New state patrol retirement benefits reduced

Lawmakers gave final approval April 12 to a bill that changes the retirement plans of new Nebraska State Patrol members.

LB467, sponsored by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, creates a second tier of reduced benefits for new members. The bill makes the following benefit changes for state patrol officers who are hired on or after July 1, 2016:
• increases the officer contribution rate from 16 to 17 percent;
• reduces the maximum cost of living adjustment (COLA) from 2.5 to 1 percent;
• prohibits participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan;
• increases from three to five the number of years of employment used to calculate a member’s final compensation rate;
• limits the increase in compensation in each of the five years prior to retirement to 8 percent per year for benefit calculations; and
• excludes any unused sick, vacation, holiday and compensatory leave in the calculation of a member’s final average monthly compensation.

If the plan is 100 percent funded, a maximum supplemental COLA of 1.5 percent may be granted at the discretion of the Public Employees Retirement Board.

LB467 passed on a 32-0 vote.

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