2023 Legislative Update

The Pension and Retirement Omnibus Policy Bill was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Walz on May 19, 2023. This bill includes the Fire Relief Association Working Group provision that increases the threshold at which an annual audit is required, from the current $500,000 in special fund assets or liabilities to $750,000. The change will become effective on December 31, 2023, and applies to audits of calendar year 2023 and thereafter.

After the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) receives and reviews relief association reporting information for the 2022 calendar year, we will provide notice to those relief associations that no longer have an annual audit requirement and instead can have their financial reporting forms attested to by a Certified Public Accountant. If you have questions about how this law change may impact your relief association, please contact the OSA’s Pension Division.

Other Working Group proposals that were introduced in a separate bill, which included “firefighter” definitions and clarifications to when municipal ratification of benefit level changes is required, will likely be considered during the interim for action during next year’s legislative session.

In terms of legislation that was not proposed by the Working Group but that is relevant to relief associations, the Governor also signed into law on May 19, 2023, the Pension Budget Omnibus Bill that includes a provision creating an incentive program to encourage relief associations to join the Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Plan administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). PERA will work to prepare an outline of the incentive program details and present the outline to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement by January 5, 2024.

Published Last in the May 2023 Pension Newsletter