Retirement changes approved

Lawmakers approved a bill April 29 to address a shortfall in a state retirement plan and shorten amortization periods.

Sen. Mark Kolterman
Sen. Mark Kolterman

LB17, introduced by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, increases a dedicated court fee to provide additional revenue to cover a shortfall in the judges’ retirement plan. The fee will increase from $6 to $8 on July 1, 2021. It then will rise incrementally until reaching $12 on July 1, 2025.

The bill does not increase fees on any criminal cause of action, traffic misdemeanor or infraction, or city or village criminal ordinance violation filed in district court or county court.

LB17 adds an annual contribution from the state to the judges’ retirement fund of 5 percent of total compensation of the members of the judges’ retirement system beginning July 1, 2023. The rate may be adjusted or terminated but cannot rise above 5 percent.

The bill also adopts shorter amortization periods to reflect current actuarial standards for the judges’, state patrol and school employee retirement plans. Beginning July 1, 2021, the amortization period will be reduced from the current 30-year period to a 25-year period.

LB17 passed on a 33-13 vote and takes effect immediately.

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