The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)
PEBP BOARD MEETS MAY 21 AT 8:30 a.m.
The board will hold a regular meeting that day at the Richard Bryan Building PEBP Board Room #1002 in Carson City with a video-conference available to the Nevada System of Higher Education building's Computer Services Room #102, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas. To view the PEBP Board packet and agenda (690 pages) please click on the link below.
Informational Workshops underway for Medicare & Pre-Medicare Retirees
PEBP is continuing with their pilot program of informational workshops in Northern Nevada that started in April and will continue through June. There has been a good turnout in areas that include Carson City, Reno, Gardnerville, Fallon, Lovelock and Hawthorne. Following an evaluation of these meetings, it is hoped that there will be additional workshops held in the rest of the state, including Southern Nevada and points in between. RPEN has been invited to these meetings and we have been able to pass out our membership materials to all non-members that were there. To view the current schedule of meetings please click on the following links.
Pre-Medicare Schedule of Workshops:
Medicare Schedule of Workshops:
Another round of informational workshops are also being held May 20-22 sponsored by the Towers Watson One Exchange group for Medicare and Pre-Medicare retirees. To view that schedule of meetings, please click on the link below.
PEBP Board Approves New Rates
The PEBP Board voted unanimously to approve new rates for the next two years at their meeting March 26. The new rates are outlined in the PEBP Board packet (42 pages) listed in the link below. One member of the board said there was no other alternative other than what was proposed.
The PEBP budget was closed during a joint meeting of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees this month. Former Executive Officer Jim Wells made two budget presentations earlier this year at the Legislature. To view Wells' earlier budget presentation please click on the link below:
In other news from the PEBP web-site:
Did you know PEBP offers a virtual library of instructional videos designed to assist you with learning about your benefits. Check them out by clicking on the link posted below.
PERS BUDGET CLOSED FRIDAY MAY 8
A hearing was held Friday, May 8. The PERS budget was first heard by the legislature on February 5th by the Senate Finance Committee. In February, PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss informed the committee during her short presentation that contribution rates for regular participants would be raising 2.25%. She attributed the increase to a negative payroll growth in 3 of the last 5 years as well as a 4% decrease in active employees from 2009 to 2014. Leiss said the average monthly pension is $2,700 per month for the regular worker and $4,788 for police/fire. She also told the committee PERS would be seeking to hire a full time in-house general counsel due to an increase in litigation. The cost over the biennium was estimated at $372,000.
PERS Board Meeting
The next PERS Board Meeting is May 20 and will be held in Carson City. A link to the PERS agenda and board packet (233 pages) is posted below.
RPEN LEGISLATIVE UPDATE -
MAY 15, 2015
As the 78th Session of the Nevada State Legislature winds down, with less than a month left before it's scheduled to end June 1, another deadline arrived May 15. All bills not marked "exempt" must pass out of Committee (Second House) or be declared dead. So, Friday, May 15 was likely a long day for lawmakers as well as our RPEN lobbyists and staff. In addition, legislative hearings are beginning to be held on Saturdays as well.
Many of the bills RPEN is watching are still alive. AB 190, Assemblyman Randy Kirner's Hybrid Pension proposal with a $1.5 Billion Fiscal Note attached over a 2 year period, is exempt, and sits with the Assembly Ways and Means Committee with no recent hearings scheduled. It remains in the number one spot on the list of bills commented on in the legislative web-sites "Share Your Opinion" page with 4,422 comments AGAINST the bill and only 63 comments in favor of the bill. RPEN members have turned out in force for several past hearings on AB 190 and could be asked to do so again should another hearing be scheduled. RPEN is on record AGAINST AB 190.
Another bill we are concerned about is Senate Bill 406, from Majority Leader Michael Roberson. However, because SB 406 has NO impacts on existing retirees, and makes only modest changes for PROSPECTIVE public employees, it does not destabilize the fundamental foundation of PERS, so RPEN's Executive Committee and Legislative Committee recently authorized our lobbyists to go on record as "neutral" on SB 406. And other public employee groups made a similar stance on SB 406, with some actually going on record in favor of the bill. In fact, PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss also testified in a neutral position on SB 406. SB 406 passed out of the Senate on a unanimous vote and was heard in a work session May 15 by the Assembly Government Affairs Committee who amended the bill and passed it out of Committee.
There is still a real concern that other bills RPEN has been monitoring could be resurrected in another bill, which almost happened during a meeting of the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee May 15 when Committee Chair Randy Kirner placed an amendment to Senate Bill 12, which eliminates the position of Assistant Investment Officer for Nevada PERS, and creating a new position of Chief Financial Officer. Kirner's committee was hearing SB 12 in work session and proposed an amendment to add two members from the private sector to the PERS Retirement Board. That proposal was killed earlier in the session in the form of Assembly Bill 3, which was hotly contested by RPEN and many other public employee groups. When Kirner could not get support for his amendment, he withdrew it, and SB 12 was passed out of the committee with NO AMENDMENTS. Since it was a work session, there was no testimony permitted during the discussion of his amendment. However, it was clear during the discussion on his amendment that no vote on the amendment was necessary because he did not have the support to move ahead with it so the amendment was withdrawn. This is what RPEN will be on guard for from now until the end of the session, and beyond, should a special session take place.
We thank our members for turning out when asked because there is strength in numbers and numbers have in fact made a difference! Our position has been clear on many of these bills and it has not gone un-noticed by those in Carson City.
Stay tuned to our web-site for additional information and details as they occur. Meanwhile, Active AND Retired public employees are still being encouraged to register comments against AB 190 and SB 406 at the Nevada Legislative Website called "Share Your Opinion on Legislative Bills" A link to the site is provided below.
PRIVATE STUDY OF NEVADA PERS
YIELDS EXCELLENT RESULTS
The study of Nevada PERS came at the request of Governor Sandoval. The report was revealed this month and contained good news.
To read the entire report, including an introduction from PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss, click on the link below:
NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
78TH REGULAR SESSION
HAS UNDER 20 DAYS LEFT!
To view the latest information on legislative hearings please click on the link provided below. RPEN will have at least three paid lobbyists representing both active and retired public employees at all times during the session. We will post information and legislative updates here when warranted.
RPEN is still tracking nearly several bills relating to retiree issues, 11 of them relate directly to PERS and 7 deal with PEBP.
RPEN is represented in Carson City by our Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard and Executive Director Marty Bibb. Although some of the bills we were tracking did not make the recent deadlines, there is always a chance they could return attached to a bill that DID make the deadline, so until the session ends that possibility always exist! Also, many of these bills have a fiscal note attached meaning they are exempt from any of the deadlines.
Check back to our web site periodically during the session for Legislative Updates that will be posted here.
Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN)
The next regular meeting of RPEN's Executive Committee is July 14 and 15 in Carson City, the host city for the 2015 annual meeting of the RPEN Board of Directors. The annual meeting will be hosted by the Carson Chapter of RPEN beginning Tuesday, September 15, and ending Friday, September 18. The Plaza Hotel in Carson City will be the host property. The Carson Chapter is hosting monthly meetings to prepare for the event.
If you have questions about any information posted on our web-site you can reach the State Office of RPEN in Carson City by calling
* When the Nevada State Legislature is in session, or when special legislative hearings are being held in the off session years you can view those hearings over the Internet by going to the following web-site: www.leg.state.nv.us
Just go to that web-site and click on Listen to Meetings Live on the Internet