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Montana Pension Systems

With many thanks to all of you, we are pleased to report that HB 454, the pension funding bill, passed third reading in the House, 58-41,on Monday, April 22, 2013.

We are almost to the end, but need your help now!!!!  This could be the most important contact you make this session!

HB 454, the LAST pension funding bill still in the process, will be heard and voted on in the Senate on April 17 at 1:00.  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATOR NOW AND ASK THEM TO SUPPORT HB 454!

It’s been a busy week regarding pension funding bills, with action being taken quickly to meet the March 29 transmittal deadline for appropriations bills. 

Now YOUR Help is Needed

On Tuesday, March 12, the House Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Pensions took executive action on all of the bills under their purview.  Of the 15 bills they had under consideration pertaining to the retirement systems, 9 were tabled, 2 were passed in their original form, three were passed after amendments, and one was re-referred back to another Committee.  Of all of those bills, there are three important pension funding and structure bills that will affect counties left in the process.

House Bill 454, sponsored by Rep. Bill McChesney, will be heard Thursday, February 21 at 8:30 a.m. in the House Joint Select Committee on Pensions.  This bill was requested by the Office of Budget and Program Planning on behalf of Governor Bullock, and addresses the Public Employees Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan funding shortfall.  This is possibly the most important bill for Counties this session regarding funding the pension systems! The time has come to ask for your involvement and support.  This will be our ONLY opportunity in this Committee to comment.  If the Committee approves passage of this bill – it goes straight to the House floor.

As everyone knows, the Montana Public Employee Retirement Systems (PERS) have significant unfunded liabilities.  Out of the eight public retirement systems, our counties have employees in PERS:  Defined Benefit Plan (PERS) and the Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Retirement System (SRS). FYI – 95% of the members of SRS are county employees. (While some counties have employees who have selected to participate in PERS – Define Contribution Plan, that is a separate system that is not involved in these discussions.)

Here you will find the PERB-Administered Retirement Systems' Actuarial Valuation Results as of June 30, 2012.

The Joint Select Committee on Pensions held their first organizational/informational meeting on Tuesday, January 22.  Members of both the House and Senate State Administration Committees joined the meeting.

HB 122 – the MPERA IRS Qualification bill is scheduled for hearing on Monday, January 21 at 8:00 a.m. in (H) State Admin.  In Section 2 of this bill, there is a new sub-section (7): The board shall require the actuary to prepare for each employer participating in a retirement system the disclosures or the information required to be included in the disclosures as required by law and by the governmental accounting standards board or its generally recognized successor. Each employer shall pay the employer's share of the actuary's cost for preparing the information or disclosures as determined by the board. The board may adopt rules governing how employer costs must be determined and paid."