The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)
April 2 Board Meeting
The "foster/orphaned" PEBP participants were addressed again at the April 2 PEBP board meeting. This small group of non-State retirees in PEBP has been a topic of discussion for several years now because they have been subjected to ever escalating health care costs because of their dwindling pool of participants. A public hearing was held on this issue April 2. To view information on this hearing, please click on the link below:
The board adopted a new temporary regulation seeking additional funds from the local governments these "orphaned" members came from to help lower their escalating premium costs. It has been estimated that this shrinking pool should be completely gone within a few years as they either age into the Medicare Exchange or expire. This issue is also the subject of a bill heard by the Assembly Government Affairs Committee, AB 426, brought forth by the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO). NACO seeks to provide this group a subsidy, but proposes moving them from PEBP and into the open marketplace where they can purchase their own insurance. During a hearing on the bill held April 3, RPEN went on record opposed to this concept for multiple reasons. No action was taken at the legislative hearing.
March 26 Board Meeting
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.
Former PEBP Executive Officer Jim Wells made two budget presentations this year at the Legislature. To view that 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.
RPEN LEGISLATIVE UPDATE -
APRIL 16, 2015
Retirees turned out in full force again, both in Carson City and Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 15, for a hearing on Assembly Bill 190, presented by Reno Assemblyman Randy Kirner, made before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. As Kirner presented the bill, that proposes instituting a new Hybrid Pension plan for new hires, Assemblyman Paul Anderson chaired the committee usually chaired by Kirner. Anderson announced during the hearing that both sides would receive equal time, and so after Kirner and his experts presented the reasoning FOR the bill took two hours, another two hours were devoted to those opposing AB 190. RPEN Executive Director Marty Bibb once again went on the record AGAINST AB 190 and defended RPEN after Assemblyman Kirner testified that RPEN had been spreading false information to its members that their pension was in jeapardy. Following the four hour hearing, where AB 190 was the only bill heard, there was NO action taken and it is not clear what direction this Committee will take.
Active AND Retired public employees are still being encouraged to register comments against AB 190 at the Nevada Legislative Website called "Share Your Opinion on Legislative Bills" A link to the site is provided below. As of April 16, 2015, there were over 4,300 comments filed AGAINST AB 190, making it the number one commented on bill so far this session! It sends a loud, clear statement to lawmakers that this is a bad bill, especially bad for public employees. Only 55 comments have been filed in favor of the bill.
The PERS Retirement Board held a special meeting April 8, in Carson City. There was a flury of bills introduced in mid March, soon after the board held their last regular meeting on March 18, so the board was unable to take a position on several of the other PERS bills currently being considered. Because of this, they called this special meeting.
Meanwhile another PERS bill was heard April 1 (April Fool's Day). Senate Bill 406 will be (was) heard in Senate Government Affairs at 1 p.m. RPEN put out a Legislative Alert on SB 406 late last month. A work session on SB 406 was held Friday April 10 to beat the deadline to move bills out of Committee. However, as of April 16, a second hearing or work session has not been scheduled. To read more about this bill please click on the report shown below.
There are still several other bills that deal with PERS that RPEN is watching. To view a complete list of the bills RPEN is following please click on the link below.
PERS BUDGET SET FOR HEARINGS
The Seventy eighth regular session of the Nevada State Legislature convened Monday, February 2, 2015 at Noon.
On Thursday, February 5th the Nevada Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) presented its agency budget to the Senate Finance Committee. The PERS budget is tenatively scheduled to be heard at the legislative building by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee at 8:00 a.m. in Room 3137 on Monday, February 9. 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. There were more than a dozen retirees at the hearing.
The public is always welcome to attend legislative hearings. Parking is available immediately adjacent to the legislative building in the Stewart Street garage (elevator equipped) and just south of the legislature in two surface level parking lots. For those in Southern Nevada, both hearings will be teleconferenced to the Grant Sawyer Building in downtown Las Vegas (check the legislative website for the exact room number) and all hearings can also be viewed online.
PERS Board Meeting
The next PERS Board Meeting will be May 20 and will be held in Carson City. A link to the PERS agenda will be posted here when it is available.
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
UNDERWAY IN CARSON CITY!
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.
There are 495 bills in the Assembly and 514 bills in Senate.
To view the latest information on bills from the session please click on the link below:
To view the latest Bill Draft Requests (BDR's)
(1,266) please click on the link below:
RPEN is still tracking nearly 30 bills relating to retiree issues, 11 of them relate directly to PERS and 7 deal with PEBP.
RPEN is being 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 April 10 deadline, 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 exists!
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, will be 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