Judges’ retirement plan revisions passed

Senators passed a bill May 26 to change the retirement plan for Nebraska judges.

LB468, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, creates a new tier of reduced benefits for judges who become members of the judges’ retirement plan on and after July 1, 2015.

The bill requires that the final retirement benefit be calculated using an average of the five highest years of salary and that the contribution rate for judges in this tier not decrease after 20 years. New judges will be required to contribute 10 percent of their annual salaries to the retirement plan.

Beginning July 1, 2015, the bill redirects $2 each from civil, criminal, traffic and probate case docket fees from the state’s General Fund to the judges’ retirement plan, which will generate an estimated $660,000 annually. Beginning July 1, 2017, the bill redirects $4 from those fees to the retirement fund, which is estimated to generate $1.3 million annually.

The bill passed with an emergency clause on a 44-2 vote.

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