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

April 21, 2011

TRUSTEES PRESENT

Peter Blum, Chair
Charles Casella
Claude Poulin
Michael Carey
Linda Yelmini
Sal Luciano
Bob Coffey
Ronald McLellan
James Dzurenda
Thomas Culley
Steve Greatorex
Bob Baus

TRUSTEES ABSENT

Fae Brown-Brewton
Paul Fortier
Richard Cosgrove

MUNICIPAL LIAISON
Thomas Landry

OTHERS PRESENT
Jeanne Kopek, Director, Retirement Services
Helen Kemp, Asst. Director and Division Attorney, Retirement Services
Colin Newman, Asst. Director, Retirement Services
Natalie Braswell, Counsel to the State Comptroller
Martha Carlson, Deputy Comptroller
Kevin Lembo, State Comptroller
Peggy Gray, Executive Asst., Retirement Services

GUESTS
George Spurlock, CEIU

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:08 AM.

DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

I had hoped to provide the agenda electronically this month, but there were some issues that still have to be worked out. We hope to resolve them soon.

Following the close of the April 2011 Retirement payroll, the current backlog of unfinalized retirement records is approximately 11,212. The Division processed 259 new retirees to the payroll (247 normal, 12 disabilities) Finalizations for the month were 62.

Ms. Yelmini asked about the Disability retirements and how long it takes to get a hearing before the MEB. There is some concern that folks may start to lose their insurance coverage if it takes over a year to finalize a claim. As stated by the Director, there is a need to have more physicians on the MEB and the Comptroller is working very hard to get full staffing on the MEB. A recommendation for a 4th member has been sent to the Governor's office for approval.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MARCH 17, 2011 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to approve the March 17, 2011 minutes. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS. Mr. Lucian move, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's Per Diem and Travel expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

3. REQUEST COMMISSIOM APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2011. Mr. Luciano move, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the State Employees Retirement System Service retirements for the month of March, 2011. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEMS VOLUNTARY PENDING DISABILITY
RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2011. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Systems Voluntary Pending Disability Retirements for the month of March 2011. All voted in favor Unanimous Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2011. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement System Disability Retirements for the month of March 2011. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIRETMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 2011. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements for the month of March 2011. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM PRE RETIREMENT DEATH BENEFIT
RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2011. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement System Pre Retirement Death Benefit Retirements for the month of March 2011. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR APRIL 2011. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for April 2011. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

9. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETING ON MARCH 11, 2011 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES
RETIREMENT SYSTEM. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the recommendations of the Medical Examining Board from its meeting on March 11, 2011 relative to applications for Disability Retirement received from the Municipal Employees Retirement System. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

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

11. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEE'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustee's Per Die, and Travel Expenses Reimbursements. All voted in favor Mr. Baus abstained

Unanimous Decision

12. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL FO THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION UNION TRUSTEE'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Union Trustee's Per Diem and Travel Expenses Reimbursements. All voted in favor Mr. Poulin abstained

Unanimous Decision

13. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF THE PROBATE JUDGES' AND EMPLOYEE'S RETIREMENT FUND BALANCE SHEET AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Probate Judges' and Employee's Retirement Fund Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2010. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

14. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF THE PROBATE JUDGES' AND EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR DECEMBER 31, 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, by Mr. Greatorex to accept the Probate Judges' and Employees' Retirement Fund Statement of Operations for the calendar year December 31, 2010. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

15. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION OF THE FOLLOWING PROBATE DISTRICTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS, DISABILITY AND HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM: TOBACCO VALLEY; GREATER WINDSOR; GLASTONBURY-HEBRON; SIMSBURY REGIONAL; FARMINGTON-BURLINGTON; NORTH CENTRAL CONNECTICUT; GREATER MANCHESTER; REGION 14 PROBATE DISTRICT; CHESHIRE - SOUTHINGTON; REGION 19 - BRISTOL; NAUGATUCK; SOUTHBURY; TORRINGTON AREA; LITCHFIELD HILLS; TOLLAND - MANSFIELD; NORTHEAST; PLAINFIELD - KILLINGLY; WINDHAM - COLCHESTER; NORWICH; SOUTHEASTERN REGIONAL; NIANTIC REGIONAL; SAYBROOK; MADISON- GUILFORD; BRANFORD - NORTH BRANFORD; EAST HAVEN - NORTH HAVEN; HAMDEN - BETHANY; MILFORD - ORANGE; DERBY; HOUSATONIC; NORTHERN FAIRFIELD COUNTY; AND DARIEN - NEW CANAAN.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to approve the applications of the above listed probate districts to participate in the Old-Age, Survivors, Disability and Health Insurance System.

Unanimous Decision

16. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION OF THE FOLLOWING PROBATE DISTRICTS TO MODIFY ITS AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS, DISABILITY AND HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM: EAST HARTFORD; MIDDLETOWN; WALLINGFORD; NEW HAVEN; WEST HAVEN; STRATFORD; NORWALK - WILTON; AND STAMFORD.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to approve the applications of the above listed probate districts to modify their agreements to participate in the Old-Age, Survivors, Disability and Health Insurance System

Unanimous Decision

17. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION OF THE FOLLOWING REGIONAL CHILDREN'S PROBATE COURTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS, DISABILITY AND HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM: NEW HAVEN REGIONAL CHILDREN'S; CENTRAL CONNECTICUT REGIONAL CHILDREN'S; NEW LONDON REGIONAL CHILDREN'S; WATERBURY REGIONAL CHILDREN'S; AND NORTHEAST REGIONAL CHILDREN'S.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to approve the applications of the above listed regional children's probate courts to participate in the Old-Age, Survivors, Disability and Health Insurance System.

Unanimous Decision

18. REQUEST APPROVAL OF THREE MATTERS CONSIDERED AT THE MARCH 30, 2011 MEETING OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OVERPAYMENTS (case history attached)

1. Jerry Arnette (MERS) - (member)
Overpayment due to receiving a social security disability benefit

2. Robin Ashe (MERS) - (member)
Overpayment due to receiving a social security disability benefit

3. Wayne White (MERS) - (member)
Overpayment due to receiving a social security disability benefit

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to accept the recommendations of the Overpayment Subcommittee with regard to Messrs. Arnette and White and Ms. Ashe which were to deny their requests for a waiver of repayment of an overpayment as they failed to meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval.

Unanimous Decision

19. REQUEST COMMISSION POLICY WITH REGARD TO MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM (MERS) AND OVERPAYMENT
SITUATION REGARDING DISABILITY RETIREMENTS

The Commission learned that several MERS disability retirees were, in the past, given erroneous advice with regard to working in a municipal position and the concurrent receipt of a MERS disability retirement benefit. Unfortunately MERS does not have the ability to track and/or contact these individuals. While the situation has been corrected going forward, the Retirement Division sought Commission guidance on handling these isolated cases relative to overpayment concerns. The Commission sought additional information on one such individual for the May Commission meeting to determine if the individual had been gainfully employed by the municipality.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to direct the Retirement Division to handle these isolated cases on a prospective basis and to forgo retroactive repayment of retirement benefits for those individuals shown to have been given the erroneous advice.

Unanimous Decision

At approximately 10:06 AM Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to go
into Executive Session to discuss Agenda Items concerning Proposed Declaratory Ruling,
IRS- PLR Request and Proposal to Obtain Outside Counsel. Ms. Kopek, Ms. Kemp, Ms. Braswell and Mr. Newman stayed in the room. Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Deputy Comptroller Martha Carlson joined the discussion.

At 10:22 AM Mr. Baus, seconded by Mr. McLellan moved to come out of Executive Session. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

The following actions were taken on items #20 and #21.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to approve the proposed Declaratory rulling in the matter of Darrell Mickey to be issued prior to July 11, 2011 in accordance with section 5-155-1(e)(1)(A) of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies. This ruling denies the Petitioner's request to be paid a lump sum payment due to a trial court error in the division of his pension benefit in a marital dissolution
action. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

Action: Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to table any decision on the draft PLR to the next Commission meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

ACTION: Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to direct the Commission's Personnel and Legal Subcommittees to act on behalf of the Commission to obtain outside legal counsel to advise the Commission on certain Plan related qualifications,
benefit, compensation and tax issues. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

20. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED DECLARATORY RULING IN THE MATTER OF DARRELL MICKEY TO BE ISSUED PRIOR TO JULY 11, 2011 IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 5-155-1(e)(1)(A) OF THE REGULATIONS OF CONNECTICUT STATE AGENCIES Subcommittee to act on

Unanimous Decision

21. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF REQUEST TO INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WITH REGARD TO A PRIVATE LETTER RULING FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPLEMENTING THE SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 SEBAC PENSION GRIEVANCE AWARD

NEW MATTERS

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to adjourn the meeting at 10:27 AM. All voted in favor


_____________________
Peter R. Blum, Chair

___________________________
Jeanne Kopek, Director, Retirement Services

Return to Meetings, Agendas and Minutes Home Page
Return to Comptroller's Home Page