The Public Employees Benefits Program
The PEBP Board met at 8:30 a.m. July 16 in Carson City and by a unanimous decision voted to recommend Damon Haycock to Governor Brian Sandoval as the next Executive Officer of PEBP. Haycock currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, where he has worked in several other capacities since December 2012. Haycock interviewed along with 3 other candidates, including current PEBP staffers Celestena Glover and Roger Rahming, as well as William Woodward, who interviewed by telephone. The board discussed the candidates for a short time before voting to recommend Haycock as the replacement for former EO Jim Wells, who currently serves in Governor Sandoval's cabinet as Budget Division Director, Department of Administration. Interim Executive Officer at PEBP, Kateri Carraher commented during Haycock's interview that the culture at PEBP is not good at this time, saying PEBP needs a leader who will care about the staff. She told him that his answers seemed like he could be someone that could provide that leadership. Others on the PEBP Board agreed with her statement.
In other action from the July 16 PEBP Board meeting, a new representative of Towers Watson (the company that operates the retiree's Medicare Exchange) announced under public comment that TW would be opening an office in Las Vegas very soon, and he announced he also has intentions of offering hours in the north as well. Boardmember Jacque Ewing Taylor (who was chosen as Vice-Chair of the PEBP Board) said she thought it might be appropriate that TW have an office at the PEBP offices in the Richard Bryan Building in Carson City. It is hoped that this can all be established before the next PEBP meeting set for September 17 in Carson City. RPEN has long fought for the establishment of a Towers Watson office in Nevada to assist the thousands of retirees served by the Medicare Exchange.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada
The Nevada PERS Board met again on August 20 in the PERS Board Room in Carson City located at 693 West Nye Lane. A link to the agenda will be posted here when it is available.
For more information about Nevada PERS please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
**2015 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE**
The 78th session of the Nevada State Legislature ended on time June 1. RPEN was represented at the session that began February 2 by our Executive Director Marty Bibb and Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard as well as Office Manager Kerry Armanasco and Director of Membership/Chapter Service Terri Laird with special assistance from our State President Jack Harris as well as hundreds of dedicated and concerned RPEN members in the north and the south who turned out for several hearings into critical bills that proposed major changes to the Nevada Public Employees' Retirement System and the Retirement Board. The first bill heard in Carson City that got the attention of thousands of retirees and actives in PERS was Assembly Bill 3. Proposed by Reno Assemblyman Randy Kirner this bill was rejected by the Government Affairs Committee, but not before a hearing where there were several overflow rooms needed to accomodate those that turned out against the bill. AB 3 called for changing the PERS Retirement Board to grow from the current 7 members to 9 members, allowing the two newest members to be from the private sector. RPEN went on record AGAINST AB 3, as did all public employee groups, including the PERS Board. Another bill from Assemblyman Kirner was AB 190, that as originally presented would change PERS to include a new, hybrid pension plan similar to a 401K for only new hires. Once again, RPEN was on record AGAINST AB 190, as were thousands of retirees and actives who voiced their objections loud and clear through the "Share Your Opinion" page on the legislative website. Over four thousand public employees were against AB 190 while less than 70 were in favor of it. As with AB 3, there were overflow crowds that gathered when hearings on AB 190 were held, both in the north and the south. In the end, AB 190 and its' hefty fiscal note from PERS, was rejected by the Assembly and it never got out of the Ways and Means Committee. One bill that went through, and only impacts NEW hires as of July 1, 2015, was Senate Bill 406 from Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson. SB 406 and its prospective changes were minimal, and again, did NOT impact existing employees and retirees. It was signed by the Governor June 9 after being sent to his office May 30.
Now that the session is over, RPEN would like to thank all of our members who supported us in our fight against those bills that we were very concerned about. We need to continue to be committed to keeping our membership strong, because the "strength in numbers" definitely served us well this year in Carson City! Toward that end we also need to continue educating the public that public employees are "taxpayers" too! And the study commissioned by the Governor two years ago proves that Nevada PERS is "best in class" meaning if it isn't broke...don't fix it!
Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN)
The Annual Board of Directors meeting will be hosted this year by the Carson Chapter of RPEN at the Carson Plaza Hotel September 15-18. Information about the annual gathering will be forthcoming as the date draws near. For additional details you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The meeting can also be 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