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

 

October 21, 2010

TRUSTEES PRESENT
Peter R. Blum, Chair
Robert Baus
Charles Casella
Richard Cosgrove
Claude Poulin
Michael Carey
Linda Yelmini
Fae Brown-Brewton
Sal Luciano
Bob Coffey
Ronald McLellan
James Dzurenda
Thomas Culley
Steve Greatorex
Paul Fortier

MUNICIPAL LIASONS
Thomas Landry
Dominic Absent - Absent

OTHERS PRESENT
Mark Ojakian, Deputy Comptroller and Director, Retirement Services
Craig Henrici, Counsel to the State Comptroller
Colin Newman, Asst. Director, Retirement Services
Jeanne Kopek, Asst. Director, Retirement Services
Helen Kemp, Asst. Director, Division Attorney, Retirement Services

GUESTS
Priscilla Dickman
William Dickman

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 10:08 AM.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
The Chairman welcomed Michael Carey as a new Trustee to the Commission.

DIVISION DIRECTOR’S ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

The first order of business was swearing in new Trustee Michael Carey and the Chairman, Peter Blum to another term as Neutral Chair.

On the disability side we have 70 applications pending that are new.  258  applications are waiting for further documentation and 113 applications are scheduled for upcoming MEB meetings.  Total pending is 441.  For the month of September 30 applications were received and 25 were  placed on the agenda.  14 applications were approved.  At present time we are scheduling meetings for March 2011.  We continue to work with UCONN to attempt to place more physicians on the MEB.

Following the close of the October 2010 Retirement Payroll, the current backlog of unfinalized retirement records is approximately 10,862.  The Division processed 97 new retirees to the payroll (79 normal, 18 disabilities).  Finalizations for the month were 42.

The Deputy Comptroller reported that this is his last Retirement Commission meeting.  In an effort for a smooth transition for the new administration the Deputy will be stepping down from his dual roll as Division Director for Retirement Services.  Jeanne Kopek will now be Acting Director of Retirement Services.

NEW MATTERS

1.     REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 MINUTES. 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Brown-Brewton to approve the minutes of September 16, 2010 with 2 changes.  MERS was spelled incorrectly and the minutes need to reflect that Mr. Greatorex was absent from the  meeting. All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

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

Unanimous Decision

3.     REQUST APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM SERVICE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
2010.  Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Dzurenda to approve the State Employees Retirement System Service Retirements for the month of September 2010.  All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision
4.     REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEMS VOLUNTARY PENDING DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2010.
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Dzurenda to approve the State Employees Retirement Systems Voluntary Pending Disability Retirements for the month of September 2010.  All voted in favor Unanimous Decision       

5.     REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM DISABILITY RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2010. 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Dzurenda to approve the State Employees Retirement System Disability Retirements for the month of September 2010.  All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

6.     REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEMS RETROACTIVE RETIREMENTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2010. 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Dzurenda to approve the State Employees Retirement Systems Retroactive
Retirements for the month of September 2010.    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 SEPTEMBER 2010. 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to hold this item till the information is corrected for next month.  All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

8.     REQUEST COMMISSION ACCEPTANCE OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD FROM ITS MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 RELATIVE TO APPLICATIONS FOR DISABILITY
RETIREMENTS 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 September 24, 2010 relative to applications for Disability Retirments received from the Municipal Employees Retirement System.  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 SEPTEMBER 2010. 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Connecticut Probate Judges and Employees expenses for the month of September 2010.  All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

10.    REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT FUND  
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve of the Municipal Retirement System Retirements.  All
voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

11.    REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE JUDGES, FAMILY SUPPORT  MAGISTRATES AND COMPENSATION COMMISSIONERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM RETIREMENTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2010
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the Judges, Family Magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System Retirements  for September 2010.  All voted in favor.

Unanimous Decision

12.    REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION MANAGEMENT TRUSTEES PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS  Mr. Luciano moved,
seconded by Mr. Culley to approve the State Employees Retirement Commission Management Trustees Per Diem and Travel Expenses reimbursements.  All voted in favor,  Mr. Baus abstained. 

Unanimous Decision

13.    REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT UNION TRUSTEES PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENTS Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Greatorex to
approve the State Employees Retirement Union Trustees Per Diem and Travel Expenses.  All voted in favor, Mr. Poulin abstained.

Unanimous Decision  

14.    REQUEST COMMISSION CONSIDERATION OF THE SEPTEMBER  22, 2010 RECOMMENDATIONS RECEIVED FROM ITS SUBCOMMITEE ON PURCHASE OF SERVICE AND RELATED MATTERS

(1)  Christine Bouffard

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its 
Subcommittee to deny Ms. Bouffard’s request to transfer from the Teachers Retirement (TRS) to the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) Tier IIA plan finding Ms. Bouffard’s claim was insufficient for granting the type of relief that  she was seeking.

                Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey,
                Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin Yelmini

                Voting in opposition to the motion:  None

                Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Ms. Bouffard’s request to transfer her retirement plan membership from TRS to SERS Tier IIA.

Ms. Bouffard commenced full-time state employment with the Department of education (DOE) effective January 2004 electing to continue her TRS plan membership having accrued thirteen years of service previously as a municipal public school employee. It was her assertion that due to time constraints placed upon her with respect to her ability to choose a plan and her decision to follow the advice  represented to her by TRS and the Union determined her remaining in TRS. After reviewing evidence provided by the DOE the Subcommittee determined that Ms. Bouffard’s claim was insufficient for granting the type of relief that she was seeking.

(2) Karen Ohrenberger

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Ms. Ohrenberger’s request to rescind her membership in Tier II for the purpose of enrolling in Tier I.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey, Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of Ms. Ohrenberger’s request to rescind her retirement plan membership in Tier II for the purpose of enrolling in Tier I.

Ms. Ohrenberger commenced state service on April 15, 1983 and was appropriately placed in Tier II based upon her collective bargaining status. Her date of hire afforded her the opportunity to transfer between Tiers in 1985. Her assertion that she never received notice of the transfer opportunity prior to October 1, 1985 is uncorroborated. Accordingly, the Subcommittee is unable to find any extenuating circumstances that would be sufficient to grant her request.

(3) Kenneth Okeke

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to approve the request made by the Department of Correction (DOC) on behalf of Mrs. Okeke that a posthumous non-service connected disability retirement application be completed for Mr. Okeke with the election of the fifty percent to spouse option.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey, Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends approval of a request made by the DOC on behalf of Mrs. Okeke that a posthumous non-service connected disability retirement application be completed for Mr. Okeke with the election of the fifty percent to spouse option.

Kenneth Okeke was a Tier II hazardous duty DOC employee who had accrued approximately nineteen years and five months of service at the time of his death. It was the claim of the employing agency that Mr. Okeke had indicated to his spouse of his intention to retire under a medical retirement due to his poor medical history. documentation including notarized statements provided in support of the claim was reviewed by the Subcommittee. Accordingly, the Trustees found sufficient justification to grant the relief being sought.

(4) Paul Orsini
 
Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny the request following the commencement of income payments to change the payment election option of a deceased retiree from the straight life annuity option to a spousal option.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey, Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee unanimously recommends denial of the request made on behalf of Mr. Orsini’s widow that Mr. Orsini’s income payment election be changed from a straight life annuity option to a spousal option.

Mr. Orsini retired effective January 1, 1988 electing the straight life annuity option. following the ratification of the 1988-1994 Pension Arbitration Award, Mr. Orsini in December 1989 was provided with the opportunity to change his income payment election wherein he could provide upon his death a lifetime annuity to Mrs. Orsini. Mr. Orsini never responded to the opportunity and eventually passed away in May 2010. Mr. Orsini’s family claimed that his primary language was Italian and that he was unable to read anything in English. It was also asserted that if Mr. Orsini ever received any official type document he would have given it to his son to interpret who himself does not remember his father ever presenting a letter describing the opportunity. The Subcommittee determined that the claim needed to be developed finding that there was not enough evidence of extenuating circumstances that would justify granting the relief that was being sought.

(5) Suzanne Silengo

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Ms. Silengo’s request for additional retirement credit for work performed under Personal Services Agreements (PSA’s) for intermittent periods between October 14, 1991 and June 24, 1993.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey, Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin, Yelmini

Voting in opposition to the motion: None

Unanimous decision

The above approval was adopted in accordance with the following findings of the Subcommittee.

Ms. Silengo rendered her contractual service on an intermittent basis from October 14, 1991 to June 24, 1993. In addition to her pay under the contractual arrangement significantly exceeding her rate of pay upon commencement of state employment, the period of time between her termination under the contractual arrangement and her date of hire into state service did not appear to meet the Commission standard of a seamless transition. The Subcommittee found Ms. Silengo’s assertions were insufficient to grant retirement credit.

(6) Sheri Silverman

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Ms. Yelmini to accept the recommendation of its Subcommittee to deny Ms. Silverman’s request to be made eligible to receive three additional years of retirement credit pursant to the 2009 Retirement Incentive.

Voting in favor of the motion: Baus, Brown-Brewton, Carey, Casella, Coffey, Cosgrove, Culley, Dzurenda, Fortier, Greatorex, Luciano, McLellan, Poulin, Yelmini

15. REQUEST COMMISSION DECISION APPROVAL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MATTERS CONSIDERED AT THE SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 MEETING OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OVERPAYMENTS

A. The Reidy Situation (MERS) - (contingent annuitants) Overpayment due to SSDI reduction: three daughters of deceased member have been overpaid due to the member’s unreported SSDI award. This item consists of three waiver requests: one from each of the daughters (he chose a twenty year certain & each daughter is a contingent annuitant under that option).

Mr. Reidy was very ill. He called about his MERS retirement benefit on March 1, 2005 and was sent information by MERS. He was sent a letter about his benefit which noted the social security disability offset. He applied for a MERS retirement on March 8, 2005. He took a 20 year certain payment option with his three daughters as his contingent annuitants. It appears that Mr. Reidy applied for social security disability benefits in February 2005 and that he received at least one month of benefits just before he died (total amount received was $1616.00). He died March 27, 2005 prior to receipt of his first MERS check and perhaps prior to the actual receipt of his social security check. Mr. Reidy’s benefit should have been reduced from the start of his retirement due to his receipt of social security disability. It was not. His daughters’ benefit is based upon the amount of Mr. Reidy’s benefit at the time of his death. Therefore his daughters received a greater benefit than they would have been entitled to receive had MERS known about the social security award at the time. The daughters each received a monthly benefit of $805.75 when it should have been $671.68.

At its September 29, 2010, the Overpayment Subcommittee moved, by majority vote, to recommend to the Commission to deny all three requests for a waiver of repayment of an overpayment as the three contingent annuitants failed to meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval.

The Commission discussed whether due to his illness and the closeness in time between his application and death, it was more likely than not Mr. Reidy had notice and/or knowledge of the social security disability offset and of his requirement to inform MERS of the receipt of such benefits. It determined that Mr. Reidy was so ill, the sequence of events was so close in time, and that letters and forms were not clear as whether Mr. Reidy had a duty to notify MERS upon application to social security that therefore Mr. Reidy could not have been reasonably expected to know about his duty to information MERS and that he was not at fault for the overpayment that occurred..

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second that Mr. Reidy met the first two of the three criteria required for the waiver of repayment of an overpayment and the matter referred back to the subcommittee to determine if the three contingent annuitants would suffer a financial hardship by repayment of the overpayment. Unanimous decision.

B. Getulio Perez (MERS) - Overpayment due to receiving a workers compensation award and not reporting it to MERS.

Mr. Perez’s overpayment is due to his receipt of workers compensation benefits while collecting SCD benefits. Mr. Perez was injured on the job in 1999. Mr. Perez made application for a MERS SCD retirement benefit on May 15, 2000. He asked to receive his "regular" retirement benefit "pending" SCD determination. Workers compensation payments are not "offset" against a regular retirement: however when SCD is approved it is made retroactive to the date of application. Mr. Perez did not provide all of the medical documents requested by the MEB and the decision was delayed until he sent in the information

In reviewing the file and his application, MERS noted via a letter dated August 3, 2000 that he was receiving "TTD" benefits from workers compensation which prevented him from receiving a SCD benefit. MERS received a letter from Mr. Perez’s workers compensation attorneys which stated that although he was entitled to receive them, he was currently not receiving any benefits "at his choice" until a permanency was established for his arm. No mention was made of any attempted stipulation or settlement. It is important to note that a PPD amount is not an offset to a disability retirement benefit.

Mr. Perez entered into a Stipulated Agreement with regard to his workers compensation claim on or about October 19, 2000. MERS was not aware of this Agreement at that time. This Stipulation paid Mr. Gerez a lump sum of $57,500 based upon a life expectancy of 20.1 years and a payment of $238.39 per month. This is the amount that would have been deducted from his MERS retirement benefit had MERS been informed of the agreement at that time.

His SCD application was not approved until February 22, 2002 (the date the MEB decision was written was March 19, 2002): it was made retroactive to July 1, 2000. Mr. Perez was sent a letter dated March 22, 2002 stating that if was receiving workers compensation or began to receive workers compensation, he should contact MERS. However by that time a settlement had occurred.

Mr. Perez admits he received the March 22 letter but notes that it states if he was receiving workers compensation benefits at that time and he was not – having received the benefits in a lump sum 18 months earlier. He was represented by an attorney at the time of the stipulation and assumed that they would have informed him had he had to inform MERS of the award.

The financial information provided by Mr. Perez includes his sources of income are his MERS pension and social security and that his monthly expenses exceeds his monthly income by almost $1,000 per month.

At its September 29, 2010 meeting, the Overpayment subcommittee discussed the case and found based upon the specific facts of the case that Mr. Perez did not receive notice from MERS about reporting his workers compensation payments to MERS until well after he had entered into a settlement and received monies under the award. Because the Subcommittee found that Mr. Perez was not at fault and could not have reasonably known about the requirement, it then reviewed his financial information to determine if hardship existed or would exist if he had to repay the amount. The subcommittee then, by unanimous decision, moved to recommend to the Commission to grant the request for a waiver of repayment of an overpayment as Mr. Perez met all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Ms. Yelmini second to accept the recommendation of the subcommittee to grant the request for a waiver of repayment of an overpayment as Mr. Perez met all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval. Unanimous decision.

C. Gina Layman (SERS) - Overpayment due to receiving retirement benefits under a disability pension which was subsequently revoked.

Gina Layman worked as a correction officer for the State of CT from August 19, 1994 until she received a work place injury on July 2, 1996. She reached maximum medical improvement on this injury in June 1998 and was given a 30% PPD on her right shoulder.

Layman applied for a service connected disability retirement benefit on September 29, 1998. At that time it appeared that she could perform all the duties of her former position as a correction officer except for restraining prisoners. Layman’s PPD was increased to 35% on March 14, 2000 although her medical records indicated she was continuing to improve until June of 1998. Layman was approved for a service connected disability retirement on May 10, 2000.

As a recipient of a disability retirement benefit, Layman was asked to fill out and submit to I&R "questionnaires" (i.e. annual review) with regard to her work activity and certain types of income. On those dated May 10, 2006 and March 28, 2008, she indicated that she was not employed, she was not self-employed and that she was not receiving any social security or workers compensation payments. On the one dated March 12, 2010, Layman indicated that she did not perform any volunteer services although she was a lieutenant in the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department and was Director of the BMX track.

The I&R Unit received an anonymous tip on or about May 1, 2009 that Ms. Layman was no longer disabled. The Division investigated and learned that Layman was serving as an emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter and competed in international BMX bicycle races – competition which involved her getting into "race shape" by "sprints, weightlifting and sweat sessions with [a] martial arts master." After leaving the state on a disability retirement, Layman obtained a "black belt" in karate and competed in championship events in 2000 and 2002.

The Division obtained certain information about Layman and presented it to the MEB for a preliminary determination and direction from the MEB as to how to proceed. On review of this material the MEB found that substantial doubt existed as to the permanency of Layman’s shoulder impairment. Moreover it appeared that she was performing substantially equivalent work in both her current volunteer work as a firefighter and EMT and in her avocation by engaging in exercise programs for BMX racing, which suggested that the duties of a corrections officer were within her physical capabilities.

The MEB requested that the Division obtain that all relevant medical and other records on Ms Layman from 2000 onward. The Division obtained this information from Layman and others and presented it to the MEB for its review. A hearing was held on the matter and Layman was present to answer questions and advocate on her behalf.

Based upon the material before the MEB and Layman’s responses, the MEB at its meeting of June 11, 2010 rescinded Layman’s entitlement to a service connected disability retirement effective April 5, 2004. Layman’s disability benefit from SERS was reduced to "zero" on the July 2010 payroll.

Layman received an overpayment from SERS for the period April 5, 2004 through June 30, 2010 of $165,840.06. On or about May 18, 2010 – a month prior to the MEB hearing – Layman filed for bankruptcy. Layman filed a request for waiver of overpayment in August 2010

At its September 29, 2010 meeting, the Overpayment subcommittee discussed the case and found based upon the specific facts of the case found that Ms. Layman failed to meet all statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval. The subcommittee then, by unanimous decision, moved to recommend to the Commission to deny Ms. Layman’s request for a waiver as she failed to meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval.

Action: Mr. Luciano moved; Mr. Poulin second to accept the recommendation of the subcommittee to deny the request for a waiver of repayment of an overpayment as Ms. Layman failed to meet all the statutory and regulatory requirements required for approval.  Unanimous decision.

Voting in favor of the motion: Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton,  Mr. Mr. Coffey, Mr. Cosgrove, Mr. Culley, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Poulin, Ms. Yelmini 

Voting in opposition to the motion: Mr. Casella

Majority Decision

16.    REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED DECLARATORY RULING IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT EDDY TO BE ISSUED PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 24, 2010 IN ACCORDANCE  WITH SECTION 5-155-1(e) (1) (A) OF THE REGULATIONS OF CONNECTICUT STATE AGENCIES

Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr. Poulin to approve the proposed declaratory ruling in the matter of Robert Eddy to be issued October 21, 2010 in accordance with section 5-155-1(e)(1)(A) of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies. This ruling denies Petitioner's request to declare Section 6D of Public Act 03-2 [regarding the 2003 Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP)] as requiring the Commission to calculate "all related benefits" using "actual age."

Voting in favor of the motion: Mr. Baus, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr.Dzurenda, Mr. Carey,  
Mr. Coffey, Mr. Cosgrove, Mr. Culley, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Poulin, Ms. Yelmini 

Voting in opposition to the motion: Mr. Casella

Majority Decision

17.    REQUEST COMMISSION POLICY WITH REGARD TO WORKERS COMPENSATION AND OFFSET PROVISIONS

Division Counsel explained that a situation has been occurring where (in workers compensation) some attorneys are moving to re-open old stipulations, agreements, VAs, and the like to retroactively change the designation of the benefit type solely to avoid overpayments to the retirement fund.  It is important to note that the Division’s concerns revolve around retroactive designations being made solely to thwart the offset provisions of the Retirement Act – not because a bona fide question exists.  Ms Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Baus  that the Trustees suggested that Division Counsel further research the matter, discuss the issue with workers compensation and follow up on this issue at a future Commission meeting.  Mr. Baus, Mr. Coffey, Ms. Brown-Brewton, Mr. Cosgrove,
Mr. Culley, Mr. Greatorex, Mr. Poulin, Mr. Dzurenda, Ms. Yelmini, Mr. Carey voted YES,  Mr. Casella voted NO.

Majority Decision

ADDENDUM ITEM

REQUEST COMMISSION APPROVAL TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH A LAW FIRM WITH EXPERTISE IN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO PUBLIC PENSION PLANS FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPLEMENTING THE SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 SEBAC PENSION GRIEVANCE AWARD

At 10:22 a.m. Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by Mr.Baus to enter into executive session, inviting the Acting Director and Assistant Directors to join the executive session to discuss the immediate procurement of outside legal counsel with regard to the above Award.

At 10:55 a.m. Ms. Brown-Brewton moved, seconded by Mr.Greatorex to come out of executive session. Upon coming out of executive session, the Trustees noted that time was of the essence with regard to the implementation of this Award and thus exigent circumstances requiring immediate action existed. The Division was instructed to determine if the Attorney General’s office was required to issue a formal RFP for outside representation for legal services or if the procurement of legal services could be expedited.

 Mr. Luciano moved, seconded by  Mr. Cosgrove to direct the Office of the State Comptroller to secure outside representation for legal services in matters regarding the above Award, the Alternate Retirement Plan, the 403(b) plan and the 457 plan to be paid for out of plan assets with a report back to the Commission at the next meeting with regard to its status and subsequent Commission action as required.  All voted in favor

Unanimous Decision

ADJOURNMENT

At ll:32 a.m. Ms. Yelmini moved, seconded by Mr. Baus to adjourn the meeting. All voted in favor.


___________________________
Peter R. Blum, Chair

_______________________________
Mark Ojakian, Deputy Comptroller and Division Director, Retirement Services

 

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