Retirement plan revisions considered

The Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee heard testimony Jan. 22 on a bill that would make a number of governance and administrative changes to the Public Employees Retirement Board (PERB), Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS), Nebraska Investment Council, Class V School Employees Retirement Plan and the Class V plan’s board of trustees.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist24' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Mark Kolterman'>Sen. Mark Kolterman</a>
Sen. Mark Kolterman

Introduced by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, LB33 would increase from one to two the number of three-year extensions on actuarial contracts that the PERB may issue. It also would exempt legal compliance audit contracts from bidding requirements.

Kolterman said the exemption would be consistent with all other state agencies that are allowed to exempt legal service contracts from bidding requirements.

Among other technical changes, the bill would increase the per diem for PERB members from $50 to $75. It also would change the date for presentation of the NPERS and Nebraska Investment Council annual reports to the committee from March 31 to April 10, beginning in 2020.

“The additional time ensures that the Nebraska Investment Council will have adequate time to receive the calendar year investment return data so this information can be included in the annual reports,” Kolterman said.

Michael Walden-Newman, state investment officer for the Nebraska Investment Council, testified in support of extending the annual report deadline. The council has added internal audit procedures in recent years that make it difficult to meet existing deadlines, he said.

“This will buy us a couple of [additional] weeks to get that done,” Walden-Newman said.

NPERS director Randy Gerke spoke in support of raising the PERB per diem to match that of the Nebraska Investment Council. The per diem has not increased since 2008, he said.

No opposition testimony was offered and the committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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