2013 Retirement Legislation

The Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration (MPERA) is monitoring the following legislation. This list includes only those bills or portions of bills which may impact retirement systems within Montana state government and agencies contracting with MPERA.

To view the entire contents of this and other legislation, visit the Legislature's LAWS website.

A list of tracked bills, their sponsors and their most recent action is below.

Here are comprehensive spreadsheets of all tracked House bills and Senate bills, and their current status.

HB 49
Pat Ingraham

Exempt military pensions from state income tax
Exempts military pension or retirement income and survivor benefits received by military veterans from state income taxation.

Bill Action:
Tabled in committee

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 53
Pat Ingraham

Revise State Administration and Veteran Affairs statutory duties
Revises the duties of the State Administration and Veterans' Affairs interim committee eliminating reviewing and reporting on retirement legislation.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 54
Pat Ingraham

Revise Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) administrative and tax qualification laws
Generally revises administrative and federal tax qualification provisions of TRS; clarifying definitions and terminology related to termination of employment, positions reportable to the retirement systems, retirement status, and service credit; specifying jurisdiction and venue for judicial review of administrative decisions; clarifying termination pay procedures; revising certain normal retirement age and nonforfeitability of benefit provisions as required for federal tax qualification.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

 

HB 78
Keith Regier

Clarify break in service requirements for postretirement employment under TRS
Revises break-in-service requirements for postretirement employment in a position reportable to the TRS.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

 

HB 90
Jesse O'Hara

Increase university system supplemental contributions rate to TRS
Increases the Montana University System Optional Retirement Program employer supplemental contribution rate.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 91
Ryan Lynch

Modify and expand Public Employee 457 Deferred Compensation program
The Deferred Compensation plan is a voluntary supplemental retirement plan. Contributions are currently pre-tax contributions. Roth 457 accounts are now permissible per the IRS. Roth 457 contributions are post-tax as an investment option. This is advantageous to members who anticipate being in a higher tax bracket when they retire. No fiscal impact.

Bill Action:
Chapter Number Assigned

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 95
Franke Wilmer

Require contributions on working retiree compensation
Require employers continue to pay the contributions on working retirees in the systems that allow working retirees: PERS, SRS, and FURS.

Working retirees are a drain on system when they take the place of a new hire where employer contributions would be paid into the systems.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 96
Franke Wilmer

Provide actuarial funding for PERS, HPORS, GWPORS, and SRS retirement systems
The PERS, GWPORS, SRS and HPORS are actuarially unsound. The contributions set in statute do not meet the annual required contributions (ARC). Because of the changes made last session, we are proposing adding funding to the plans through increased employer contributions and additional funding sources.

The Board proposes that in addition to other funding sources (such as the Coal Tax Fund) employer contributions be increased by 0.25% each year until 1% is attained. Allowing review of the actuarial valuations to ensure the increase continues to be needed.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 97
Franke Wilmer

Cap highest/final average compensation in MPERA retirement systems
Establish a cap for all new hires to ensure that the final 36-month (60-month for new hires in PERS, SRS & GWPORS) period is not unreasonably inflated. Amended it to remove bonuses for all members; remove contributions on 125 premiums for new hires and decreased the cap to 110% of compensation. Senator Walker will carry on the floor

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 105
Tom Steenberg

Generally revise MPERA retirement systems
Our biennial housekeeping bill and has no fiscal impact. This will include general revisions to the disability administrative process. No fiscal impact.

Bill Action:
Chapter Number Assigned

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 112
Jean Price

Improve actuarial funding for TRS
Revises provisions of the TRS to improve the system's actuarial funding; creating two membership tiers; increasing employee and employer contributions; authorizing the teachers' retirement board to adjust certain contributions under certain conditions; revising how average final compensation is calculated for new members; revising service retirement and early retirement eligibility for new members; revising death and disability benefit provisions for new members; revising the benefit multiplier for new members; statutorily appropriating money from the public school fund guarantee account to the TRS.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 122
Bryce Bennett

Ensure federal IRS qualifications of MPERA retirement systems
Internal Revenue Code and Federal Regulations are continually changing. Recent changes have been made to the definitions of “normal retirement age” and “governmental entities”. Therefore, we are proposing legislation to address any changes necessary to comply with these new regulations. No fiscal impact.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 167
Bryce Bennett

Generally revise the TRS
Generally revises laws related to the TRS; providing an enhanced retirement benefit known as the "professional retirement option" for new members of the system; creating two membership tiers within the system; revising the calculation of average final compensation for new members; revising eligibility for early and normal retirement benefits for new members.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Board bill proposal

 

HB 175
Franke Wilmer

Include dispatchers in the Sheriffs' Retirement System (SRS)
Places all dispatchers hired after July 1, 2013 into the SRS. Dispatchers in the PERS system on July 1, 2013 have four options:

1: Remain in the PERS.
2: Elect SRS; keep PERS account intact.
3: Elect SRS; transfer PERS account into SRS and take proportional credit for the transferred service.
4: Elect SRS; transfer PERS account and pay “out-of-pocket” cost to make up the difference in service credit.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Support

 

HB 234
Steve Fitzpatrick

Revise definition of compensation in police and fire retirement systems
Revises the definition of "compensation" used for calculating retirement contributions and benefits under MPORS and FURS.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Support

 

HB 253
Bill McChesney

 

Increase contributions to the U-System's Optional Retirement Program
Increases general fund and employer contributions to the university system's Optional Retirement Program.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 282
Kirk Wagoner

Constitutional amendment regarding public employee retirement systems
Cap General Fund expenses at inflation rate as long as retirement systems are unsound.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Neutral

 

HB 311
Tom Jacobson

Revise what educational and retirement savings is exempt from civil judgment
Clarifies that retirement is exempt from civil judgment.

Bill Action:
Tabled in committee

Board Position:
Support

 

HB 320
Bryce Bennett

Change name of optional retirement system
Renames the Optional Retirement Program.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
None taken

 

HB 336 Steve Gibson

 

Generally revise Highway Patrol Retirement System laws
Bring HPORS into actuarially soundness. Sponsored by the Association of Montana Troopers. It changes the GABA for new hires to 1.5% and implements a 3 year waiting period, increases member and employer contributions and increases retirement calculation factor from 2.5% to 2.6%. Also increases vesting for new hires to 10 years.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

Board Position:
None taken

HB 338
Keith
Regier

Provide funding for pension debts, all new hires to a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan
This bill closes all the defined benefit plans. Increases contribution rates, provides coal tax funding and requires all new hires to go into the PERS-DCRP. It also changes the make-up of the retirement board.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Oppose

HB 377
Tom Woods

Provide funding for Teachers' Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan
Provides additional funding for the Teachers' Retirement System; creating two membership tiers within the system; increasing the normal contribution rate for new members; enacting a supplemental contribution rate for current members; authorizing the Teachers' Retirement Board to impose a supplemental contribution rate for tier two members; authorizing the Teachers' Retirement Board to increase or decrease any supplemental contribution rate according to certain actuarially determined funding standards; revising how average final compensation is calculated for new members; revising eligibility for early and normal retirement and for death and disability benefits for new members; establishing an increased normal retirement benefit for certain new members; decreasing the cap on school district retirement fund operating reserves and providing that any reserves in excess of the cap be paid to the Teachers' Retirement System; statutorily appropriating money from the public school fund guarantee account to the Teachers' Retirement System; specifying a timetable for the payment of state transportation reimbursement to the school districts.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

 

HB 382
Liz Bangerter

 

Provide coal tax funding for actuarially unsound retirement systems
Requires that a portion of the expendable portion of coal severance tax collections be statutorily appropriated to the trust funds for the Teachers' Retirement System, the Public Employees' Retirement System defined benefit plan, the Sheriffs' Retirement System, and the Game Wardens' and Peace Officers' Retirement System until the funds are actuarially sound.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Support

 

HB 454
Bill McChesney

 

Provide funding for the public employees' retirement system defined benefit plan
Provides funding for the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS); providing that the unallocated portion of coal severance tax collections is statutorily appropriated to the PERS Defined Benefit Retirement Plan (DBRP). Revises the allocation of interest income from the coal tax permanent fund and providing a statutory appropriation of a portion of the interest income to the PERS - DBRP. Amends the termination date for the transfer of certain money from the coal severance tax bond fund to the treasure state endowment fund and the treasure state endowment regional water system fund. Temporarily increases employee and employer contributions to PERS; providing an appropriation to the PERS for each year of the biennium.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

 

HB 461
Ed Lieser

 

Increase pension for certain volunteer firefighters
Increases the pension benefit amount that the board of trustees of a fire department relief association may set for members of the association who are volunteers.

Bill Action:
Chapter number assigned

 

HB 476
Amanda Curtis

 

Add cost of living adjustment for volunteer firefighters
Provides a cost-of-living adjustment to benefits provided in the volunteer firefighters' compensation act.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

 

SB 82
Dave Lewis

Require PERS new hires to be in Defined Contribution Retirement Plan
This bill closes the PERS defined benefit plan. Requires all new hires to be in the DCRP plan. Requires the governor’s budget to include funding for the UAL.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

Board Position:
Oppose

SB 227
Edward Walker

 

Eliminate pension eligibility for legislators
Prohibits new legislators from receiving membership service or service credit in any public employee retirement system governed by state law.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

 

SB 245
Ron Arthun

 

Revise reference to financial investments by fire relief associations
Revises investment provisions for fire relief associations.

Bill Action:
Chapter Number Assigned

 

SB 261
Sue Malek

 

Require legislator election each term concerning participation in PERS
An act requiring a legislator to make an election each term concerning legislative participation in a public employee retirement system; specifying that a legislator who elects not to participate in a public employee retirement system as a legislator may not be considered as employed in a position covered by the retirement system based on the legislator's employment as a legislator.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

 

SB 333
Ron Arthun

 

Establish cash balance benefit tier in TRS and PERS for new hires
Revises laws related to PERS; establishing a cash balance benefit tier for new members in the PERS and TRS. Provides definitions; specifies membership criteria; establishes member rights and benefits. Specifies retirement board duties and authorizing rulemaking, requiring each retirement board to seek a ruling from the internal revenue service concerning compliance with federal tax qualification provisions governing the retirement systems.

Bill Action:
Missed Deadline for Appropriation Bill Transmittal

 

SB 353
Edward Walker

 

Establish qualifications for Public Employees' and Teachers' Retirement Boards
Establishes certain qualifications for members of the Public Employees' Retirement Board (PERB) and the teachers' retirement board; reducing the size of the membership of the teachers' retirement board.

Bill Action:
2nd Reading Indefinately Postponed 02/27/2013

SB 376
Larry Jent

Executive budget proposal to include actuarial funding for pension systems
Generally revising actuarial funding for the Public Employee Retirement Systems; requiring that any shortfall in the annual contributions required to ensure that Public Employee Retirement Systems are actuarially sound must be included in the governor's proposed budget;

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

 

SB 406
Dee Brown

 

Statutory referendum on pension reform, new hires to DC plan, not TRS or PERS
An act submitting to the qualified electors of Montana an act establishing the fair public pension act and revising public employee retirement laws; requiring new public employees who would otherwise become members of the Public Employees' or Teachers' Retirement System to instead become members of a defined contribution retirement plan similar to a 401(k) plan.

Bill Action:
Tabled in Committee

 

SR 22
Ron Arthun

Confirm Governor's appointees to public employee retirement board
A resolution of the senate of the state of Montana concurring in, confirming, and consenting to the appointments to the Public Employees' Retirement Board made by the governor and submitted by written communication dated January 16, 2013, to the senate.

Bill Action
Filed with Secretary of State - 04/12/2013

 

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