AMENDED

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

August 20, 2015

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter Adomeit, Chairman
Robert Baus
Sandra Fae Brown- Brewton
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Lisa Grasso-Egan
Paul Fortier
Sal Luciano
Laila Mandour
Claude Poulin
Angel Quiros

TRUSTEES ABSENT
Michael Carey
Richard Cosgrove
Steven Greatorex
Ronald McLellan

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS
Martha Carlson, Deputy State Comptroller
Deborah Spalding, CIO, Office of the State Treasurer

MUNICIPAL LIAISON
Thomas Landry

OTHERS PRESENT
Brenda Halpin, Director, Retirement Services Division
Natalie Braswell, Assistant Comptroller
Colin Newman, Assistant Director, Retirement Services Division
Peggy Gray, Executive Secretary, Retirement Services Division
Kishore Solanki, Assistant Director, Retirement Services Division
Michael Rose, General Counsel to the Retirement Commission
Bruce Barth, Counsel for Tax Matters to the Retirement Commission
Cynthia Christie, Counsel, Robinson & Cole
Tara Downes, OSC Communications Officer
Karen Nolan, OPM
Representative Sean Scanlon
Keith Phanuef, CT Mirror

CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Adomeit called the meeting to order at 9:09 a.m.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
In your packet there is a letter from Bob Baus announcing his retirement from the Commission after twenty-five years. Bob is to be commended for all his service to the Commission. I am sure we all wish him well in his retirement.

DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

For the August retirement payroll we had 176 new retirees (143 normal, 12 disabilities, 5 voluntary pending and 16 Hybrid). The finalization total is 14,380.

On the ARP to Hybrid transfers there are 306 retirees, 1,507 transfers, 9 waivers and 4 prospective for a total of 1,826. The outstanding number to be audited and processed is 743.

Deputy Comptroller Martha Carlson also spoke about the Pension Module. Once everything is in place the backlog will disappear within 18 months. Right now we are calculating records that go back to the 1980's on some people and it is very labor intensive. With the new "calc engine" calculations can be done quickly and it will be the final audit.

Pending Disability Applications as of July 31, 2015
Pending Applications:    262
Applications preliminarily reviewed    (90)
Applications waiting for documentation    (172)
Applications scheduled:    44
Total Pending:    306

FOR THE MONTH OF JULY

Number of Applications Received    17
Number of Applications on Agenda    23
Number of Applications Approved    18
The next available meeting for scheduling is October 2015.

Update on SERS Disability Surveys as of Wednesday, August 19th
1) Total surveys mailed on May 26, 2015: 2,833
2) Approximate number of completed surveys received: 2,237
3) 1,027 have been analyzed & entered into the database
4) Undeliverable surveys: about 80 returned with address problems. The Division is researching the address problems to resolve.
5) Target date for mailing second request surveys: August 26, 2015.
6) Reported earnings on disability survey: 331 of the surveys entered into the database have earnings for 2014.
7) A breakdown of reported earnings for 2014 is as follows:

12 disability retirees have reported earnings of $100,000 or more;
19 disability retirees have reported earnings of $70,000 to $99,999;
26 disability retirees have reported earnings of $50,000 to $69,999;
48 disability retirees have reported earnings of $30,000 to $49,999.

At this time, the highest reported earnings in 2014 for a disability retiree is
$ 340,000. The I & R Unit will continue to analyze the reported earnings, Social Security and workers' compensation reported on the survey, and enter the information into the database.

The Division met with Robinson & Cole regarding the process of employee contributions and when the employee retires related to IRS regulations.

Thank you for the comments on the draft form for verification of retirement benefits that the Division is planning to send to all retirees over the age of 90.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JULY 16, 2015 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the minutes from the July 16, 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM EXPENSES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Casella to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's expenses. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

3. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEES'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustee's per Diem and Travel Expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor     Mr. Baus abstained

Majority Decision

4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION UNION TRUSTEE'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee's per Diem and Travel expenses. All voted in favor.     Mr. Poulin abstained  

Majority Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE JULY BILLING FROM ROSE KALLOR
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to review the July billing from Rose Kallor All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employee's Retirement System Service retirements for the month of July 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employee's System Disability retirements for the month of July 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employee's System Voluntary Pending retirements for the month of July 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Municipal Retirement System retirements. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

10. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS AND DENIALS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the decisions by the Medical Examining Board (MEB) from its meeting on July 17, 2015. Mr. Luciano did question the statement on the Germe case that the MEB didn't feel it met the qualification of PTSD when it was his understanding that PTSD was not one of the considerations. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

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

Unanimous Decision

12. REQUST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND PERSONNEL EXPENSES FOR THE PAY PERIOD MAY 15, 2015 THROUGH JUNE 11, 2015 AND JUNE 12, 2015 THROUGH JULY 9, 2015. With a friendly amendment to fill in the complete dates Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to approve the Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the pay period May 15, 2015 through June 11, 2015 and June 12, 2015 through July 9, 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

13. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE GASB STATEMENT NO. 68 REPORT FOR THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM PREPARED AS OF JUNE 30, 2014. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to accept the GASB No. 68 Report for the Connecticut State Employees' Retirement System prepared as of June 30, 2014. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

14. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE GASB STATEMENT NO. 68 REPORT FOR THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM PREPARED AS OF JUNE 30, 2014 Since this report did not arrive from Cavanaugh Macdonald, Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to table this item to the September agenda.     Item tabled

15. REQUEST COMMISSION DISCUSSION ON ZIMBERLIN FOI REQUEST - Attorney Braswell and Attorney Rose discussed with Commission Trustees Attorney Zimberlin's request for the medical determinations of the Medical Examining Board and how the Commission wanted to handle the disclosure of the records. Ms. Egan asked that this matter be moved to Executive Session. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

16. REQUEST COMMISSION DISCUSSION ON REVISION OF SERC REGULATIONS -
Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved to Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

17. REQUEST COMMISSION OF STATUS OF CODIFICATION- Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved to Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

18. REQUEST COMMISSION DISCUSSION OF STATUS OF 24 MONTH REVIEWS - The Chairman thanked Ms. Grasso Egan for all her hard work and efforts in moving this item along. Deputy Comptroller Martha Carlson stated that the staff is ready to move through this issue and will be working out a plan of action.

19. REQUEST STATUS OF DIVISION REEMPLOYMENT REVIEW - discussion and possible action. Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved to Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

20. REQUEST COMMISSION RESOLUTION RE: PAYMENT OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS - discussion and possible action. Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved to Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

TABLED ITEMS

REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON MERS REEMPLOYMENT SURVEY- Director Halpin reported that 83%, of the 5996 surveys were returned. Twenty-three have been identified as a possible issue. Staff is still working on the information returned and a second survey will be sent to those who didn't return it the first time. Some of the issue is mail that has been returned by the post office. The Division is doing
what it can to collect up to date address information. This item was tabled until the September 2015 meeting and moved to the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee for the next steps on this matter. All voted in favor.

Unanimous decision

REQUEST COMMISSION RESOLUTION re: PAYMENT OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS - Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved off the table and presented in Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous decision

REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON SAMPIERI v SERC DECLARATORY RULING -Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved off the table and into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous decision

CRUZ-APPONTE- PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RULING - DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION- Attorney Rose asked that this item be moved off the table and into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to move into Executive Session. All voted in favor, with Attorney Barth, Attorney Christie, Attorney Braswell, Mr. Newman and Ms. Halpin invited to stay.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session at 9:40 a.m. All voted in favor

Review of Auditors' Report - discussion and possible action -Written legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b)(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. Ms. Mandour moved seconded by Mr. Casella to form an Ad Hoc committee. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Alston v. SERC - Discussion and possible action-Pending Litigation, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B) -Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to pursue this matter along the lines discussed in Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Bouchard v. SERC - Discussion and possible action -Pending Litigation, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B) Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. No motion made.

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Quintiliano - Discussion and possible action-Pending Claim and written legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B), 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to have the Chairman sign the Declaratory Ruling to deny Mr. Quintiliano's claim. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor

Sampieri v. SERC - Discussion and possible action-Pending Litigation/Claim and written legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B), 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session . Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to deny Ms. Sampieri's request for reversal of the Commission's decision to deny the Petitioner's request to be placed in Tier I. And have the Chairman sign the Declaratory Ruling. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities - Petition to Intervene in Declaratory Ruling - Discussion and possible action -Pending Litigation/Claim and written legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B), 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier. No motion made

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Dr. Johnson's Request Re: Actuarial Reductions - Discussion and possible action -Written - legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b)(10) -Mr. Luciano moved seconded by Fortier to come out of Executive Session. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to deny his request to come before the Commission. The Chairman will send a letter with the decision. Ms. Brown-Brewton and Mr. Fortier abstained

Majority Decision

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to go into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

SAG Award/working group update --Written legal opinion/attorney-client communication, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b)(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. No motion made

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Update on meeting with Division re: death benefit issues - Written legal opinion/attorney-client communication -, Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b)(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. No motion made

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

415 Discussion/Update on FAQ -Written legal opinion/attorney-client communication,
Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(E) and 1-210(b)(10) - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. No motion made

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to enter into Executive Session. All voted in favor.

Cruz-Aponte/Update - Draft Findings - Written legal opinion/attorney- Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to come out of Executive Session. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to deny the Petitioner's request that the Commission reverse its decision of February 19, 2015 to suspend her retirement benefits. The Commission denies Petitioner's request for an evidentiary hearing and the opportunity to subpoena witnesses. Mr. Casella, Mr. Coffey, Ms. Grasso-Egan, Mr. Fortier, Mr. Luciano, Ms. Mandour, Mr. Quiros voted to DENY. Mr. Poulin voted IN FAVOR. The motion to DENY carries.

Majority Decision

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business before the Commission Mr. Fortier moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to adjourn at 11:37 a.m.

 

_________________________ _______________________
Brenda K. Halpin, Director Peter Adomeit, Chairman
Retirement Services Division  

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