State Auditor's Working Group (October 2020 Meetings)
The Volunteer Fire Relief Association Working Group convened by the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) met on October 6 and October 20. The agenda of these first two meetings included the Working Group’s selection of topics to be discussed by the group this year. Selection of discussion topics indicates that the group has interest in talking about an issue—not that there is agreement on how to resolve the issue or even whether it needs resolution. When the Working Group proposes legislative change, it only does so when there is unanimous agreement on the change. Some of the items that the Working Group is discussing or plans to discuss this year include the following:
- The Working Group discussed at its October 20 meeting whether firefighters who are employed on a full-time basis by a municipality should be prohibited from separately working as a paid-on-call firefighter with the same fire department. Discussion on this topic will continue at the November 10 meeting.
- The Working Group also plans to discuss at its November 10 meeting whether relief associations should be required to invest pension assets through the Minnesota State Board of Investment, rather than with local investment brokers.
- Draft language approved by the Working Group that clarifies supplemental benefit eligibility for members who are paid more than one lump-sum distribution. The Working Group members also approved draft language that defines the term “municipal clerk” in the relief association statutes, and a change to permit forfeiture of a nonvested defined contribution plan member account if the former member passes away and no survivor or death benefit is payable.
Upcoming Working Group meetings are scheduled for November 10, November 17, and December 15. Meeting agendas and information are available on the Working Group page of the OSA website.
Meetings are live-streamed on the OSA's YouTube channel, and recordings are available on the channel following each meeting.
Published last in the October 2020 Pension Newsletter