The Public Employees Benefits Program
The PEBP Board met April 21at the Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City with a video-conference available at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. The agenda and board packet (241 pages) for this meeting can be viewed by clicking on the link posted below.
RPEN was well represented at the April 21 meeting. State President Jack Harris attended with Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard in Carson City and Executive Director Terri Laird and Henderson Chapter President Vicki Cameron and Henderson Secretary Sandie Mix were present in Las Vegas. The board heard from State Finance Director Jim Wells (who also sits on the PEBP Board) that Governor Brian Sandoval has advised all state agencies to be prepared for the possibility of up to 5% reductions to current funding as the next budget cycle approaches. There was also a discussion of how to deal with the non-state participants of PEBP whose pool continues to dwindle as participants "age out" of it. This group has faced contstantly increasing health care costs because they are in such a small group. Three options were discussed as ways to cover the $6.2 million cost of commingling this group into the larger pool of state participants: 1) Ask their former employers and participants to make up the difference the group pays over the CDHP participants (Consumer Driven High Deductible); 2) Ask the Legislature/Budget Office to make up the difference; and 3) Ask Active Employees to make up the difference. Marlene testified during discussion of this issue that there was also a 4th option, which she said would be to pay for it out of PEBP reserves. A brief discussion about that option ensued, where PEBP staff said those reserves were dwindling. The board also asked PEBP staff to come back at a future meeting to talk more about how the reserves are dwindling and when they would be depleted. The next regularly scheduled PEBP Board meeting is July 21. Additional information (agenda/board packet) will be posted here for that meeting when it is available.
In other news from PEBP informational meetings scheduled in the rural areas of Nevada including stops in Winnemucca, Elko and Ely in March were not as well attended as had been hoped, although PEBP and representatives from Towers Watson were able to assist those that did attend. The next round of meetings for PEBP's Public Information Department comes in May when Open Enrollment for Plan Year 2016-2017 begins. The first meeting is May 3 in Reno at the Reno Sparks Convention Center when two sessions are held 9-11am and 1-3pm. On May 4 another round of meetings (9-11am and 1-3pm) will be held at UNR just for UNR participants in the Student Union Theatre. Carson City's National Guard Armory will host the next round of meetings in their Auditorium on May 5, 2460 Fairview Drive. Again, there will be two sessions that day, 9-11am and 1-3pm.
PEBP moves to Southern Nevada May 9 through May 11. On May 9 there will be a 2-4pm meeting at UNLV's Student Union, Room 208, A, B and C, at 4505 South Maryland Parkway. The College of Southern Nevada, Henderson Campus, will be the site of the May 10 meetings, again from 9-11am and 1-3pm. The meeting will take place at the campus auditorium (C133), located at 700 College Drive. The final meeting in Southern Nevada is May 11 at the College of Southern Nevada, Cheyenne Campus' Horn Theatre (3200 Cheyenne Ave.), featuring two meetings, 9-11am and 1-3pm. Three additional meetings will round out the month, one on May 17 at the Winnemucca Convention Center from 1-3pm and another May 18 in Elko from 9-11am at the Leonard Center for Student Life Solarium and Theatre at the Great Basin Community College. The final meeting is in Ely May 19 at Great Basin Community College's Main Building, Room 107 and 109, from 9-11am.
If you have questions about your health care, you will want to make sure to attend one of these meetings about open enrollment. RPEN representatives will also be on hand to pass out information about our organization as we enter our 40th year of service to public employees, retirees and actives.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada
The Nevada Public Employees' Retirement System Board of Directors met April 21 in Las Vegas at the PERS Headquarters located at 5820 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 220. RPEN was represented at this meeting by Executive Director Terri Laird and Las Vegas Chapter Delegate Laura Leavitt. The board heard a presentation by Invesco Real Estate who said PERS is one of their biggest clients. The net return for PERS since inception stood at 9.39% as of the date of this report. It was also announced that PERS would be closing their Summerlin Office as of June 1, consolidating their operations into one, larger office, in the same complex on Eastern Avenue, but into a different building at the same location.
A link to the April 21 board agenda and packet (198 pages) is posted below.
For more information about Nevada PERS please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Nevada State Legislature 2015-2016 Interim
Interim Retirement and Benefits Committee Meeting
The first meeting of the interim was held February 19 in Carson City with a video conference in Las Vegas at the Grant Sawyer Building.
Nevada State Senator Ben Kieckhefer (SD 16/Carson City-Washoe) chaired the meeting attended by many RPEN members from Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Minden in the North and Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin and Boulder City in the South.
PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss was called to the table first and she outlined legislation passed in 2015 that impacts PERS, including SB 406 that is estimated to save the state $10 billion over ten years once the changes are fully implemented (mostly for new hires). Many of the issues she discussed can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Damon Haycock, Executive Officer at PEBP spoke next on where PEBP stands on dealing with the non-state participants in PEBP, commonly referred to as "orphans" who are subjected to escalating health care costs because of the size of their group. IRBC Member Assemblyman Randy Kirner (AD 26-Reno) told Haycock the state has been dealing with this subject long enough, calling a "train wreck" and implored him to handle it once and for all. Kirner also addressed the fact brought forth by RPEN's Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard when she testified the first time under public comment, that Towers Watson/One Exchange, the group that handles the Medicare Retirees, still has not hired a full time person to be in Nevada to handle complaints, issues and concerns by the thousands of participants in the exchange. Haycock said PEBP helped usher in a pilot program last year to bring someone from Towers Watson to visit areas in Nevada (north and south) but Kirner said there should be a full time presence here and Lockard agreed during her 2nd round of public comment. She said Towers Watson should be the one to pay for the cost of opening a full time office in Nevada, and Kirner agreed.
The IRBC normally meets twice per year during the interim so their next meeting will likely be later this year. To view additional materials from PEBP considered during this meeting please click on the link below.
- Senator Ben Kieckhefer, Chair
- Assemblyman Paul Anderson, Vice Chair
- Senator Pete Goicoechea
- Senator Joyce Woodhouse
- Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton
- Assemblyman Randy Kirner
Mark Krmpotic, Fiscal Analyst
Cindy Jones, Fiscal Analyst
Alex Haartz, Principal Deputy Fiscal Analyst
Judy Lyons, Secretary
Brenda J. Erdoes, Legislative Counsel
Eileen G. O'Grady, Chief Deputy Legislative Counsel
Northern Tri-County Chapter Keeps the Public in Their Area Informed During the Legislature and Beyond!!
NTC Chapter President Mike Bumgartner began authoring a regular article in the local newspapers in his area last year has continued with his series this year starting January 2016. To read last year's monthly columns, as well as his latest columns please click on the links below.
Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN)
The next regular meeting of the RPEN Executive Committee will be held in Elko, the site of our 2016 Annual Board of Directors meeting, on June 29-30. For more information about this meeting please contact the State Office at 775-882-7832.
* Legislative meetings can also be seen/heard live over the Internet at: www.leg.state.nv.us Just go to that Web site and click on Listen to Meetings Live on the Internet