MINUTES OF THE MEETING
STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
55 ELM STREET
7TH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
HARTFORD, CT 06106
9:00 a.m.

February 19, 2015

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter R. Blum - via phone
Robert Baus
Sandra Fae Brown-Brewton
Michael Carey
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Steven Greatorex
Sal Luciano
Laila Mandour
Ronald McLellan
Paul Fortier
Claude Poulin

TRUSTEES ABSENT
Richard Cosgrove

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS
Martha Carlson, Deputy Comptroller
Lee Ann Palladino, CIO, State Treasury

MUNICIPAL LIAISON
Thomas Landry

OTHERS PRESENT
Brenda Halpin, Director, Retirement Services Division
Colin Newman, Asst. Director, Retirement Services Division
Natalie Braswell, Assistant Comptroller
Peggy Gray, Exec. Secretary, Retirement Services Division
Tara Downes, Press Secretary to the Comptroller
Michael Rose, General Counsel to the Commission
Tynan Cooney - Court Reporter

GUESTS
Elaine O'Reilly
Jon Lender, Hartford Courant

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
As indicated in his letter of December 19, 2014, the Chairman felt he should stay until a new Chairman is appointed. While he is attending the meeting via phone today, he will be at the March Commission meeting if needed. Also there are several items that will need to be moved to Executive Session for Attorney Rose to advise Trustees on.

DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

For the February retirement payroll we had 166 new retirees (148 normal, 7 disabilities, 3 voluntary pending and 6 Hybrid). Due to competing priorities we were able to finalize 11 retirement applications (3 regular and 8 disabilities) for the month.

On the ARP to Hybrid transfers we have 245 retirees, 1,704 transfers, 9 waivers and 4 prospective for a total of 1,728. The outstanding number to be audited and processed is 953. Yesterday we released the new version of the ARP to Hybrid transfer cost estimator on the OSC website.

Pending Disability Applications as of January 31, 2015

Pending Applications: 227
Applications preliminarily reviewed (84)  
Applications waiting for documentation (143)  
Applications scheduled:  147
Total Pending:  374

FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY

Number of Applications Received 9
Number of Applications on Agenda 23
Number of Applications Approved 9

The next available meeting for scheduling is June 2015. The rehired retiree, Toni Alt is back assisting in the Disability Unit as of this week.

With regard to the Medical Examining Board we have mailed eight letters out to psychiatrists in the New Haven area to add at least one more to the Board. We will also be conducting training in early March for two new doctors. I have a brief update on the costs associated with the changes to the MEB:

With the previous UCONN doctors - the last meeting in September cost $23,059.00 with salary and fringe for three doctors.

With the new doctors - since October 16, 2014 through January 22, 2015 - we have held five meetings for a cost of $49,250.00 which equates to 492.50 hours of total time for the new doctors.

At the meeting last month we discussed the problem with the Employee Benefit Statements and we have been working with the vendor to identify the group of individuals that were impacted. We have a webinar scheduled for tomorrow to go over the details of the programming logic and the data that was submitted.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JANUARY 2015 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the minutes of the January 22, 2015 meeting. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no since they had not received their packets. All others voted in favor

Majority Decision

2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM EXPENSES AND REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's Per Diem expenses and reimbursements. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

3. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEES PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustee's Per Diem and travel expenses. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor Mr. Baus abstained
Majority Decision

4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION UNION TRUSTEES PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee's Per Diem and travel expenses. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor Mr. Poulin abstained

Majority Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION COUNSEL ROSE KALLOR BILLLING FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 AND SUMMARY OF JANUARY 2015 ACTIVITY Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Counsel Rose Kallor billing for the month of January 2015 and summary of January 2015 activity. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service retirements for the month of January 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Disability retirements for the month of January 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending retirements for the month of January 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM PRE RETIREMENT DEATH BENEFIT RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Pre-Retirement Death Benefit retirements for the month of January 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

10. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Retroactive retirements for the month of January 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

11. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Municipal Retirement System retirements. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

12. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System retirements. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

13. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND PERSONNEL EXPENSES FOR THE PAY PERIOD NOVEMBER 14, 2014 THROUGH DECEMBER 11, 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel expenses for the pay period November 14, 2014 through December 11, 2012. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

14. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND PERSONNEL EXPENSES FOR THE PAY PERIOD DECEMBER 12, 2014 THROUGH JANUARY 8, 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel expenses for the pay period December 12, 2014 through January 8, 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

15. ATTORNEY ROSE'S OPINION ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE MEB. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to move this item to Executive Session. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision

16. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE REGULATIONS AND OVERPAYMENT SUBCOMMITTEE FROM ITS MEETING ON JANUARY 23, 2015. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the recommendations from the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee from its meeting on January 23, 2015. Mr. Casella and Ms. Mandour voted no, all others voted in favor

Majority Decision

17. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PURCHASING AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS SUBCOMMITTEE FROM ITS MEETING ON JANUARY 14, 2015 AND TO HAVE THE COMMISSION VOTE ON THE MATTER OF EDITH PRAGUE Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano to handle each case separately. All voted in favor

1. Larisa Zagorski - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve purchase credit for prior service. Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Carey, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Luciano, Ms. Mandour, Mr. Poulin, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Fortier and Mr. McLellan voted in favor. Mr. Casella opposed.

Majority Decision

2. Barbara Bellonio - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to table till the March meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

3. Robert Campagnone - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to table till the March meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

4. William Gagliardi - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to table till the March meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

6. Geraldo Rivera - Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to table till the March meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

5. Edith Prague - Ms. Brown- Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to adopt the Subcommittee recommendation that this item be voted on by the full Commission.
Mr. Luciano moved this item for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Greatorex.
Mr. Carey asked about the opportunity to change your option if you are a re-retiree from the selection made in your first application. Mr. Newman stated it is considered a new retirement since new service credits are added. The option election may change also. Mr. Poulin stated that it made sense given age and life changes. After a lengthy discussion and review of documents available to the Trustees including the payment estimator that was made available to Ms. Prague prior to the Division receiving her signed application, Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Carey do deny a change of option. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

18. COMMISSION REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE ACTUARIAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE MERS GASB 67 REPORT Mr. Luciano stated that no motion is required

ITEMS TABLED FROM THE JANUARY 2015 MEETING

At 9:48 a.m. Ms. Mandour, seconded by Mr. Carey voted to go into Executive Session to discuss item # 15: Attorney Rose's opinion on the composition of the Medical Examining Board with Ms. Halpin, Mr. Newman, Attorney Braswell and Attorney Rose present. All voted in favor

At 10:01 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to go back into Public Session.

I. COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDERATION OF ITS JUNE 19, 2014 DECISION TO DENY ELAINE O'REILLY'S REQUEST TO RECEIVE FREE CREDIT FOR ALL VOLUNTARY LEAVE TAKEN BETWEEN JUNE 1999 AND MAY 2010. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to enter into Executive Session, all voted in favor with Ms. Halpin, Mr. Newman, Attorney Braswell and Attorney Rose present for discussion purposes with Attorney. All voted in favor

At 10:11a.m. Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to go back into Public Session.

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to grant Elaine O'Reilly's request to receive free credit for all voluntary leave taken between June 1999 and May 2010. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

II. COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDERATION OF THE COMMISSION'S VOTE OF OCTOBER 16, 2014 TO REVOKE RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WORK IN "PARTICIPATING MUNICIPALITIES" WHILE COLLECTING A MERS PENSION. Attorney Rose requested an Executive Session to discuss with the Trustees.

At 10:13 a.m. Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to go into Executive Session to discuss this item with Attorney Rose. Ms. Halpin and Attorney Braswell were invited to attend. All voted in favor

At 10:16 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to return to Public Session.

Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to suspend the MERS retirement benefit of Ms. Cruz-Aponte consistent with the Commission vote of October 2014. Mr. Luciano voted No; Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Carey, Mr. Casella, Mr. Greatorex, Ms. Mandour, Mr. Poulin, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Fortier and Mr. McLellan voted Yes. Motion passes.

Majority Decision

III. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE 2015-1 AMENDMENT TO THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT ALTERNATE RETIREMENT PROGRAM

At 10:18a.m. Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex moved to go into Executive Session for purposes of discussing this item with Commission Counsel and Ms. Haering. Ms. Haering, Ms. Halpin and Attorney Braswell were invited to remain with Attorney Rose and Ms. Haering also being present.

At 10:20 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved to return to Public Session, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton. Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the 2015-1 Amendment to the State of Connecticut Alternate Retirement Program. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

IV. REQUEST OF LOREN CASERTANO FOR THE COMMISSION TO REVIEW AND RECONSIDER ITS APRIL 17, 2014 DECISION TO DENY HIS REQUEST TO HAVE HIS EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT ADJUSTED FROM NOVEMBER 2, 2012 TO May 20, 2012. Mr. Casertano's attorney was not able to be present for the meeting. Item is moved to the March 19, 2015 meeting. All voted in favor

V. REQUEST OF EDWARD DOBBINS THAT THE COMMISISON REVIEW AND RECONSIDER ITS JUNE 19, 2014 DECISION TO DENY HIS REQUEST TO HAVE HIS EFFECTIVE DATE OF RETIREMENT ADJUSTED FROM DECEMBER 5, 2011 TO MARCH 20, 2014. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Coffey to table this item to the March 19, 2015 meeting. All voted in favor

ITEM TABLED FROM THE NOVEMBER 2014 MEETING

VI. REQUEST OF LORRAINE MONTESI THAT THE COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDER ITS JULY 18, 2013 DECISION TO DENY HER REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF OVERPAYMENT. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to move this item back to the Subcommittee on Overpayments to review additional information sent in by Attorney Lafferty. All voted in favor

EXECUTIVE SESSION

At 10:47 a.m. Ms. Mandour, moved to go into Executive Session to receive updates on the Brown and Maturo matters, seconded by Mr. Greatorex. No motions were made.

ADJOURNMENT
At 10:59 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Greatorex. All voted in favor

_________________________ _______________________
Brenda K. Halpin, Director Peter R. Blum, Chair
Retirement Services Division  

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