Retirement Systems

State management of OPS retirement system approved

The state will take over management duties for the Omaha school retirement plan under a bill given final approval May 20.

Sen. Mark Kolterman
Sen. Mark Kolterman

Senators passed a bill in 2019 to require an examination of the possible transfer of management responsibilities from the Omaha School Employees Retirement System board of trustees to the Public Employees Retirement Board, which manages the rest of the state’s plans through the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems.

LB147, sponsored by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, will transfer duties and responsibilities for management of the OPS plan to the PERB effective Sept. 1, 2024. The school district, board of education, board of trustees and the PERB must finalize a transfer of management agreement by Dec. 31, 2021.

The bill specifies that the school district remains solely liable for the retirement system’s funding obligations and OPS will cover all costs for the management transfer.

The measure includes components of three additional bills related to the transfer, all sponsored by Kolterman.

Provisions of LB145 require completion of a compliance audit by Nov. 15, 2021, and the first annual audit by the state auditor by July 1, 2022.

Provisions of LB582 terminate the board of trustees’ authority to administer the plan on July 1, 2021. On that date, new members of the board of trustees, appointed by the board of education, will begin serving their terms. This board of trustees will facilitate the transfer of management to the PERB on Sept. 1, 2024.

Finally, provisions of LB146 clarify membership eligibility in the Omaha school plan and define termination of employment to ensure that bona fide separation of service has occurred.

The definition of termination of employment codifies current district guidelines regarding re-employment during the 180-day period that allows voluntary unpaid bona fide service without limitation.

Temporary service is allowed after a 30-day waiting period following termination if it is to accomplish a specific purpose or task, not to exceed one year. Substitute service is allowed on an intermittent basis, defined as no more than eight service days during a calendar month.

LB147 passed 38-3 and takes effect immediately.

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