STATE OF CONNECTICUT
STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION

A regular meeting of the State Employees Retirement Commission (the "Commission") was held on January 21, 2016, in 7th Floor Conference Room at 55 Elm Street, Hartford Connecticut. The meeting convened at 9:00 and the following members of the Commission were present:

The following members of the Commission were absent:

Also present were:

A. Call to Order

1. Chairman Adomeit called the meeting to order at 9:09.

B. Chairman's Report:

1. There was no chairman's report.

C. Division Director's Report

For the January retirement payroll we had 201 new retirees (173 normal, 6 disabilities, 9 Voluntary Pending and 13 Hybrid). There were 4 disabilities and 103 normal retirements finalized for the month. The current backlog of audits is 2,178 Disabilities and 12,470 regular retirements.

On the ARP to Hybrid transfers there are 353 retirees, 1,527 transfers, 9 waivers and 4 prospective for a total of 1,857. We were able to process 9 transfers this month and the outstanding number to be audited and processed is 666.

Pending Disability Applications as of December 30, 2015
Pending Applications:    277
applications preliminarily reviewed (122)  
applications waiting for documentation (155)  
Applications scheduled for upcoming MEB meetings:    35
Total Pending:    312

 
FOR THE MONTH OF December
Number of Applications Received    21
Number of Applications on Agenda    18
Number of Applications Approved    12
The next available meeting for scheduling is March 2016.

On January 15th the Division mailed out the fourth and final 2015 MERS Re-employment Survey to 108 retirees. The responses are due back on January 29th . The Division will advise the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee in early February of the responses. The Division successfully converting the Judges retirement payroll to the Core-CT retirement payroll effective January 2016.

As a point of interest as of December 31, 2015 there are 48,540 SERS retirees with the largest number 36,843 residing in CT; 4,164 residing in FL; 1,484 residing in MA and the next largest pool in North Carolina with 693 followed closely with 610 in South Carolina.

Deputy Comptroller Martha Carlson gave an update on the pension system implementation:

Recently, 145 Judges' payroll was completed using the pension module system. The pension module system version 2.b.1 is on track to go live on February 29, 2016 when all new employees will be entered into the new retirement system. On May 17, 2016, all historical data will be entered. Currently, the system is being tested and 14,000 audits went through without any problem. In June and July 2016, the old system will run parallel with this new system as a backup. There is a self- service part that will come a year after the pension module goes live. Agencies will be made aware of this new change. There have been meetings with agencies to explain the call center to them and Ms. Halpin added that UCONN and the Board of Regents has been involved as well.

D. New Matters

1. Request Commission Approval of December 17, 2015 Minutes
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve December 17, 2015 Minutes.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the December 17, 2015 Minutes.
 
2. 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 to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's Per Diem Expenses.
 
3. 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 to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Union Trustee's Per Diem and Travel Expenses.


4. Request Commission Review of the December 2015 Billing from Rose Kallor
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to review the billing from Rose Kallor.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to review the State Employees Retirement Commission December 2015 billing from Rose Kallor.

5. Request Commission Review of the December 2015 billing from Robinson & Cole.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to review the billing from Robinson & Cole.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to review the State Employees Retirement Commission December 2015 billing from Robinson & Cole.
 
6. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the Month of December 2015
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
 
7. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees System Disability Retirements for the Month of December 2015
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Disability Retirements for the Month of December 2015
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Disability Retirements for the Month of December 2015

8. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of December 2015
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote.
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
 
9. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve Connecticut State Employees System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of December 2015..
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve Connecticut State Employees System Retroactive Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
 
10. Request Commission Approval of the Connecticut State Employees System Pre- Retirement Death Benefit Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve Connecticut State Employees System Pre- Retirement Death Benefit Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve Connecticut State Employees System Pre- Retirement Death Benefit Retirements for the Month of December 2015.
 
11. Request Commission Approval of the Municipal Retirement System Retirements
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements
 
12. Request Commission Approval of the Judges, Family Support magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements December 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Judges, Family Support magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements December 2015.
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Judges, Family Support magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements December 2015.
 
13. Request Commission Approval of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System Retirements for December 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System Retirements for January 2016
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System Retirements for January 2016
 
14. Request Commission Approval of the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period November 13, 2015 Through December 10, 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period December 11, 2015 Through
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. There being no discussion he called for a vote
iii. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personnel Expenses for the Pay Period November 13, 2015 through December 10, 2015.
 
15. Request Commission Approval of the Recommendations from the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee Meeting held on December 21, 2015.
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Recommendations from the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee Meeting held on December 21, 2015
ii. Chairman asked if there was any discussion. Mr. Luciano raised the issue of reviewing Mr. Dingwell, Mr. Miller and Mr. Bangston?
iii. The Commission accepted the recommendations from the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee with the exception of Mr. Dingwell which requires additional information from legal counsel and the exception of Mr. Miller and Mr. Bangston which requires additional review from the Legal & Personnel Subcommittee.

Executive Session

Before the commission went into executive session Atty. Rose asked that executive session items 16, 17, and 21 be tabled because the legal opinions were not included in the packet. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to table items 16, 17, and 21 until the February 2016 meeting. All voted in favor.

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex enter into executive session

16. Whitman Matter - Approval of decision of denial of reconsideration of claim, as amended by the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee. Written legal opinion.
 
i. Tabled until February 2016.
 
17. Sullivan/MEB Petition - Remand matter to MEB for consideration of claimed physical disability. Written legal opinion.
 
i. Tabled until February 2016.

18. Cruz-Aponte - Maturo - Due Process Hearing/CGS 7-438
a. Motion to authorize the Division to suspend pension payments of any member who has failed to respond to the CMERS Survey as of January 29, 2016. Written legal opinion.
 
i. Mr. Carey moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano that the Commission instruct the Division to hold on the suspension of benefits of non-responding members so as to provide an opportunity for 90 working days to transpire during this calendar year and that the Commission further instruct the Division to send a letter suspending benefits to non- reporting members after 90 working days has transpired. In addition, the Commission would instruct the Division to advise non-responding members that if they have further facts, the should advise the Division, and that if they work beyond 90 working days in one calendar year, they will be made to pay all of their pension benefit back during that calendar year.
ii. The Commission unanimously approved that the Commission instruct the Division to hold on the suspension of benefits of non-responding members so as to provide an opportunity for 90 working days to transpire during this calendar year and that the Commission further instruct the Division to send a letter suspending benefits to non- reporting members after 90 working days has transpired. Mr. Carey also instructed the Division to advise non-responding members that if they have further facts, the should advise the Division, and that if they work beyond 90 working days in one calendar year, they will be made to pay all of their pension benefit back during that calendar year.
 
b. Motion to suspend benefits of nonconforming CMERS members as identified by the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee, as required by Connecticut General Statute 7-438 effective February 1, 2016. Written legal opinion.

i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton that the Division be required to correspond with those members that identified as complying with Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-438 and do not otherwise threaten the tax status of the plan. Ms. Brown- Brewton seconded. The Commission unanimously approved the motion.
ii. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to amend the above so that members would be advised that if they work beyond 90 working days they would be required to pay back all of the money for the year. The Commission unanimously approved the motion.
iii. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex that the Legal & Personnel Subcommittee meets with tax counsel regarding IRS rules and the suspension of benefits of those members who threaten the plan's tax exempt status, and to direct the Division to author a letter to those individuals advising that their benefits will be suspended. The Commission unanimously approved the motion.
iv. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to direct the Division to send a letter to those members similar to Maturo & Cruz-Aponte and who do not threaten the tax exempt status of the plan advising that they can work not more than 90 working days in a calendar year or less than 20 hours per week, otherwise their benefit will be suspended and they will be required to pay back the entire benefit received during that working period. The Commission unanimously approved the motion.
 
19. Brown Update. Pending Litigation
 
i. Upon exiting executive session, the Commission did not take any action with respect to Item 19.
 
20. Thompson - UPSEU Update. Pending Litigation
 
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to enter executive session, Mr. Greatorex seconded. All voted in favor. Ms. Halpin, Mr. Newman, Attorney Braswell, Attorney Rose, Attorney Cieslak, Attorney Barth and Attorney Karas remained in the room.
ii. Upon exiting executive session, the Commission did not take any action with respect to Item 20.

21. Hanson Matter. Written legal opinion and possible action. Approve declaratory ruling as drafted by and approved by the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee.

i. Tabled until February 2016.

22. Bellonio Matter. Written legal opinion and possible action.
 
i. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to enter executive All voted in favor. Ms. Halpin, Mr. Newman, Attorney Braswell, Attorney Rose, Attorney Cieslak, Attorney Barth and Attorney Karas remained in the room.
ii. Upon exiting executive session, it was the consensus of the Commission that the Division should communicate the substance of counsel's legal opinion as an agency decision.
 
23. Discussion of Alternate Retirement Program - ARP Written Legal Opinion.
 
i. Mr. Luciano moved to enter executive session, seconded by Mr. Greatorex. All voted in favor.

Tabled Item

23. Request Commission Review and Approval of the Changes to the Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) Plan Document.

i. Mr Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the amendments to the ARP plan document. All voted in favor

Adjournment

With no further business before the Commission, Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to adjourn. The Commission voted unanimously to adjourn at 10:30 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted by:


__________________________________
Peter Adomeit, Chairman


___________________________________
Prepared by Brenda K. Halpin
Director Retirement Service Division

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