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

November 21, 2013

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter Blum
Robert Baus
Sandra Fae Brown-Brewton
Michael Carey
Charles Casella
Robert Coffey
Richard Cosgrove
Paul Fortier
Steve Greatorex
Sal Luciano
Laila Mandour
Ronald McLellan
Claude Poulin
Linda Yelmini

TRUSTEES ABSENT
James Dzurenda

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS
Martha Carlson, Deputy Comptroller

MUNICIPAL LIAISON
Thomas Landry

OTHERS PRESENT
Brenda Halpin, Director, Retirement Services Division
Peggy Gray, Executive Secretary, Retirement Services Division
Natalie Braswell, Asst. Comptroller
Colin Newman, Asst. Director, Retirement Services Division
Nicole Dorman, Temporary Counsel to the Commission

GUESTS
Brian Bardo
Kathleen Eldergill, Attorney for Donna Sampieri
Donna Sampieri
Andrew Houlding, Attorney for David Leff
David Leff
James Sandler, Attorney for Dr. David Carter
Attorney Dan Mara, Attorney for Dr. David Carter
Dr. David Carter

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.

Chairman's Report

As a Point of Personal Privilege, Mr. Coffey announced that he plans to retire from State service as of February 1, 2014, but does not plan to retire from the Commission.

Division Director's Administrative Report for the Retirement Commission

Following the close of the November retirement payroll, the Division processed 91 new retirees (82 normal, 5 Voluntary Pending, 4 Hybrid and there were no disabilities due to the cancellation of the October 18th MEB meeting). Finalizations for the month of November were 196 (185 normal and 11 disabilities). The total number of unfinalized retirement records is approximately 12,127.
We have received a total of 935 requests to transfer from the ARP to Hybrid. Of that number 785 were transfers, 139 retirees, 9 waivers, 3 prospective. We received in 53 applications during the month.
Pending Disability Applications as of October 31, 2013
Applications preliminarily reviewed: 63
Applications awaiting documentation: 179
Applications scheduled: 201
Total Pending: 443

FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
Number of Applications Received 17
Number of Applications on Agenda 0
Number of Applications Approved 0

At the present time, we are reviewing cases from October 2013. The next available meeting for scheduling is June 2014.

I am pleased to announce that the Division is working with Accenture on Phase I of the Pension Module Project. The staff have been involved in daily meetings with the Accenture team to document our procedures.
We continue to resolve data file issues on the Employee Benefit Statements. And expect to have copies available at the December Commission meeting.
We have received a request from the Deep River Housing Authority stating their interested in joining CMERS. We have provided information to the Housing Authority.

NEW MATTERS

1. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE OCTOBER 17, 2013 MINUTES Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the October 17, 2013 minutes. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

2. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION CHAIRMAN'S PER DIEM EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman's Per Diem Expenses reimbursements. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

3. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2013 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Service retirements for the month of October 2013. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

4. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2013 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employees Retirement System Disability retirements for the month of October 2013. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

5. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES SYSTEM VOLUNTARY PENDING RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2013 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut State Employees System Voluntary Pending retirements for the month of October 2013. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision
6. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER 2013 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut Employees Retirement System Retroactive retirements for the month of October 2013. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

7. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Municipal Retirement System retirements. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

8. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE CONNECTICUT PROBATE JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees Retirement System retirements. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

9. 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

10. 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 Trustees Per Diem and Travel Expenses. All voted in favor Mr. Poulin Abstained

Majority Decision

11. REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF ITS SUBCOMMITTEE PURCHASE OF SERVICE AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS FROM ITS MEETING ON OCTOBER 8, 2013 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve the recommendations of its subcommittee on Purchase of Service and other Related Matters. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

12. REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETING ON June 7, 2013 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendations of the Medical Examining Board from its meeting on June 7, 2013 relative to applications for Disability Retirement received from the Municipal Employees Retirement System. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

13. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE CONNECTICUT JUDGES AND EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND PERSONNEL EXPENSES FOR PAY PERIODS June 14, 2013 THROUGH October 2, 2013 - Item was reviewed

14. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PENSION FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET AS OF JUNE 30, 2013
Item was reviewed

15. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 - Item was reviewed

16. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE STATE ATTORNEY'S RETIREMENT FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 Item was reviewed

17. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE JUDGES' FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES' AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONERS' FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 Item was reviewed

18. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS' RETIREMENT FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 Item was reviewed

19. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE PROBATE JUDGES' AND EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 Item was reviewed

20. REQUEST COMMISSION REVIEW OF THE CONNECTICUT POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN SURVIVORS' BENEFIT FUND STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND BALANCE SHEET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2013 Item was reviewed

21. REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION FROM THE MUNICIPAL LIAISON OF THE RETIREMENT COMMISSION CONCERNING CMERS. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Coffey to move this item to the Actuarial Subcommittee. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

22. REQUEST RECEIVED FROM PHYLLIS ALSTON THAT THE COMMISSION POSTHUMOUSLY CHANGE DECEASED RETIREE JOSEPH ALSTON'S STRAIGHT LIFE ANNUITY OPTION ELECTION AS THEY WERE MARRIED AT THE TIME OF HIS RETIREMENT FROM SERS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to table this item until January 2014 for further information. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

23. REQUEST RECEIVED FROM DONNA SAMPIERI THAT THE COMMISSION REVIEW AND RECONSIDER ITS DECEMBER 20, 2012 DENIAL OF HER REQUEST TO TRANSFER FROM TIER II TO TIER I IN SERS Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Ms. Mandour to table this item until January 2014 for further information. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

24. REQUEST RECEIVED FROM DR. DAVID CARTER AND ATTORNEY MARA TO PETITION THE COMMISSION Ms. Mandour moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to table this item to the February 2014 meeting. Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Carey, Mr. Casella, Mr. Cosgrove, Mr. Fortier, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. McLellan, Mr. Poulin, Ms. Mandour, Ms. Yelmini voted to table until the February 2014 meeting. Mr. Luciano voted no.

Majority Decision

25. DISCUSSION OF THE TOWN OF THOMPSON AND ITS NEW HIRES PARTICIPATION IN CMERS The Chairman is drafting a letter to the Town. The Trustees were asked to send their comments by November 26, 2013.

TABLED MATTERS

REQUEST APPROVAL OF THE PARTICIPATION OF REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT 16, BUSINESS OFFICE IN THE CONNECTICUT MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to approve this item on the condition that a new clarifying letter is sent from the District. Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Carey, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Cosgrove, Mr. Fortier, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Luciano, Ms. Mandour, Mr. McLellan, Mr. Poulin, Ms. Yelmini voted yeah. Mr. Casella voted no.

Majority Decision

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to enter into Executive Session at 12:29 p.m.. Attorney Dorman and Director Brenda Halpin were invited to stay.

At 12:45 p.m. the Commission came out of Executive Session. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr. Luciano to issue the following Declaratory Ruling;

By virtue of and pursuant to the powers vested in the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission by the State Employees Retirement Act, the Commission issues the following declaratory ruling.

The Commission grants in part and denies in part the Petitioner's request that it reverse the decision of the MEB to rescind Petitioner's disability pension retroactively to March 10, 2006, when the MEB originally approved Petitioner's disability pension

On August 26, 2010 the MEB made a medical determination that there was reasonable doubt as to not only whether Petitioner was ever truly disabled, but also his continued permanent disability from suitable and comparable work. The Commission concludes that there is no substantive evidence to support a finding that a subsequent MEB has statutory authority to revisit the medical findings and judgment of a previous MEB. In view of that conclusion, that portion of Petitioner's request which addresses the March 6, 2006 retroactive date is granted.

This leaves the second question of whether Petitioner continued to be disabled from suitable and comparable work. The Commission finds that, on August 26, 2010, the MEB properly exercised its medical judgment and found there was reasonable doubt as to Petitioners' continued entitlement to disability retirement. That exercise of medical judgment was subsequently confirmed by the MEB after a fair and proper review of all the relevant evidence.

Therefore, the Commission concludes that Petitioner's disability pension be discontinued as of August 26, 2010.

At 12:50 p.m. Ms. Brown-Brewton voted to return to Executive Session to discuss the Maturo matter. All voted in favor. At 1:13 p.m. the Commission came out of Executive Session with the decision to schedule Mr. Maturo for a hearing on December 18, 2013. All voted in favor.

The following items were for discussion only in Executive Session. No motions were made.

Invoices from Robinson and Cole
Invoices from Ice Miller
Hiring Commission Counsel update
415 (b) Ruling Update

At 1:15 p.m. Ms. Yelmini moved to adjourn the meeting.

ADJOURNMENT


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


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