The Public Employees Benefits Program
A lengthy discussion ensued at the last regular meeting of the PEBP Board on May 19 at the Richard Bryan Building in Room 1002. The discussion centered around the PEBP Master Plan Document that the board has been working on the last couple of years. Initially it was thought the changes were mostly housekeeping, but turned into a much longer discussion than anyone had predicted with the board delaying action on a couple of issues being discussed. Those issues will be brought back at a future meeting for additional discussion. The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for June 17 in Carson City. An agenda and board packet will be posted here when it becomes available.
In other news from PEBP it was recently announced in the Nevada Appeal newspaper in Carson City that Governor Sandoval made several changes to the PEBP Board. The story said that members Judy Saiz and Jacque Ewing-Taylor would not be reappointed, meaning this May meeting will likely be their last meeting. Ewing-Taylor was the longest sitting member of the existing board, having served in her capacity for 14 years. Saiz, who was recently appointed (within the last 2 years) served as one of two members representing retirees on the board. Existing member Chris Cochran, a UNLV professor, is being moved into Ewing-Taylor's position, leaving his existing appointment vacant. The story also announced that members Bob Moore and Jeff Garofalo would be removed from the board. The story said that Sandoval's Chief of Staff Mike Willden had been "closely monitoring what's been going on since the latter part of November" with the board and that the "changes are being made in part because of inconsisten messages that have been coming from the board as it works to select a new HMO provider and make significant changes to the benefits plan by the end of this year." Another reason listed for the removal of Moore and Garafalo was that the two either were unable to attend many meetings because of other work commitments or were unable to vote on important issues because of potential conflicts of interest. Two new members of the board were announced in the Nevada Appel article; they include Leah Lamborn who will replace Judy Saiz and Tom Verducci replaces Bob Moore. Lamborn formerly served as fiscal manager for Nevada Medicaid and Verducci formerly served on the deferred compensation board. Garofalo will be replaced by Christine Zack Gundersen, a former member of senior management for three national healthcare companies. These major board changes, and their impacts, were not addressed at the May 19 meeting.
Meanwhile, the last meeting of the board was April 21, where RPEN was well represented. 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.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada
The Board met May 19 in Carson City at their board room on West Nye Lane. The board heard from Chief Financial Consultant Ken Lambert that PERS continues to perform well, and were in the top 10 percent in the country as far as their rate of return goes...and that PERS continues to pay the lowest fees while taking the least amount of risk. The board also received a progress report from their Private Equity provider, Pathway Capital Management, who also reported PERS' 9.3% net return on investment since inception. Pathway has offices in California, Rhode Island, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The next regular meeting is June 16.
A link to the May 19 board agenda 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. The dates for our Annual Board of Directors' meeting in Elko has been set for September 20-23 at the Stockman's Hotel and Casino. Our Elko Chapter is hosting this year's annual event. Additional details on the annual meeting will be sent to all Chapter Presidents following our June Executive Committee Meeting. For more information 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