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

7TH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

9:00am

 

January 22, 2015

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter R. Blum
Robert Baus
Sandra Fae Brown-Brewton
Michael Carey
Charles Casella
Richard Cosgrove
Steven Greatorex
Sal Luciano
Laila Mandour
Claude Poulin

TRUSTEES ABSENT
Robert Coffey
Paul Fortier
Ronald McLellan

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

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
Michael Rose, General Counsel to the Commission
Tynan Cooney - Court Reporter

GUESTS
Elaine O'Reilly
Richard O'Reilly
Marilyn Cruz-Aponte
Attorney David S. Rintoul

CALL TO ORDER
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
 

DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

For the January retirement payroll we had 249 new retirees (207 normal, 13 disabilities, 6 voluntary pending and 23 Hybrid). Due to competing priorities we were able to finalize 2 retirement applications for the month.

On the ARP to Hybrid transfers we have 272 retirees, 1,469 transfers, 9 waivers and 4 prospective. After the letter was sent out about the changes to the costs for transferring we received in 478 applications for December 2014.

Pending Disability Applications as of December 31, 2014

Pending Applications: 222
Applications preliminarily reviewed - 77
Applications waiting for documentation - 145
Applications scheduled: 141
Total Pending: 323
FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
Number of Applications Received 21
Number of Applications on Agenda 43
Number of Applications Approved 27

The next available meeting for scheduling is June 2015. The position for the rehired retiree from the Healthcare Advocates Office expired on December 31, 2014. We are hopeful that the position will be renewed so that we can continue the work efforts that have been started.

On the IRC Section 415 (b) retirees that retired between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 we have worked with the Actuaries to review all of the payments made to reconcile the amounts due to the retirees. The reconciliation payments have been made to the 12 retirees. However we have one retiree that would like to speak with the Retirement Commission's legal counsel regarding his particular situation. Since I do not have the authority to have him contact legal counsel directly I am looking for direction from the Commission on how to have his questions addressed.

I would also like to advise the Commission trustees that we are in need of several trustees to fill vacant management positions on several Subcommittee's. We need one trustee for the Hazardous Duty Subcommittee, the Purchasing and Other Related Matters Subcommittee and the Actuarial Subcommittee. Ms. Brown-Brewton has volunteered to temporarily serve on the Purchasing Subcommittee, Mr. Carey will serve on Hazardous Duty and Mr. Coffey will be asked if he can serve on the Actuarial Subcommittee on a temporary basis until new Trustees are added to the Commission.

We have also been working on the RFP for the GASB 68 Accounting Services and will be sending that out to all of the Actuarial Subcommittee members by tomorrow for review and approval to post.

Ms. Carlson updated the Commission on the issue that came forward with Mr. LaChance. The Comptroller's office uses ComServe to compare our records with Social Security records. There is an enhanced program that should be up and running for the next quarter, but the Commission should feel comfortable that the Comptroller's office is doing its due diligence.

Ms. Brown-Brewton asked about the Benefit Statements that went out and some of them have incorrect information. There was a batch that had issues with a formula that was applied. A letter from the Comptroller's Office will be sent to the vendor with a copy to the Commission Trustees.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE DECEMBER 2014 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to approve the December 2014 minutes to reflect that she recused herself for the vote on item on the tabled item concerning Mr. Kamm. All voted in favor
Unanimous 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. All voted in favor
Unanimous 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. All 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. All voted in favor         Mr. Poulin abstained
Majority Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service retirements for the month of December 2014. All voted in favor

 Unanimous Decision


6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Disability retirements for the month of December 2014. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending retirements for the month of December 2014. All voted in favor


Unanimous Decision


8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM PRE RETIREMENT DEATH BENEFIT RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Pre-Retirement Death Benefit retirements for the month of December 2014. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Retroactive retirements for the month of December 2014. All voted in favor        Ms. Brown-Brewton abstained
Majority 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 RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETING ON DECEMBER 5 and 19, 2014 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the recommendations of the Medical Examining Board from its meetings on December 5, 2014 and December 19, 2014. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


12. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES, FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioner's Retirement System retirements. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


13. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES, FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM SPOUSE RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioner's Retirement System Spouse retirements. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


14. 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. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision


15. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LEGAL AND PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE, this item was moved to Executive Session

16. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF 2015-1 AMENDMENT TO THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT ALTERNATE RETIREMENT PROGRAM, this item was tabled until the February 15, 2015 meeting for further information.

17. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING GINA LAYMAN discussion considered several options. It was decided that Attorney Michael Rose in conjunction with Attorney Braswell will write the letter for the Probation Department and include 5% interest on the amount owed.

 

ITEM TABLED FROM THE NOVEMBER 2014 MEETING

18. 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 grant Ms. O'Reilly's request to receive free credit for all the voluntary leave taken between June 1999 and May 2010 based on the information she provided for the Commission to review. Attorney Michael Rose requested time to research this item before the motion is voted on, and table to the February meeting. Mr. Baus moved seconded by Mr. Carey to table this item until February. Voting NO to table Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Luciano, Ms. Mandour, Mr. Poulin. Voting YES to table until February, Mr. Casella, Mr. Baus, Mr. Carey, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Cosgrove. With a vote of 5-4 this item is tabled to the February 2015 meeting.
Item tabled

19. COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDERATION OF THE COMMISSION'S VOTE OF OCTOBER 16, 2014 TO REVOKE RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WORK IN "PARTICIPATING MUNICPALITIES" WHILE COLLECTING A MERS PENSION. Ms. Cruz-Aponte appeared with her attorney David Rintoul. Attorney Rintoul believes there should be a grandfathering process for employees who currently work in a CMERS municipality. Commission members would like Attorney Rose to advise them. Mr. Baus moved to table this item until the February 2015 meeting, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton. All voted in favor
Item tabled

EXECUTIVE SESSION

At 10:17 a.m. Mr. Casella moved to go into Executive Session with Attorney Braswell, Director Brenda Halpin and Attorney Michael Rose, Attorney Barth and Attorney Christie remaining in the room, seconded by Mr. Greatorex. All voted in favor.


Memorandum from Robinson & Cole concerning outstanding legal matters - Ms. Brown-Brewton will discuss the above with the Secretary of OPM.
At this point Attorneys Barth and Christie left the room.

Protocol for CMERS Opinions - The Commission came out of Executive Session and made the following motion. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Carey to notify towns that they will be directed to follow the Declaratory Ruling process. All voted in favor.


East Haven- Mr. Poulin moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour that a letter be sent to East Haven stating that an member/retiree can cover her former office for less than twenty hours per week. That same employee may not simultaneously work for the Board of Education in East Haven as it also participates in MERS. Mr. Casella voted no on sending the letter, Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Carey, Mr. Cosgrove, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Luciano, Mr. Poulin all voted to send the letter. The letter will be sent by Attorney Rose notifying the town of East Haven of its decision.


Mansfield - Mr. Poulin moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour that Attorney Rose send a letter to the Town of Mansfield notifying them that they may not pass along some of its costs for participation in CMERS by charging their members more than the 2.25% specified in Conn. Gen Statute 7-440. All voted in favor


Montville- Mr. Poulin moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano that a letter will be written to direct the town of Montville to the Declaratory Ruling process. All voted in favor


Thompson- There is a question on this item before the Office of Labor Relations. The Town will also be directed to follow the Declaratory Ruling process via letter from the Commission.


Memorandum from Rose Kallor concerning outstanding legal matters - No motion was made on this item.


ADJOURNMENT

At 12:20 p.m. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to adjourn. All voted in favor

 

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


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