State of Connecticut

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CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
ACTUARIAL VALUATION AND CONSULTING SERVICES
MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN SURVIVORS' BENEFIT FUND

I. STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES

The Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (Commission) is seeking to secure proposals for the provision of pension actuarial services over a four-year contract period. The Commission's objective is to engage the services of an actuarial firm with public pension plan experience to perform annual actuarial valuations of the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) and the Policemen and Firemen Survivors' Benefit Fund (P&FSBF), and for the performance of other actuarial reporting duties related to each as directed by the Commission. The contract period will commence on or about July 1, 2005 and expire on June 30, 2009.

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

MERS is a voluntary, multi-employer pension plan, the provisions of which are contained in Title 7, Chapter 113, Part II of the Connecticut General Statutes. Annually, four normal contribution rates are established by the Commission in accordance with the following breakdown: a) general employees with social security; b) general employees without social security; c) police and fire with social security; and d) police and fire without social security.
The unfunded accrued liability of participating municipalities, if any, is calculated on an individual basis. On June 30, 2003, MERS had a total membership of 13,163 composed as follows: 8,420 active members, and 4,743 retirees and beneficiaries. On that date, the actuarial asset value of the system was $1.4 billion; MERS is in a fully funded position.

P&FSBF is a voluntary, multi-employer pension supplement, the provisions of which are contained in Title 7, Chapter 104, Part V of the Connecticut General Statutes. Upon the death of an active or retired member, P&FSBF pays survivor benefits. Annually, the Commission establishes a normal contribution rate for participating municipalities. The unfunded accrued liability is calculated on an individual basis for new municipalities joining the fund. On June 30, 2003, P&FSBF had a total membership of 937 composed as follows: 509 active members; 328 retirees, and 100 annuitants. On that date, the fund's assets for valuation purposes were $19.8 million; P&FSBF is in a fully funded position.

The proposal specifications are detailed within the following sections of this document.

III. SCOPE OF SERVICES

The contractor will be expected to perform the following services:

  1. The preparation of annual actuarial valuation reports for both MERS and P&FSBF for each of the four contract years. The valuations will be based on annual retirement system data for fiscal years ending June 30, with final results reported to the Commission each February. In addition to the standard valuation detail, the reports must include a) the accounting information required in accordance with applicable Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statements, and b) a detailed gain/loss analysis.
  2. The preparation of one MERS and one P&FSBF experience study report during the contract period. Each report must include a) an analysis of the economic and demographic experience of the retirement system over the defined study period,
    b) the development of a set of actuarial assumptions based on the study results, including a financial analysis of the proposed changes, and c) a review of the existing actuarial funding method and asset valuation method.
  3. Attendance at up to four meetings per year (up to eight in total) with the Commission (or a Subcommittee thereof) to present relevant actuarial reports and related findings in connection with both the MERS and P&FSBF.
  4. Special projects assigned by the Commission, including but not limited to the preparation of fiscal impact statements on legislation being considered by the Connecticut General Assembly relative to MERS and P&FSBF provisions.
  5. Routine consultations with the retirement plan administrator regarding fiscal, legal, and regulatory issues impacting MERS and P&FSBF.

IV. LETTER OF INTENT REQUIREMENT

A letter of intent is required. The purpose of this letter is to indicate the contractor's intention to respond to this RFP. The letter of intent must be received at the offices of the Retirement & Benefit Services Division by 4:30 p.m. on February 15, 2005. Proposals will not be accepted if this requirement is not met.

In this letter the contractor must provide an email address for the communication of information about the RFP. As indicated in Section V, PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS, of this RFP, contractors may submit questions regarding the RFP by email. Answers to questions submitted as well as other information related to the contractor selection process will be provided to contractors at the email address provided in the letter of intent. 

V. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Each proposal must include the following:

1. Title Page

A title page indicating the date, subject, name of the contractor, central office address and the local office address - if a local office will be performing the contracted services - and the address, telephone number, name and title of the contractor's contact person for the purpose of clarifying any information submitted.

2. Organizational Structure

A general description of the contractor's organization, including the legal structure (corporation, partnership, franchise, etc.), the number of professional and support staff employed and the primary business functions (benefits consulting, actuarial consulting, asset management, insurance provider, etc.). Identification of the actuaries available for assignment to this engagement and descriptive materials relating to the professional qualifications of each actuary.

3. Experience

A listing of all public employee retirement systems to which the contractor currently provides actuarial valuation and consulting services. This listing should include the name of the retirement system, the number of system members (active and retired), and the number of years that the contractor has been retained to provide actuarial services to the system. Of the staff members designated for the engagement that is the subject of this RFP, the contractor must also identify which, if any, serve as lead consultant to the public retirement systems listed. In addition to the above information, contractors are encouraged to identify other experience, factors, or strengths that they possess which may assist the Commission in its selection process.

4. Computer Systems

Description of on-site computer system contractor will be using.

5. Backup Equipment

Description of alternative backup for all equipment which may be used by contractor.

6. Subcontracts

Identification of the subcontractor(s), if any, to be utilized in meeting the service requirements of this RFP and a listing of the specific tasks to be assigned to the subcontractor(s).

7. Recommended Workplan

A statement of the contractor's capacity to provide each of the deliverables specified in Section III of this RFP within the expressed time frame. 

8. Work Samples

A sample of any relevant publications or notifications that the contractor transmits to clients on a regular basis concerning topical issues in the area of public pension plan administration.

9. Fee Structure

Submission of total fixed and variable fees for the tasks listed in Section III of this RFP, expressed as follows:

  1. A fixed fee for each of the four actuarial valuation reports required for MERS (Section III, Subsection 1);
  2. A fixed fee for each of the four actuarial valuation reports required for P&FSBF (Section III, Subsection 1);
  3. A fixed fee for the experience study report required for MERS (Section III, Subsection 2);
  4. A fixed fee for the experience study report required for P&FSBF (Section III, Subsection 2);
  5. For each of the contract's four fiscal years (ending June 30), a fixed fee for attendance at - up to four meetings (up to eight in total) with the Commission (or a Subcommittee thereof) in connection with both the MERS and P&FSBF, (Section III, Subsection 3); and
  6. For each of the contract's four fiscal years (ending June 30), hourly billing rates by position classification for special projects, fiscal impact statements, and routine consultations (Section III, Subsections 4 & 5).

Fees proposed, whether fixed or variable, shall be deemed inclusive of all expenses and all cost estimates will be considered as "not to exceed" quotations.

Fee proposals should not include start-up or exit costs.

The State of Connecticut is exempt from the payment excise, transportation, and sales tax imposed by the Federal Government and the State; accordingly, such taxes must not be reflected in the proposed price.

10. Conflict of Interest

Disclose any current or past (within the last ten years) business relationships which may pose a conflict of interest.

11. Regulatory Issues

Disclose any regulatory problems experienced in the past ten years.

12. Affirmative Action

The proposal must include a summary of the contractor's experience with Affirmative Action including a summary of the contractor's affirmative action plan and the contractor's affirmative action policy statement.

Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 46a-68j-30(10) require agencies to consider the following factors when awarding a contract that is subject to contract compliance requirements:

  1. The contractor's success in implementing an affirmative action plan;
  2. The contractor's success in developing an apprenticeship program complying with Section 46a-68-1 to 46a-68-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, inclusive;
  3. The contractor's promise to develop and implement a successful affirmative action plan;
  4. The contractor's submission of employment statistics contained in the "Employment Information Form", indicating that the composition of its work force is at or near parity when compared to the racial and sexual composition of the work force in the relevant labor market area; and
  5. The contractor's promise to set aside a portion of the contract for legitimate small contractors and minority business enterprises, where applicable. (See CGS 32-9e)

A Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities "Notification to Bidders" and an "Employment Information Form" are attached, which should be read and completed by the contractor. (Attachment I)

Also attached is a Contract Compliance Requirement reporting form, which the contractor must complete and sign, which will be sent to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by the awarding agency. (Attachment II)

B. An authorized agent for the contractor with authority to negotiate and contractually bind the contractor must sign the proposal; such individual's title, address, and telephone number must also be provided.

C. The contractor must submit one original, one unbound, plus eleven (11) copies of their proposal in a sealed envelope upon which a clear indication has been made of the RFP reference title and the date and time the proposal is submitted. The envelope should be delivered to:

Thomas C. Woodruff, Ph.D., Director
Retirement & Benefit Services Division
Office of the State Comptroller
55 Elm Street, Third Floor
Hartford, Connecticut 06106

D. Contractors who have questions regarding this RFP should submit them by email to the following address: osc.mersactrfp@po.state.ct.us no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 18, 2005. Answers to questions will be transmitted by Friday, March 4, 2005. No phone calls will be accepted relative to this RFP.

E. Proposals must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2005.

F. Some contractors may be asked to provide a presentation of their proposal to the Actuarial Subcommittee of the Commission. Such contractors will be notified by email to arrange the time and date for the presentation. 

VI. SELECTION PROCESS AND SCHEDULE

Request for Proposal Questions and Response Phase

February 3, 2005 Release of RFP by Commission
February 15, 2005 Letters of intent with contractor's email address due at Commission
February 18, 2005 Questions, if any, due at osc.mersactrfp@po.state.ct.us
March 4, 2005 Division provides email response to questions received
April 1, 2005 Proposals due at Commission

Proposal Review and Contractor Selection Schedule

April 4, 2005 - April 20, 2005   

Reading and Scoring of Proposals by Screening Committee

May 3, 2005   

Finalist Interviews

May 11, 2005   

Contractor Selection 

VII. EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS

Each proposal will be evaluated by a Screening Committee using the following criteria to determine which contractor is most capable of implementing the Commission's requirements:

Contractor's experience with and ability to perform the required services.

Contractor's understanding of the project's purpose and scope, as evidenced by the proposed approach and level of effort.

Competitiveness of proposed cost.

Availability and competence of contractor's personnel.

Conformity with specifications contained herein.

Contractor's ability to keep the Commission informed of significant changes in the laws and regulations governing public pension plan administration.

Proximity of contractor's staff involved to Hartford, Connecticut.

Demonstration of contractor's commitment to affirmative action by full compliance with the regulations of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

At the option of the Screening Committee, contractor's oral presentation. 

VIII. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Contractors responding to this RFP must be willing to adhere to the following conditions and must affirmatively state their adherence to these requirements with a transmittal letter appended to their proposal response.

  1. Acceptance or Rejection by the State - The State reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals submitted for consideration. All proposals will be kept sealed and safe until the deadline for submission has passed.
  2. Conformance with Statutes - Any contract awarded as a result of this RFP must be in full conformance with statutory requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government.
  3. Ownership of Proposals - All proposals in response to this RFP are to be the sole property of the State, and subject to the applicable Freedom of Information provisions of Connecticut General Statutes, Section 1-19.
  4. Ownership of Subsequent Products - Any product, whether acceptable or unacceptable, developed under a contract award as a result of this RFP is to be the sole property of the State of Connecticut, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the RFP or contract.
  5. Availability of Work Papers - All work papers and data used in the process of performing this project must be available for inspection by the State of Connecticut Auditors of Public Accounts for a period of three (3) years or until audited.
  6. Timing and Sequence - All timing and sequence of events resulting from this RFP will ultimately be determined by the State.
  7. Stability of Proposed Prices - Any price offerings from contractors must be valid for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from the due date of the contractor proposals.
  8. Oral Agreements - Any alleged oral agreement or arrangement made by a contractor with any agency or employee will be superseded by the written agreement.
  9. Amending or Canceling Requests - The State reserves the right to amend or to cancel this RFP prior to the due date and time, if such action is deemed to be in the best interest of the State Employees Retirement Commission and the State.
  10. Rejection for Default or Misrepresentation - The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any contractor that is in default of any prior contract or for misrepresentation.
  11. State's Clerical Errors in Awards - The State reserves the right to correct inaccurate awards resulting from its clerical errors.
  12. Rejection of Qualified Proposals - Proposals are subject to rejection in whole or in part if they limit or modify any of the terms and conditions and/or specifications of the RFP.
  13. Contractor Presentation of Supporting Evidence - A contractor, if requested, must be prepared to present evidence of experience, ability, service facilities and financial standing necessary to satisfactorily meet the requirements set forth or implied in the proposal.
  14. Changes to Proposal - No additions or changes to the original proposal will be allowed after submittal. While changes are not permitted, clarification at the request of the agency may be required at the contractor's expense.
  15. Expenses Incurred - The State will not reimburse any contractor for any costs or expenses incurred in preparing proposals or in any other connection with the RFP, including travel expenses relating to an oral presentation. 
  16. Collusion - By responding to this RFP, the contractor implicitly states that the proposal is not made in connection with any competing contractor submitting a separate response to the RFP, and is in all respects fair and without collusion or fraud. It is further implied that the contractor did not participate in the RFP development process, had no knowledge of the specific contents of the RFP prior to its issuance, and that no employee of the agency participated directly or indirectly in the contractor's proposal preparation. 

IX. RIGHTS RESERVED TO THE STATE

The State reserves the right to award in part, to reject any and all proposals in whole or in part, to waive technical defects, irregularities and omissions if, in its judgment, the best interest of the State will be served.