Retirement plan administration changes advanced

Lawmakers gave first-round approval Jan. 29 to 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 the per diem for PERB members from $50 to $75;
• exempt legal compliance audit contracts from bidding requirements;
• increase from one to two the number of three-year extensions on actuarial contracts that the PERB may issue; and
• change the presentation date of the NPERS and Nebraska Investment Council annual reports to the Legislature from March 31 to April 10, beginning in 2020.

Finally, the bill would grant the Class V School Employees Retirement Plan employer and its board of trustees the same exclusion from the state’s public records law that applies to all other plans administered by the PERB.

The only member information that could be released would be a member’s name and dates of plan participation.

North Platte Sen. Mike Groene expressed concern that the public records exemption could limit the state’s ability to gain information about the Class V plan, which has struggled in recent years.

“We’re going to take transparency out of this retirement program,” he said. “Transparency is the heart of democracy.”

Kolterman said he understood the concerns, but said the bill simply would bring the Class V plan into alignment with all the other state plans regarding the privacy of members’ data.

“There are certain things that we think ought to be privileged information,” he said.

Following adoption of a technical committee amendment on a 40-1 vote, the bill was advanced to select file 42-0.

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