example - Ms. King sold her home in Wethersfield on October 14, 2005 but yet the bank statements she submitted in support of her waiver indicated the same Wethersfield address in 2009 and the checking account statements she submitted do not show any checks for utilities, medical providers, tax bills and so forth which are listed on her financial affidavit.

Action:Mr. Casella moved; seconded by Mr. Lucianoto send Ms. King's request back to the Overpayment Subcommittee for further review and potential recommendation.

Unanimous decision

16. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED DECLARATORY RULING IN THE MATTER OF PRISCILLA DICKMAN TO BE ISSUED PRIOR TO JUNE 8, 2010 IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 5-155-1(e) (1) (A) OF THE REGULATIONS OF CONNECTICUT STATE AGENCIES On December 8, 2009 the Division received a letter from Ms. Dickman requesting a Declaratory Ruling pursuant to the Commission's November 19, 2009 denial of her waiver of repayment of overpayment request. In January 2010 she filed a suit against the Commission, Division, Comptroller and Division Counsel asserting an assortment of allegations under a variety of legal theories.

The Commission discussed the draft declaratory ruling presented to it and what it needs to or should address in light of Ms. Dickman's various claims, assertions and allegations. Division Counsel reminded the Commission that it needed to act upon Ms. Dickman's petition by June 8, 2010 (180 days from the receipt of the petition). The Commission decided that it would not take action at this meeting but rather members should forward questions, comments and suggestions to the Division Counsel to incorporate into the Declaratory Ruling. The revised declaratory Ruling would be presented to the Commission at its May 2010 meeting.

17. REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF THE MARCH 18, 2010RECOMMENDATIONS RECEIVED FROM ITS SUBCOMMITTEE ON PURCHASE OF SERVICE AND RELATED MATTERS

(1) Roger Bouchard

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Bouchard's request to have his retirement benefit recalculated in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut as the finalization of the benefit occurred after the Retirement Commission date of reasonable limitation of October 2, 2001.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Casella, Coffey Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Greatorex, Luciano, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Bouchard's request for a recalculation of his retirement benefit in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut.

Mr. Bouchard retired effective September 1, 1990. In 2009 Bouchard petitioned the Retirement Commission for a recalculation of his retirement benefit pursuant to the Longley decision given by the State Supreme Court. The Trustees reviewed and upheld the Retirement Commission decision to establish a date of limitation for the calculation and awarding of increased benefits to individuals who retired on or after October 2, 2001. Accordingly, the Subcommittee finds that it is unable to provide the relief that Mr. Bouchard was seeking as his September 1, 1990 retirement date was prior to the Retirement Commission's established date of limitation of October 2, 2001.

(2) James E. Fox

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Fox's request to have his retirement benefit recalculated in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut as the finalization of the benefit occurred after the Retirement Commission date of reasonable limitation of October 2, 2001.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Casella, Coffey Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Greatorex, Luciano, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Fox's request for a recalculation of his retirement benefit in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut.

Mr. Fox retired effective September 1, 2000. Similar to two other claims Fox petitioned the Retirement Commission for a recalculation of his retirement benefit pursuant to the Longley decision given by the State Supreme Court. The Trustees reviewed and upheld the Retirement Commission decision to establish a date of limitation for the calculation and awarding of increased benefits to individuals who retired on or after October 2, 2001. Accordingly, the Subcommittee finds that it is unable to provide the relief that Mr. Fox was seeking as his September 1, 2000 retirement date was prior to the Retirement Commission's established date of limitation of October 2, 2001.

(3) Bruce Gardner

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr.Poulin to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Gardner's request for additional retirement credit in Tier II for his prior contractual service from September 1, 1991 to June 25, 1992.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Casella, Coffey Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Greatorex, Luciano, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Gardner's request for additional retirement credit in Tier II for his prior contractual service from September 1, 1991 to June 25, 1992.

Mr. Gardner rendered his contractual service from September 1, 1991 to June 25, 1992. Even though the Division had administratively denied Gardner's request as his pay under the contractual arrangement significantly exceeded his pay upon commencement of state employment therefore not meeting the standard as set forth by the Commission, the Subcommittee also determined that his duties under the arrangement were not the same as his duties when he commenced state employment therefore his transition was not seamless. Accordingly, the Trustees found that this case did not exhibit the same features as other cases where the Retirement Commission has recognized contract work as state employment.

(4) James Malone

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Malone's request to have his retirement benefit recalculated in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut as the finalization of the benefit occurred after the Retirement Commission date of reasonable limitation of October 2, 2001.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Casella, Coffey Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Greatorex, Luciano, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above conditional approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Malone's request for a recalculation of his retirement benefit in accordance with Longley v State of Connecticut.

Mr. Malone retired effective July 1, 1997. Similar to two other claims Malone petitioned the Retirement Commission for a recalculation of his retirement benefit pursuant to the Longley decision given by the State Supreme Court. The Trustees reviewed and upheld the Retirement Commission decision to establish a date of limitation for the calculation and awarding of increased benefits to individuals who retired on or after October 2, 2001.Accordingly, the Subcommittee finds that it is unable to provide the relief that Mr. Malone was seeking as his July 1, 1997 retirement date was prior to the Retirement Commission's established date of limitation of October 2, 2001.

(5) Raymond Torchio

Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Torchio's request to purchase retirement credit under Connecticut General Statute, Section 5-180(b) for his prior military service from September 1, 1971 to February 13, 1972.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Casella, Coffey Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Greatorex, Luciano, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Torchio's request to purchase retirement credit for his prior military service from September 1, 1971 to February 13, 1972.

Mr. Torchio retired effective June 1, 1997 under the Early Retirement Incentive Program with twenty-three years and two months of hazardous duty credited service. There was no record of Torchio of ever making an attempt to purchase retirement credit for his prior military service during his employment. Torchio's claim of receiving erroneous information from his Personnel Director regarding the purchase of his prior military service is uncorroborated. Therefore the Subcommittee finds no extenuating circumstances sufficient to justify a waiver of the October 1, 1985 deadline associated with this type of purchase.

18. REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF A MARCH 12, 2010 LETTER FROM RICHARD PAVASARIS REGARDING HIS STATUS AS A SERS RETIREE WHO IS EMPLOYED BY A COMPANY THAT HAS A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT WITH THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Greatorex to send back to the Division staff for further investigation. All voted in favor.

Unanimous decision

ADDENDUM ITEM:

An explanation was given on the revised billing for the Chair's Travel Expenses.

ADJOURNMENT

On a motion from Mr. Luciano, seconded by Mr. Greatorex the State Employee Retirement Commission adjourned at 10:50 AM.

_____________________________
Peter R. Blum, Chairman

__________________________________
Mark E. Ojakian, Deputy Comptroller and Director ofRetirement Services

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