2021 Legislative Update (March 2021 Meetings)

The Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) held several meetings in March and plans to complete its work on the 2021 Pension and Retirement Bill during its meeting on April 6.

The LCPR unanimously approved the Volunteer Fire Relief Association Working Group proposals. In addition to making some technical changes, the proposals would:

  • Change how vesting is determined when relief associations elect to authorize combined service pension payments for firefighters with service in more than one fire department;
  • Allow relief associations with defined benefit plans to define a minimum length of time, of at least five years, during which service credit for nonvested members who have separated from firefighting service must be retained;
  • Clarify language that defines when an audit is required, that the audit threshold is based solely on special fund assets, and when a relief association’s financial reporting form must be certified by a certified public accountant; and
  • Authorize, until January 1, 2022, relief associations with a defined contribution plan to amend their bylaws to modify how currently-deferred members receive interest or additional investment performance to comply with the 2020 law change. (See our September 2020 Pension Division Newsletter for more details on the 2020 change.)

The LCPR also considered a bill, which was not part of the Working Group proposals, that would change the calculation method for supplemental state aid paid to relief associations and to fire departments that participate in the Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Plan administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association. The LCPR tabled this item, meaning they postponed discussion on this topic, and instead are considering the creation of a separate work group to discuss this and possibly other relief association topics during the interim.

Information about this bill can be found on the March 23 LCPR meeting page.

The agenda and materials for the April 6 LCPR will be posted on the LCPR website when they are available.

Published last in the March 2021 Pension Newsletter