The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)
PEBP PUBLISHES BENEFIT WISE BULLETIN
DATED FEBRUARY 15 2017
To view the newsletter, please click on the link below:
PEBP BOARD DISCUSSES RATES MARCH 23, 2017
PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock has presented the agency's biennium budget for Plan Year 2018-2019 at least twice now at the Nevada State Legislative session. There are some controversial issues in the budget that include the assessement of administrative fees to Medicare Retirees for maintaining their Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA's) and their life insurance plans provided by the state. The fees amount to roughly $6.00 per month and RPEN has put on the record our opposition to the fees. While PEBP's Board approved the assessment of the fees earlier this year, there is still a possibility that the fees could be re-evaluated at the next meeting of the PEBP Board March 23 even though the fees have been included in budget presentations before the legislature. Haycock testified during a recent budget hearing February 22 that they may come back with budget amendments following their March 23rd board meeting...dependent of course on the exact amount of excess reserves PEBP may have based on the latest actuarial report provided during the March meeting. The 2 year plan amounts to roughly $940 million and includes nearly $13 million in enhancements for active and retiree participants in PEBP and the Medicare Exchange. During public testimony at the February 22 hearing, some objected to using the term "enhancements" because in fact the fee assessments were actually included in Haycock's presentation as an "enhancement". RPEN has also been very adament that there be a solution during this session to the "orphan" non-state retiree issues, a small, dwindling pool of non-state participants facing escalating health insurance costs since they don't belong to a larger pool...and never will qualify to belong. Haycock presented several solutions during his budget hearing February 22, one that would put the burden back on the local governments from which the non-state retirees came from to pay more on their premiums to soften the financial impact of escalating insurance rates. An agenda for the March 23 meeting has not been posted, but when it is available we will post a link to it here. For more information about PEBP call 775-684-7000. Also please note that PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock has a regular column in every issue of the RPEN Review Newsletter on important health care issues that matter to all public employees, retired or still working!
PEBP SCHEDULES INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS FOR MEDICARE AND
IN SOUTHERN NEVADA
Medicare and Pre-Medicare Retiree Meetings are about to start up again in Southern Nevada at the College of Southern Nevada's Charleston Campus, Library Building on February 27. The Pre-Medicare meeting is from 9-10am, followed by the Medicare meeting from 10:30am-Noon and One-on-One HRA Appointments available from 1-4pm the same day. All meetings will take place in the same room. Then on February 28, there will be additional One-on-One HRA Appointments available from 9am-4pm at the same campus, but in the Ralph and Betty Engelstad School of Health Sciences Building in Building K, Room 208. The campus is located at 6375 W. Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas.
Towers Watson's One Exchange call center reps are also available to assist you by phone Monday through Friday from 5am-6pm Pacific Time at 1-888-598-7545.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada (PERS)
The Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) Board will meet again Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the boardroom located at 693 W. Nye Lane in Carson City. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. with an Education Session, followed by the regular meeting that starts at noon. To view the board packet, please click on the link below:
PERS BOARD DECIDES TO APPEAL COURT RULING IN FAVOR OF THE NEVADA POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
A special meeting of the PERS Board was held January 31 that included several RPEN members in the audience, as PERS looks to fight the January 24 decision of Carson District Court Judge James Wilson favoring NPRI over PERS, permitting NPRI access to the following information: retiree name, years of service credit, gross pension benefit amount, year of retirement and last employer. NPRI, during testimony at the January 17 court hearing, said since the taxpayer pays these salaries, they have a right to have access to this information to make sure the state law is being followed. The vote to file an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court was unanimous, and RPEN Executive Director Terri Laird testified during public comment at the meeting that RPEN, who stood in support of PERS when the Reno Newspapers group sought similar information several years, would support PERS again in whatever ways possible. PERS Board Chairman Mark Vincent, who made the motion to file an appeal, said he is quite concerned about what this release could mean to retirees, already a vulnerable group, as it pertains to identity theft and other cybercrimes. Laird concurred that those are RPEN's concerns as well.
Also during this meeting January 31, PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss announced that PERS will be going before the Nevada Senate Finance Committee February 7 for their agency's budgeting hearing. PERS will also appear for a similar budget overview before the Senate Government Affairs Committee February 9 as well as another budget meeting before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on February 16.
Nevada Policy Research Institute Continually Targets NV PERS
NPRI recently published their legislative agenda outlining issues they will fight for at the 79th Session of the Nevada State Legislature. It's called Solutions 2017, and can be view by clicking the link below. As you know NPRI has actively sought many PERS reforms such as adding non-PERS participants to the PERS Board and instituting a 401K/Hybrid pension plan for new hires. Thankfully the most drastic "reforms" have been rejected at recent legislative sessions. The document is 121 pages long, and the PERS recommendations start on page 26 and conclude on page 33.
RPEN also obtained a document being used by NPRI in a fundraising attempt that names NV PERS many times in an effort to once again target PERS as another legislative session fast approaches. The document was given to RPEN anonymously. All public employees, those retired as well as those still working, need to be alarmed by this document, that can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
NPRI also recently filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in Carson City seeking the release of data requested from PERS in a format that is more usable for NPRI, which maintains a searchable online database of public employee salary and benefit information. In the document NPRI said it requested data about pension payouts last year to add to a website it maintains called Transparent Nevada. They said they received a report that listed pension payouts not by retiree name but by Social Security number, which by law must be redacted. NPRI complained this information leaves nothing more than a list of payments to unknown individuals. NPRI also said in their complaint a 2015 Nevada Supreme Court decision indicates that agencies are not excused from their disclosure duties if they have a computer program that could compile the information. The request for information from NV PERS started several years ago with a request from the Reno Gazette Journal. A hearing date for this latest effort has not been set.
For more information about Nevada PERS please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Nevada Deferred Comp
The next meeting for the Nevada Deferred Compensation Committee is January 26 at 8:30 a.m., and will be held in Carson City at the Governor's Office of Economic Development at 808 West Nye Lane in the Conference Room. To view an agenda for this meeting, please click on the link below:
For more information about Nevada Deferred Comp please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
RPEN LEGISLATIVE ALERTS
79TH SESSION OF THE
NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
TO VIEW PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW:
We encourage our members to visit our website on a regular basis, especially during the legislative session, as we will be posting regular "Legislative Updates/Alerts" throughout the 120 day session. We also will be posting this same information on our Facebook page.
Terri Laird, Executive Director
To go straight to the Nevada Legislative website now, please click on the link below:
(ALSO SEE THE LINK "LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS" ON OUR HOME PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION)
Now that you know about some of our issues going into the 79th Session of the Nevada State Legislature, perhaps you would like to reach out to your elected officals in one way or another, but don't know how to do so. Our Lead Lobbyist/Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard wants to help! Through her lobbying agency, The Lockard Group, she has prepared a list of helpful lobbying tips. To view the document, please click on the link below:
RPEN often sends out emails and notices through different channels to our members when we need to "pack" a meeting room when our issues are being heard at the Legislature, and by reviewing Marlene's well thought out document, you will be ready when the need arises!
Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN) Executive Committee Will Meet Again June 28 and 29 in Summerlin
The Executive Committee of RPEN decided at their last meeting January 17-18 in Carson City that they would come together again June 28-29 at the Sun Coast Hotel/Casino in Summerlin, which will also serve as our host hotel for our annual meeting in the early fall. There were two properties in the south vying for our business, but the Sun Coast offered the best location. RPEN's newest chapter, the Summerlin Chapter, will be hosting our annual meeting, set for September 19-22.
* 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