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

May 21, 2009

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter R. Blum, Chairman
Bob Baus
Steve Caliendo
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Richard Cosgrove
Thomas Culley
Steve Greatorex
Sal Luciano
Mary Marcial
Ronald McLellan
Claude Poulin
Linda Yelmini
ABSENT
Paul Fortier
Jeffrey Smith, Municipal Liaison

OTHERS PRESENT
Mark Ojakian, Deputy State Comptroller & Director, Retirement Services Division
Helen Kemp, Assistant Director, Counsel for the Retirement Services Division
Colin Newman, Assistant Director, Retirement Services Division
Jeanne Kopek, Assistant Director, Retirement Services Division
Karen Buffkin, Counsel for the State Comptroller
Marilyn Rodriguez, Secretary II, Retirement Services Division
Nancy Paretti, Court Reporter
GUESTS
George Spurlock

CALL TO ORDER
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m.

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

The Chairmen reported that the last court case had been settled but that the people involved had not yet received their payments. The Director advised that their adjustments would be reflected in their May 31st payroll checks. He further advised that the attorney has filed disclosures and interrogatories and may be seeking damages for mental anguish.
The Chairman advised that the actuarial subcommittee had interviewed consulting actuaries for SERS and MERS; further information would be included in the Subcommittee reports.
The Chairman explained that the Comptroller had received a letter from the Security Exchange Commission to the Treasurer which had been shared with the Commission. The letter is requesting information pertaining to pension plans. The Director and Ms. Buffkin will be working on answering the questions pertaining to the pension and copies will be forwarded to the trustees.
The Chairman further advised that the Commission was being kept up to date on the auditors. The Director shared a letter from the auditors advising that they were going to be doing a departmental audit of the Division for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2007 and 2008.
DIVISION DIRECTOR'S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT
Administrative
The Director reported that the current backlog of unfinalized State Employees Retirement System (SERS) accounts is approximately 6,588 with 74 new retirees for the month consisting of 56 normal retirements and 18 disability retirements; 44 applications were finalized for the month; 18 new disability applications were received and 25 applications were put on the Medical Examining Board agenda; 19 disability applications were approved. Currently, there are 59 disability applications pending review, 341 incomplete applications, and 155 denied applications with a total of 555 pending / incomplete disability applications as of April 2009.
The Director reported that the current backlog of Connecticut Municipal Employees Retirement System (CMERS) accounts to be recalculated is approximately 3,474 applications having recalculated 125 applications in April 2009. It was noted that a member of the MERS staff had been assigned on a full-time basis to assist in the RIP.

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE APRIL 16, 2009 MINUTES
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the April 16, 2009 minutes as amended. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's per diem and travel expenses reimbursement. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
3. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement System Voluntary Pending Disability Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
5. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009 APPROVED BY THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD AS OF MARCH 31, 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini approve the State Employees Retirement System Disability Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement System Retroactive Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM PRE-RETIREMENT DEATH BENEFIT RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement System
Pre-retirement Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES, FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
9. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND PERSONAL EXPENSES FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2009
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the Probate Judges and Employees Retirement Fund Personal Expenses. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
10. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the Municipal Retirement System Retirements. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
11. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEE'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustee's per diem and travel expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor.
Abstaining: Mr. Baus
Voting in opposition to the motion: none.
Majority Decision.
12. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION UNION TRUSTEE'S PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the State Employees Retirement
Commission Union Trustee's per diem and travel expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor.
Abstaining: Mr. Poulin
Voting in opposition to the motion: none.
Majority decision.
13. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETINGS OF APRIL 17, 2009 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to note and accept the recommendations of the Medical
Examining Board from its meeting of April 17, 2009 relative to applications for Disability Retirement
received from the Municipal Employees Retirement Systems. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
14. REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF THE APRIL 28, 2009 RECOMMENDATIONS RECEIVED FROM ITS SUBCOMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OVERPAYMENTS
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the recommendations received from its
Subcommittee on regulations and overpayments as amended. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
15. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND B BALANCE SHEET AND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2008
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the Connecticut Municipal Employees
Retirement Fund Balance sheet and Statement of Operations for fiscal year ending December 31, 2008.
All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
16. REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF THE APRIL 30, 2009 RECOMMEDATONS RECEIVED FROM ITS SUBCOMMITTEE ON PURCHASES OF SERVICE AND RELATED MATTERS
(1) Mary Ashton;
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Ms. Ashton's request to purchase her prior period of service as an Intermittent Claims Interviewer
from January 12, 1976 to May 5, 1977. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends denial of Ms. Ashton's request to purchase her prior service as an Intermittent Claims Interviewer from January 12, 1976 to May 5, 1977.
Ms. Ashton transferred into a permanent position at the Department of Labor (DOL) in 1977 and remained employed there until 1982. The opportunity to purchase her prior service was made available in December 1980. The DOL has always maintained that it has always remained diligent in its efforts to provide its employees of any retirement changes or deadlines. The presumption of notice has been overcome therefore there are no extenuating circumstances that would warrant a waiver of the deadline.

(2) Mittie Bailey;
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
approve Ms. Bailey's request to receive vesting and credited service in Tier II for her service pursuant to
a personal services agreement from October 14, 1991 to April 2, 1992. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends approval of Ms. Bailey's request to obtain vesting and credited service for her prior contractual service from October 14, 1991 to April 2, 1992.
Ms. Bailey transitioned seamlessly into a permanent position following her contractual service with the Department of Correction. Pursuant to the SEBAC V provision that prohibits the granting of retirement credit if the pay received for the contractual service reflects in part recognition of exclusion from the State's benefit plans, the Retirement Commission has determined that if the individual's compensation significantly diminishes in the transition from a contractual arrangement to state employment there is a rebuttable presumption that the difference represents additional compensation in recognition of being excluded. The Subcommittee in applying this provision as a guideline concluded that Ms. Bailey's rate of pay did not diminish significantly in transitioning to state employment therefore accordingly, her request was granted.
(3) Lorna Champagne
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
approve Ms. Champagne's request to receive retirement credit in Tier II for her prior service rendered
from August 1, 1986 to March 7, 1991. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends approval of Ms. Champagne's request to receive vesting and credited service in Tier II for her prior state service from August 1, 1986 to March 7, 1991.
Ms. Champagne was a member of the State Employees Retirement System Tier II plan from August 1986 to March 1991 whereupon she transferred membership to the Alternate Retirement Plan (ARP) due to a change in employment where she remained until 1998 when, due to another employment change she had to return to SERS Tier II. Although Ms. Champagne's period of separation from Tier II was greater than her prior period of participation she never experienced a break in service and her changes in retirement plan membership were through employment actions that were beyond her control. Accordingly, with no break in service Ms. Champagne was not subject to any permanent break rule provisions allowing the Trustees to provide the relief that she was seeking.
This decision led the Trustees to adopt the following policy:

If the record reflects that an individual changed retirement plan membership between any of the three systems (SERS, ARP, TRS) due to a change in job status wherein membership in SERS is no longer viable and subsequently returns to a job classification which requires the resumption of membership within SERS, that individual may obtain retirement credit for the prior period of service within SERS as long as the pertinent plan provisions have been met.
(4) Walter Cox
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Mr. Cox's late request to purchase retirement credit under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-
180(b) for his prior military service. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends denial of Mr. Cox's late request to purchase retirement credit under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-180(b) for his prior military service from September 4, 1960 to March 10, 1961.
Mr. Cox first made application to purchase his military service in 1988, well beyond the October 1, 1985 deadline associated with this type of purchase. His recollection of never seeing the June 1985 and September 1985 notices issued regarding the deadline due to heavy workload is not evidence enough to justify a waiver of the deadline. Accordingly, his request was denied.
(5) Mary Janicki

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Ms. Janicki's late request to rescind her membership in Tier II for the purpose of enrolling in Tier I
and purchasing retirement credit for her prior state service. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends denial of Ms. Janicki's late request to rescind membership in Tier II for the purpose of enrolling in Tier I and purchasing all prior state service.
Ms Janicki was appropriately placed upon her hire into state service in 1982. Her claim that she was never properly advised of her Tier plan coverage and that she never received notice of the October 1, 1985 deadline is not sufficiently corroborated by her employing agency. Accordingly, the Subcommittee does not find any evidence sufficient to rebut the presumption of notice that would justify a waiver of the deadline.
(6) Nancy Konopacke
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to approve Ms. Konopacke's late request to purchase her prior state service as an Intermittent Claims Interviewer (ICI) from January 30, 1975 to May 6, 1976. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommends approval of Ms. Konopacke's late request to purchase her prior ICI service from January 30, 1975 to May 6, 1976.
This matter was tabled at the November 20, 2008 Subcommittee meeting to enable the Division to obtain additional information from Ms. Konopacke's subsequent employing agency; the Department of Social Services as to whether their employees were ever notified of the opportunity that had opened up in December 1980 to purchase this type of service. The agency could not find any evidence that their employees had ever been notified. Accordingly, the Subcommittee felt this extenuating circumstance warranted a waiver of the October 1, 1985 deadline.
(7) Daniel Micari
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Mr. Micari's request to obtain retirement credit for his prior service with the State of Massachusetts from June 1971 to August 1986. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Micari's request to obtain additional retirement credit in Tier II for his prior service with the State of Massachusetts.
Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-192i(h) set forth the requirements that allow a state employee to obtain retirement credit for prior service with another state. Among those requirements is the provision that the state in which the prior service was rendered make similar provisions for former State of Connecticut employees. The trustees noted that a similarly situated former Connecticut state employee would be denied retirement credit by the State of Massachusetts. The Subcommittee finds the statutory provisions prohibit the granting of his request. The trustees also directed the Division to review the record of a retired employee that Mr. Micari had provided as evidentiary support for his claim.
(8) Stanley Peck
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Mr. Peck's request to purchase retirement credit for his prior state service from September 1, 1972
to June 15, 1973. All voted in favor
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Peck's late request to purchase retirement credit under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-181(a) for his prior state service from September 1, 1972 to June 15, 1973.
Mr. Peck's uncorroborated assertions that he never received notice of the October 1, 1985 deadline associated with this type of purchase and that he received erroneous information from this Division as a response to his late request in 1997 are without merit and are insufficient to justify a waiver of the deadline.
(9) Honey Sammartano
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Ms. Sammartano's late request to purchase retirement credit for her prior state service from July
21, 1978 to July 26, 1979. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Ms. Sammartano's late request to purchase retirement credit for her prior state service from July 21, 1978 to July 26, 1979.
Although Ms. Sammartano made a timely application to purchase her prior state service she failed to respond to the Division's payment notices. Due to her lack of action and as advised in the "last chance" letter she permanently forfeited her right to obtain retirement credit for this service. The Subcommittee finds no evidence of extenuating circumstances sufficient to justify a waiver of the October 1, 1985 deadline.
(10) Robin Sutherland
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
approve George Sutherland's request to make a posthumous non-service connected disability retirement
application for his late wife electing the one hundred percent option. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends approval of the request made by George Sutherland that he is permitted to make a posthumous non-service connected disability retirement application for his late wife electing the one hundred percent option.
Robin Sutherland, a forty-one year old Tier II hazardous duty member of SERS passed away after accruing approximately eighteen years and nine months of vesting and credited service. It was Mr. Sutherland's contention that his wife intended to retire. The record reflects evidence that the employing agency was in the process of supporting Ms. Sutherland pursue that avenue. Accordingly, the Trustees find that there is justification for granting this request.
(11) Gerald Witnik
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Mr. Witnik's late request to change his benefit payment election option from fifty percent to
spouse to the straight life annuity. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Mr. Witnik's late request to change his retirement election payment option from fifty percent to spouse to the straight life annuity.
Mr. Witnik commenced receiving his retirement benefit under the fifty percent to spouse option effective September 1, 2007. He contacted the Division in 2008 requesting to change his payment election option to the straight life annuity option stating that he was in the process of getting a divorce. His reason for the late request was he had been advised to do so by his legal representatives. The Trustees find that the clear SERS plan provisions prohibit them from granting the relief that Mr. Witnik was seeking.
(12) Rebecca Wood
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to
deny Ms. Wood's request to rescind her membership in Tier IIA of SERS for the purpose of enrolling
into the Alternate Retirement Plan (ARP). All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
The above denial was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Ms. Wood's late request to rescind her membership in Tier IIA of SERS for the purpose of enrolling into ARP.
Pursuant to SEBAC V Ms. Wood, a State University Assistant Professor had a six month window from her commencement of state service in August 2003 to elect her retirement plan membership in either SERS, ARP or TRS. Ms. Wood did not comply and defaulted to the SERS Tier IIA plan. Ms. Wood claimed that the University did not explain the default provisions to her and that her personal circumstances prevented her from investigating this further. The Trustees find that the extenuating circumstances do not warrant a waiver of the SERS provisions that bar them from granting her request.
17. REQUEST RECEIVED FROM RICHARD G. FUREY THAT THE COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDER ITS AUGUST 23, 2007 DENIAL OF HIS REQUEST TO TRANSFER FROM THE ALTERNATE RETIREMENT PROGRAM TO THE SERS TIER II HAZARDOUS DUTY RETIREMENT PLAN
Richard G. Furey was first employed on January 25, 1993 by the Department of Corrections (DOC),
Health Services in a classification currently designated as hazardous duty pursuant to the 1988 - 1994
Pension Arbitration Award (PAA) and was covered under the hazardous duty provisions of the State
Employees Retirement System (SERS) Tier II retirement plan. In 1997, following the consolidation of
DOC health services through the University of Connecticut Health Center's Correctional Managed
Healthcare Program (UCHC-CMHC), Furey became an employee of UCHC-CMHC and continued to be
covered under the hazardous duty provisions of Tier II through May 31, 2001.
Effective June 1, 2001, Furey was promoted to Administrator I Correctional Managed Health Service, an
unclassified, managerial position. As such he became eligible for and elected membership in the
Alternate Retirement Program (ARP). Furey was promoted to Administrator II Correctional Managed
Health Service at UCHC on September 21, 2001. The classifications of Administrator I Correctional
Managed Health Service and Administrator II Correctional Managed Health Service are not designated
as hazardous duty.
On April 5, 2004, Furey wrote to the Division requesting that he be considered for coverage under the
hazardous duty provisions of SERS for his employment as a Health Services Administrator with UCHC-
CMHC. By letter dated May 6, 2004 the Division advised Furey that his request would not be
considered as he was not entitled to benefits under the hazardous duty provisions of SERS since he was
a member of the ARP.
At its June 17, 2004 meeting, the Commission accepted the recommendation of the Subcommittee on
Hazardous Duty Service Credit to approve the requests for coverage under the hazardous duty provisions
of SERS on a case-specific basis of five individuals employed at UCHC in the Health Services
Administrator II classification.
On November 14, 2004 Furey wrote to the Division requesting once again that he be covered under the
hazardous duty provisions of SERS claiming that his election of membership in the ARP was due solely
to the fact that the Health Services Administrator classification was not designated as hazardous duty at
the time of his promotion in 2001. By letter dated March 18, 2005 the Division again advised Furey that
his request could not be considered as he had been appropriately provided with the option to elect and
had elected membership in the ARP and was not presently a member of SERS.
By letter dated May 1, 2006 Furey requests Commission review of the Division's administrative denial
of his request. He contends that his options were not clearly explained to him at the time of his
promotion in 2001 and requests that he be allowed to rescind his membership in ARP and return to Tier
II hazardous duty retirement plan membership.
The Division advised Furey by letter dated July 31, 2006 that his claim would be presented to the
Commission's Subcommittee on Purchase of Service and Related Matters at its meeting in September
2006.
On September 20, 2006 the Commission's Subcommittee on Purchase of Service and Related Matters
considered Richard G. Furey's request. The Subcommittee directed the Division to obtain to obtain
testimony from the University of Connecticut Health Center's (UCHC) Department of Human
Resources regarding Furey's contention that he was not appropriately advised of his retirement plan
membership options at the time of his promotion in 2001 and tabled the matter pending receipt of such
testimony.
By letter dated November 3, 2006 the Division requested written comments concerning Furey's request
from Brian Eaton, Director of Human Resources at UCHC; a response was received from David Paye,
Benefit Specialist at UCHC by memo dated November 29, 2006. Paye indicates that Furey was advised
by a former employee of UCHC, Anna Suski-Lenczewski, at the time of his promotion in 2001 that his
new position was not a hazardous duty position and that he would no longer be contributing four percent
towards his retirement. Suski-Lenczewski further advised Furey that this promotion provided him with
the opportunity to transfer his retirement plan membership to the Alternate Retirement Program (ARP)
which he chose to do.
On June 15, 2007 the Subcommittee again considered Furey's request and unanimously recommended
denial of his claim finding no extenuating circumstances sufficient to justify a change in his retirement
plan membership.
At its August 23, 2007 meeting, the Commission voted by unanimous decision to adopt the
recommendation of the Subcommittee and denied Furey's request to transfer from the ARP to SERS
Tier II hazardous duty retirement plan membership in accordance with the Subcommittee's findings.
Furey was notified of the Commission's decision by letter dated November 1, 2007; on October 14,
2008 Furey wrote to the Division requesting that the Commission review and reconsider its decision and
provide him with the opportunity to present his case at a hearing pursuant to CGS, Section 5-155a(k)
and 5-155a(g).
In accordance with Furey's October 14, 2008 request, the Division scheduled a hearing before the
Commission on May 21, 2009.
By electronic mail on May 8, 2009 Furey provided two letters of support for his request from the
Warden and Deputy Warden of MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.
Furey appeared before the Commission accompanied by his supervisor, Dr. Robert Trestman, Professor
of Medicine and Psychiatry at UConn. Dr. Trestman indicated the he was attending in support of Furey.
Furey explained that he had been employed as a psychiatric social worker, a hazardous duty position, at
the Osborn Correctional Institute for a number of years before taking his current position as an
administrator at the McDougal Correctional Institution. Furey advised that hazardous duty was not
available to the health services administrators when he took the administrator position. He further
advised that the person in charge of benefits had been laid off at that time so he had no clear direction as
to the way to go for his retirement. He was just told that there was no hazardous duty retirement, but he
had the option of joining the ARP under which he would pay five percent and the state will add an
additional eight percent.
Furey contended that was the extent of his education on the different retirement plans and indicated that
the fact that he was told that there was no option for hazardous duty made him think that the ARP plan
was a better option. In 2004 one of the health services administrators petitioned that all health services
administrators be included in hazardous duty and Furey believed that four administrators were returned
to hazardous duty. Furey advised that he had requested to be included in that petition but had been
denied because of his ARP membership. In the letter that was subsequently sent to him, Furey was
advised that he could only change plans if he had an opportunity not previously available present itself.
He stated that this was an opportunity that was not previously available and asked that he be returned to
hazardous duty retirement. Furey described his work in a maximum security prison as being in contact
with inmates all the time and stated that he was accessible to inmates in his office at any time. He
concluded by advising that he had the support of his warden, deputy warden and Deputy Commissioner
Murphy from whom he had brought a letter copies of which were distributed to the Trustees at the
request of the Chairman. Letters from his warden and deputy warden were included in the packet of
information previously provided to the Trustees.
The Chairman asked Dr. Trestman if he had anything to say. Trestman stated that he was fully in
support of Furey's petition and that Furey was indeed serving in an environment that merited hazardous
duty.
In response a questions from the Trustees, Trestman advised that not all administrators were in
hazardous duty due to vagaries in their history as they came on board and Furey advised that most of the
newer administrators were in the ARP. A statement in the March 18, 2003 letter to Furey concerning the
bona fide change in employment was discussed. Furey agreed that was the reason he went into ARP in
2001 but again contended that the fact that hazardous duty was not available to him at that time was the
deciding factor in his decision and again that he was not given clear direction by agency human
resources staff.
Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Casella to deny Furey's request to transfer from the ARP
to SERS Tier II hazardous duty retirement plan membership finding that there was no justification to
depart from the Commission's policy of denying such requests where there were no extenuating
circumstances sufficient to justify a change in his retirement plan membership.
The Trustees discussed the fact that such a change was not appropriate under IRS regulations and
requested that information be provided to Furey in writing and that revisiosn to election forms be made
to further emphasize the irrevocable nature of such elections. All voted in favor.
Unanimous Decision
ADDENDUM
After discussion Mr. Baus moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano to amend the effective date for the change
in the option factors to June 1, 2009 using the same procedures for implementation as in the original
motion. All voted in favor.
ADJOURNMENT
Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to adjourn the meeting. All voted in favor.
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 10:10 a.m.


______________________________
Peter R. Blum. Chairman
State Employees Retirement Commission


_________________________________
Mark Ojakian, Director

Return to Meetings, Agendas and Minutes Home Page
Return to Comptroller's Home Page