Retirement Systems

Change to county retirement system advanced

Lawmakers advanced a bill from general file Jan. 26 that would change contributions to the Lancaster County retirement system.

LB126, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, would increase the combined employee and employer contribution rates from a maximum of 13 percent to a maximum of 16 percent of the employees’ salaries.

Nordquist said the bill would allow the county to help employees save more and better prepare for retirement. Workers who delay retirement cost the county more in salaries and benefits, he said.

“This bill was introduced at request of Lancaster County and it is specific to their retirement plan,” Nordquist said. “They’re willing to put in more on behalf of the county.”

A committee amendment, adopted 39-0, would change the population size for counties authorized to create their own county retirement plan. The changes would increase the minimum population size from 200,000 to 250,000 and the maximum population size from 300,000 to 500,000.

Nordquist said Lancaster County is growing and is “inching very close” to the current maximum population of the statute that governs their retirement plan.

The amendment also would clarify that employees receiving a 150 percent employer contribution match could elect to switch to a 100 percent employer match for all future contributions. The election would be irrevocable.

The bill advanced to select file on a 36-0 vote.

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