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Substitute House Bill No. 6355

Public Act No. 03-138

AN ACT CONCERNING PURCHASE OF CREDIT IN THE MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR SERVICE TO MUNICIPALITIES THAT ARE NOT SYSTEM MEMBERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 5-155a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The general administration and responsibility for the proper operation of the state employees retirement system is vested in a single board of trustees to be known as the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4-9a, the Retirement Commission shall consist of the following: (1) Six trustees representing employees who shall be appointed by the bargaining agents in accordance with the provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements. The trustees representing employees shall not be members of the same bargaining unit. The trustees representing employees shall serve three-year terms; (2) six management trustees who are members of the state employees retirement system, who shall serve three-year terms. The management trustees shall be appointed by the Governor; (3) two actuarial trustees who are enrolled actuaries and Fellows of the Society of Actuaries. One actuarial trustee shall be nominated by the management trustees and one shall be nominated by the trustees representing employees. The Governor shall appoint the actuarial trustees for three-year terms; (4) one neutral trustee who shall be chairman of the State Employees Retirement Commission. Such neutral trustee shall be enrolled in the National Academy of Arbitrators and shall be nominated by the employee and management trustees and appointed by the Governor. The neutral trustee shall serve a two-year term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of a trustee, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the office was previously filled. The trustees, with the exception of the chairman and the actuarial trustees, shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed in accordance with the standard travel regulations for all necessary expenses that they may incur through service on the commission. The chairman and the actuarial trustees shall be compensated at their normal and usual per diem fee, plus travel expenses, from the funds of the retirement system for each day of service to the commission. Each trustee shall, within ten days after [his] appointment or election, take an oath of office that so far as it devolves upon [him, he] the trustee, the trustee will diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the commission, and will not knowingly violate or willingly permit to be violated any of the provisions of law applicable to the state retirement system. Each trustee's term shall begin from the date [he] the trustee takes such an oath. The trustees shall appoint a representative from among the municipalities that have accepted the provisions of part II of chapter 113, who shall serve as a municipal liaison to the commission, at the commission's pleasure and under such terms and conditions as the commission may prescribe. Each trustee shall be entitled to one vote on the commission. A majority of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty authorized or imposed by law. The Retirement Commission shall be within the Retirement Division of the office of the Comptroller for administrative purposes only. The Comptroller, ex officio, shall be the nonvoting secretary of the commission and shall provide secretariat support to the commission.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 7-442b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Any person who became a member of the municipal employees' retirement system after December 31, 1964, and who previously was a member of the state employees retirement system or the retirement system of any municipality not participating under the provisions of this part shall receive credit for the purposes of retirement under the provisions of this part for the period of [his] service with the state or such municipality if the state or municipality voluntarily chooses to transfer to the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund from the retirement fund of the state or such municipality, by the authority having control thereof, on application of such employee, the entire amount paid into such state fund by the employee or the entire amount paid into such municipal fund by the employer and the employee as a result of the service of such employee, plus interest at the rate being paid by the retirement fund from which such amount is transferred from the date of each payment into such fund to the date such employee became a member of the municipal employees' retirement system. No transfer of employee contributions or interest shall be required whenever a former member of the tier II plan in the state employees retirement system applies for such retirement credit. If a municipality not participating under the provisions of this part declines to transfer the entire amount paid into such municipal fund by the employer and the employee as a result of the service of such employee, the member may purchase all or a portion of the credit for the member's prior service to such nonparticipating municipality by paying into the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund (1) two and one-quarter per cent or five per cent, as appropriate, of the member's salary for the period of such service, and (2) the actuarial cost determined by the Retirement Commission as necessary to fund the increased benefits payable by reason of such purchase, together with interest at the rate of six and one-half per cent, compounded annually, on such payment. No credit shall be granted under this subsection for any period of service for which any governmental unit is or will be paying a retirement benefit or if such credit would result in multiple service credit for the same period of service. In the case of an employee who withdraws from the municipal employees' retirement system and wishes to return to a municipality not participating under provisions of this part, there shall be transferred to the retirement fund of the municipality to which [he] such employee is returning the entire amount paid into the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund by the employer and the employee, together with interest at the rate being paid by the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund as the result of the services of such employee.

Approved June 26, 2003