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

July 17, 2015

TRUSTEES PRESENT

Peter Adomeit, Chairman
Robert Baus
Sandra Fae Brown- Brewton
Michael Carey
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Richard Cosgrove
Lisa Grasso-Egan
Stephen Greatorex
Paul Fortier
Sal Luciano
Laila Mandour
Ronald McLellan
Claude Poulin

TRUSTEES ABSENT
Angel Quiros

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS
Martha Carlson, Deputy State Comptroller
Debra Spaulding, 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
Richard Gray, Office of the State Treasurer
Michael Rose, General Counsel to the Retirement Commission
Bruce Barth, Counsel for Tax Matters to the Retirement Commission
Cynthia Christie, Counsel, Robinson & Cole

GUESTS
Edward Dobbins
Michael Quintiliano
Keith Pfanuf

CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Adomeit called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
On behalf of the Trustees our sympathy is extended to Mike Carey on his father's passing.

Division Director's Administrative Report
For the July retirement payroll we had 249 new retirees (225 normal, 6 disabilities, 5 voluntary pending and 13 Hybrid). The Division was able to finalize 17 retirement applications (12 regular and 5 disabilities) for the month. An Executive Summary of the finalizations was provided for review.

On the ARP to Hybrid transfers there are 305 retirees, 1,504 transfers, 9 waivers and 4 prospective for a total of 1,822. The outstanding number to be audited and processed is 768. The Division has successfully completed the transition from Voya to Prudential for the Alternate Retirement Program effective July 1, 2015.

Pending Disability Applications as of June 30, 2015
Pending Applications: 259
Applications preliminarily reviewed (125)
Applications waiting for documentation (134)
Applications scheduled: 63
Total Pending: 322

FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE
Number of Applications Received 19
Number of Applications on Agenda 33
Number of Applications Approved 9

The next available meeting for scheduling is August 2015.

Update on Disability Surveys as of last Wednesday, July 8th

1) Total surveys mailed on May 26, 2015: 2,833
2) Approximate number of completed surveys received: 2,000
3) 1,027 have been analyzed & entered into the database
4) Undeliverable surveys: about 70 returned with address problems. The Division is researching the address problems to resolve.
5) Target date for mailing second request surveys: late August 2015.
6) Reported earnings on disability survey: 191 of the surveys entered into the database have earnings for 2014.
7) A breakdown of reported earnings for 2014 is as follows: 9 disability retirees have reported earnings of $100,000 or more;
16 disability retirees have reported earnings of $70,000 to $99,999;
21 disability retirees have reported earnings of $50,000 to $69,999;
26 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.

One of the best parts of working on an upgrade to our system is that all of the procedures and processes are reviewed. One area that the Division needs assistance on is the process of employee contributions and when the employee retires. I am requesting the Commission's permission to speak with Robinson & Cole regarding this matter as it relates to the Internal Revenue Code.

A draft form for verification of retirement benefits that the Division is planning to send to all retirees over the age of 90 within the next several months was distributed. All comments are welcome.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUNE 18, 2015 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the minutes. Ms. Halpin gave on clarification within her report. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to approve the June 18, 2015 minutes as amended. 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 Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's per Diem 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 Mr. Greatorex 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. 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 REVIEW OF THE JUNE BILLING FROM ROSE KALLOR
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to review the June 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 JUNE 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employee's Retirement System Service retirements for the month of June 2015. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

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

Unanimous Decision

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

Unanimous Decision

9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETRO ACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE 2015 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the Connecticut State Employee's Retirement System Retro Active retirements for the month of June 2015. 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 REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON SERC REGULATIONS Attorney Rose stated that parts of the Regulations are outdated and need to be changed. He is not looking to make any substantive changes to the regulations, but he is willing to work with the subcommittee on Regulations and Overpayments and report back to the Commission. Mr. Coffey and Mr. Carey concurred. Ms. Eagan asked whether the Comptroller's office should also be involved in the process. Ms. Braswell said she would work on a first draft for the Regulation and Overpayment subcommittee to take a look at. The target date would be to have something for the subcommittee to review in October.

12. REQUEST COMMISSION DISCUSSION OF SUITABLE AND COMPARABLE
Ms. Egan reported that a tentative agreement has been reached. SEBAC will consider with its members in August. Discussion is continuing on the offsets.

13. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON DECEASED PROCESSING Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to open this item for discussion. Mr. Casella stated that a case came to the Legal and Personnel Subcommittee. The question is how to determine if it is fraud or just someone not realizing that notification needs to be made of a death. Mr. Luciano reminded everyone that thirty years ago a spouse did not even have to sign a waiver so they may not know the procedure. Also, with direct deposit a spouse may not even know if the monthly amount has or would have to change. Mr. Cosgrove suggested sending out notification procedures with the monthly advice statement. If there is a question of fraud the ultimate decision to prosecute would be with the Chief State's Attorney's office. The Division will contact the Chief State's Attorney's Office for guidance and report back to the Commission.

14. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON SAMPIERI v SERC DECLARATORY RULING. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to open this item for discussion. After hearing from Attorney Rose, Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to have Attorney Rose draft a declaratory ruling for the August Commission meeting. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

15. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON MERS REEMPLOYMENT SURVEY Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to open this item to discussion. Mr. Luciano pointed out that this is still on the table until the Veto Session occurs next week. Ms. Mandour moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to table this item until the August Commission meeting. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

16. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW, DISCUSSION OF USE OF COURT REPORTERS FOR COMMISSION MEETINGS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to open this item for discussion. Mr. Carey stated that while the Commission wants to be as open and transparent as possible, the meetings are open to the public. Ms. Brown-Brewton stated that historically the court reporters were only used for hearings. Following discussion Mr. Carey moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to only use the court reporter if there is a hearing or otherwise hearing testimony. All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

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

Unanimous Decision

TABLED ITEMS

DECISION AND DECLARATORY RULING IN THE MATTER OF M QUINTILIANO
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to take this item off the table. Attorney Rose gave a brief summation and it was his advice that given the fact there was new financial information he would recommend it be remanded to the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee to review. Mr. Luciano and Mr. Fortier were in agreement. Mr. Quintiliano would have to agree to waive the timeline for the Declaratory Ruling for this to occur. The Chairman asked Mr. Quintiliano if he was willing to waive the timeline for the Declaratory Ruling and table this item until the Regulations and Overpayment Subcommittee had a chance to review the documents. Since Mr. Quintiliano did not state agreement, Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to deny the request. Ms. Egan questioned whether it was proper procedure to go from the full Commission back to a subcommittee. She also cautioned Mr. Qunitiliano that sometimes it's prudent to allow time for a second look. Ms. Mandour, Mr. Cosgrove and Ms. Egan voted no on the motion to deny. Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Carey, Mr. Casella, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Fortier, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Luciano, Mr. McLellan and Mr. Poulin upheld the motion.

Majority Decision

EXECUTIVE SESSION

At 10:19 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Fortier to go into Executive Session to discuss Bouchard v. SERC. Attorney Rose, Attorney Braswell, and Ms. Halpin were asked to remain in the room.

At 10:55 a.m. The Commission returned to Regular Session. No motions were made.

At 10:56 a.m. Attorney Rose asked that the agenda be amended to include Brown v. SERC
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to amend the agenda to discuss Brown v. SERC. All voted in favor. A 2/3rd majority was met to amend the agenda. Ms. Carlson, Ms. Halpin and Attorney Braswell left the room. Mr. Luciano, moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to go into Executive Session.

At 11:11 a.m. the Commission came out of Executive Session. No motions were made.

At 11:13 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to go into Executive Session to hear the SAG award group update. All voted in favor. Ms. Carlson, Ms. Halpin, Attorney Braswell, Attorney Barth and Attorney Christie remained in the room.

At 11:17 a.m. the Commission came out of Executive Session. No motions were made.

At 11:19 a.m. the Commission returned to Executive Session to discuss the three remaining items on the agenda. Attorney Barth and Attorney Christie left the room.

Cruz-Aponte - Petition for Declaratory Ruling - discussion and possible action
Chouhan v. UCONN Health Center - discussion and possible action
UPSEU Local 424 Unit 79 - Petition for Declaratory Ruling - discussion and possible action

At 11:25 a.m. The Commission returned to Regular Session. No motions were made.

Mr. Fortier requested that the Commission amend the agenda to discuss the two letters they received for informational purposes that morning, seconded by Mr. Luciano. All voted in favor. The 2/3rd majority was met to amend the agenda. Following discussion it was decided that Attorney Barth, Attorney Livingston and Ms. Egan would work together on the cap issues and keep the Commission apprised.

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, Chair
Retirement Services Division  

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