AMENDED
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION

A regular meeting of the State Employees Retirement Commission (the "Commission") was held on April 20, 2017, in 7th Floor Conference Room at 55 Elm Street, Hartford Connecticut. The meeting convened at 9:00 a.m. and the following members of the Commission were present:

The following members of the Commission were absent:

Also present were:

A. Call to Order
Chairman Adomeit called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.
 
B. Chairman's Report:
Chairman Adomeit told the Commission that Matthew Hart will no longer be the Municipal Liaison because he has taken a position with the Town of West Hartford and West Hartford is not in MERS. He will resign his position on the Commission effective June 2017. Chairman Adomeit also explained to the Commission that he is hoping to solve the problem of the IRS cap on pension payments. He is working on the compilation to be submitted to the IRS.
 
C. Division Director's Report

The March 2017 retirement payroll closed with 160 retirements.

For the month of April the Division processed 367 retirements. There were 14 Voluntary Pending cases, 6 new disability retirements. There were 8 disability cases finalized for April. See the attached metrics for the finalizations.

For the ARP to Hybrid transfers there are a total of 1,930 with 445 retirees and 1,470 transfers, 4 prospective and 9 waivers. We continue to work through the backlog of transfers with 548 remaining to be completed.

Pending Disability Applications as of March 31, 2017

Pending Applications:    424
Applications preliminarily reviewed (208)   
Applications waiting for documentation (216)   
Applications scheduled:    26
Total Pending:    450
FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH   
Number of Applications Received    23
Number of Applications on Agenda    14
Number of Applications Approved    10
The next available meeting for scheduling is May 2017.    

24 month review cases:

Review cases - 4/20/2017

Deputy Comptroller Carlson gave an overview of the pension module’s progress. The Municipal Employees Retirement (MERS) will have a soft launch on Monday. The Division held a meeting with the 200 employers of MERS to find out their technical abilities and explain to them the new format for submitting their online payroll. The Division’s goal is to make this transition as seamless and cost effective as possible. In terms of the backlog, the Division has been completing 100 audits a month instead of 1000 a month. The remaining audits need some type of manual intervention.

New Matters

1. Request Commission Approval of the March 16, 2017 minutes.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve March 16, 2017 minutes.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the March 16, 2017 minutes.
 
2. Request Commission Approval of the March 27, 2017 minutes.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve March 27, 2017 minutes.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the March 27, 2017 minutes.
 
3. Request Commission Approval of the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman’s Per Diem Expenses.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman’s Per Diem Expenses.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman’s Per Diem Expenses.
 
4. Request Commission Approval of the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee’s Per Diem and Travel Expenses.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee’s Per Diem and Travel Expense.
ii. Mr. Poulin abstained.
iii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iv. The Commission voted unanimously in favor, with Mr. Poulin abstaining, to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee’s Per Diem and Travel Expenses.
 
5. Request Commission Acceptance of the March 2017 Billing from Robinson and Cole for CMERS.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the billing from Robinson and Cole for CMERS.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission March 2017 billing from Robinson and Cole for CMERS.
 
6. Request Commission Acceptance of the March 2017 Billing from Robinson and Cole for federal tax matters.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the billing from Robinson and Cole for federal tax matters.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission March 2017 billing from Robinson and Cole for federal tax matters.
 
7. Request Commission Acceptance of the March 2017 Invoices from Ford Harrison.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the billing from Ford Harrison.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission March 2017 billing from Ford Harrison.
 
8. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
 
9. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
 
10. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
 
11. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
 
12. Request Commission Approval of the Municipal Retirement System Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements for the month of March 2017.
 
13. Request Commission Approval of the Municipal Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Municipal Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Municipal Retirement System Preretirement Death Benefit for the Month of March 2017.
 
14. Request Commission Acceptance of the Recommendations by the Medical Examining Board For Continued Entitlement for Approved Disability Retirements.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Recommendations by the Medical Examining Board for Continued Entitlement for Approved Disability Retirements.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept of the Recommendations by the Medical Examining Board for Continued Entitlement for Approved Disability Retirements.
 
15. Request Commission Acceptance of the Recommendations By The Medical Examining Board for Denied Disability Continued Entitlement.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Recommendations by the Medical Examining Board for Denied Disability Continued Entitlement.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There was discussion.
iii. Mr. Carey asked why in the MEB decisions the matters were tabled. Attorney Cieslak explained that some of the matters were tabled because the MEB was awaiting more information.
iv. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept of the Recommendations by the Medical Examining Board for Denied Disability Continued Entitlement.
 
16. Request Commission Approval of the Retirement Services Division Request To Discontinue The Disability Applications Due To The One Year Deadline Associated With The Right To Ask For A Reconsideration Of The Medical Examining Board Denial.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex approve of the Retirement Services Division Request to Discontinue the Disability Applications Due to the One Year Deadline Associated with the Right to ask for a Reconsideration of the Medical Examining Board Denial.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve of the Retirement Services Division Request to Discontinue the Disability Applications Due to the One Year Deadline Associated with the Right to ask for a Reconsideration of the Medical Examining Board Denial.
 
17. Request Commission Approval of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period February 3, 2017 Through March 16, 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period February 3, 2017 Through March 16, 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period February 3, 2017 Through March 16, 2017.
 
18. Request Commission Acceptance of the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) GASB 67 & 68 Reports As Of June 30, 2016 As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee From its Meeting on March 7, 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex accept the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) GASB 67 & 68 Reports As Of June 30, 2016 As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee From its Meeting on March 7, 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) GASB 67 & 68 Reports As Of June 30, 2016 As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee From its Meeting on March 7, 2017.
 
19. Request Commission Acceptance Of The Judges, Family Support Magistrates, Compensation Commissioners Retirement System (JFSMCC) GASB 67 & 68 Reports As Of June 30, 2016 As Recommended By The Actuarial Subcommittee At Its Meeting On March 7, 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Judges, Family Support Magistrates, Compensation Commissioners Retirement System (JFSMCC) GASB 67 & 68 Reports as of June 30, 2016 As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting On March 7, 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the Judges, Family Support Magistrates, Compensation Commissioners Retirement System (JFSMCC) GASB 67 & 68 Reports as of June 30, 2016 As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting On March 7, 2017.

20. Request Commission Acceptance Of The Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 67 Report As Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting On March 7, 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 67 Report as Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting On March 7, 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 67 Report as Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting On March 7, 2017.
 
21. Request Commission Acceptance of the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 68 Report as Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting on April 19, 2017.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 68 Report as Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting on April 19, 2017.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) GASB 68 Report as Recommended by the Actuarial Subcommittee at its Meeting on April 19, 2017.
 
22. Request Commission Acceptance Of The Contract For Accounting Services By PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP for Accounting Services Related to the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) for GASB 68 Reporting.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the contract for Accounting Services By PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP for Accounting Services Related to the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) For GASB 68 Reporting.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the contract for Accounting Services by PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP for Accounting Services Related to the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) For GASB 68 Reporting.
 
23. Request Commission acceptance of the request of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System to request a Roll Forward the Valuation Report as of December 31, 2015 and to consider early adoption of the change in funding policy and make an additional funding contribution during this current fiscal year to the plan as recommended by the actuarial subcommittee.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Request of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System to request a Roll Forward the Valuation Report as of December 31, 2015 and to consider early adoption of the change in funding policy and make an additional funding contribution during this current Fiscal Year to the Plan as recommended by the Actuarial subcommittee.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the Request of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System to request a Roll Forward the Valuation Report as of December 31, 2015 and to consider early adoption of the change in funding policy and make an additional funding contribution during this current Fiscal Year to the Plan as recommended by the Actuarial subcommittee.

24. Request received from Cindi Carbino that the Commission review and reconsider its February 18, 2016 denial of her request for a posthumous retirement application for deceased SERS member Barbara Carbino (appearance scheduled at 9:30 a.m.)
i. Ms. Carbino and her brother appeared before the Commission to prove their late mother’s intent to retire.
ii. The commission discussed how to prove the mother’s intent.
iii. Mr. Carey moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano to table the matter until the next meeting so that the commission could speak to their attorneys.
iv. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to table the matter until the next meeting so that the commission could speak to their attorneys.

25. Request Commission consideration of request from MERS member, Charles leavens regarding employment at E.O. Smith school and his MERS pension (appearance by member is scheduled at 10:00 a.m.)
i. Mr. Leavens and his wife appeared before the Commission to inquire about his MERS benefit since he works for the Regional 19 school board and he is part of the Teacher’s Retirement Board.
ii. Ms. Grasso-Egan moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to ask the Division to draft that a uniform letter be written that the division can give to future retirees regarding how the law relates to school boards and municipalities.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to ask the Division to draft uniform letter be written that the division can give to future retirees regarding how the law relates to school boards and municipalities.

26. Request Commission consideration of recommendation from Legal & Personnel subcommittee regarding SERS member Collazo - discussion and possible action.
i. Mr. Coffey made a motion that based on the review of this matter by the Legal and Personnel subcommittee, that the Commission accept the recommendations that the Division remand Mr. Collazo back to the MEB for procedural error based on the evidence of inconsistency and Social Security saying that there was a disability. Seconded by Mr. Luciano.
ii. The Commission voted unanimously to accept the Legal and Personnel subcommittee recommendation.

27. Request commission consideration of recommendation from Legal & Personnel subcommittee regarding SERS member Wondoloski - discussion and possible action.
i. Mr. Coffey made a motion that the Commission accepts the advice of the subcommittee that no procedural error was found on the Wondoloski matter. Seconded by Mr. Carey.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously in favor to accept the Legal & Personnel subcommittee recommendation.

Executive Session

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to go into executive session at 10:17 a.m. Ms. Halpin, Mr. Newman, Attorney Braswell, Attorney Barth, Attorney Rose and Attorney Cieslak were invited by the Commission to stay for executive session. At 11:11 the Commission exited executive session and made the following motions.

  1. Review of MEB decisions from January packet - written legal opinion - discussion and possible action. At 11:12, Mr. Carey moved to accept the recommendations in written legal opinion regarding MEB decisions and forward to the Division to take appropriate action, seconded by Mr. Casella.
  2. Thompson - pending litigation - update. At 11:12, Mr. Poulin moved to approve the draft declaratory ruling with respect to municipalities’ partial withdrawal from CMERS, seconded by Mr. Luciano
  3. Soracchi - written legal opinion - review and discussion. At 11:12 Mr. Coffey moved to have the Commission draft a letter to Mr. Soracchi attorney for the basis for the denial which is that the Florida retirement system does not meet the similarity requirements, seconded by Mr. Luciano.
  4. Walenski - pending litigation - update.
  5. Carter - pending litigation - update.
  6. Bouchard - pending litigation - update.
  7. Maturo - pending litigation - update.
  8. CMERS - recoupment of overpayments - written legal opinion - discussion and possible action. At 11:13, Mr. Coffey moved to direct the Division with the advice from Commission counsel to recoup MERS benefits from 2015 forward, seconded by Mr. Casella.
  9. Robinson & Cole Contract Option - discussion and possible action. At 11:13, Mr. Coffey moved to accept the recommendations of the legal and personnel subcommittee for two additional years, seconded by Mr. Casella.

Public Session

At 11:11 the Commission exited executive session and made the following motions.

  1. Review of MEB decisions from January packet - written legal opinion - discussion and possible action. At 11:12, Mr. Carey moved to accept the recommendations in written legal opinion regarding MEB decisions and forward to the Division to take appropriate action, seconded by Mr. Casella.
  2. Thompson – pending litigation - update. At 11:12, Mr. Poulin moved to approve the draft declaratory ruling with respect to municipalities’ partial withdrawal from CMERS, seconded by Mr. Luciano
  3. Soracchi - written legal opinion - review and discussion. At 11:12 Mr. Coffey moved to have the Commission draft a letter to Mr. Soracchi attorney for the basis for the denial which is that the Florida retirement system does not meet the similarity requirements, seconded by Mr. Luciano.
  4. Walenski – pending litigation - update.
  5. Carter – pending litigation - update.
  6. Bouchard – pending litigation - update.
  7. Maturo – pending litigation - update.
  8. CMERS – recoupment of overpayments - written legal opinion - discussion and possible action. At 11:13, Mr. Coffey moved to direct the Division with the advice from Commission counsel to recoup MERS benefits from 2015 forward, seconded by Mr. Casella.
  9. Robinson & Cole Contract Option - discussion and possible action. At 11:13, Mr. Coffey moved to accept the recommendations of the legal and personnel subcommittee for two additional years, seconded by Mr. Casella.

Adjournment

With no further business before the Commission, Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to adjourn at 11:14 a.m. The Commission voted unanimously to adjourn.


Respectfully Submitted by:

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Peter Adomeit, Chairman

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Prepared by Brenda K. Halpin
Director Retirement Service Division

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