State Auditor's Working Group (November and December 2021 Meetings)

The Volunteer Fire Relief Association Working Group met on November 30 and December 14 to finalize its legislative proposals for 2022. The proposals include changes to maximum service pension amounts for relief associations with a defined benefit pension plan. The Working Group proposal would eliminate the flexible service pension maximums that a relief association must calculate annually. Instead, relief associations could make changes to their benefit levels so long as the levels do not exceed the $15,000 maximum lump sum benefit amount and the $100 maximum monthly benefit amount, and the benefit changes are ratified by the municipality. (Note that limited authority currently exists for relief associations to increase their benefit levels without municipal ratification if certain conditions are met.)

The Working Group also agreed to move forward with a clarification that would permit a supplemental benefit payment with each qualified lump sum distribution. The proposal makes clear that a relief association would be eligible for reimbursement of each supplemental benefit paid, when firefighters receive more than one benefit payment.

The Working Group also approved authorizing distributions to former spouses under a domestic relations order, and requiring the fire chief to provide documentation of certified service credit amounts at a firefighter’s request.

Meeting materials and recordings are available on the Working Group page of the Office of the State Auditor (OSA)’s website.

Published last in the December 2021 Pension Newsletter