What’s Happening with Changes to Our Pensions?

Yesterday, the Special Committee on Public Employees’ Pensions Reform (Reform is much too nice of a word!) brought forward their recommendations about what to do with SB229. This is the bill that established a commission to make recommendations on whether the New Hampshire retirement system should be replaced with a defined contribution plan for all new hires; and to study the impact such change would have on the retirement system. The committee recommended that the bill ought to pass with an amendment that was clearly designed to divide and conquer, as the amendment unfairly applies only to state employees (municipal employees may opt in). The amendment can be read in its entirety here.

The major changes included in this version of the amendment are:

  • the legislature will have the authority to approve and release the RFP that gathers bids from companies who vie to administer the retirement funds (even though questions regarding the details about this process remain unanswered, such as who actually drafts the RFP’s; who oversees the RFP process, including who reviews the proposals, etc.)
  • the committee will collect $10,000 from each company that is interested in answering the RFP process – this is akin to an application fee and according to our recall and/or knowledge, this is a first in NH history
  • the amendment includes a contingency that if the study commission does not issue a report, then by default the Defined Contribution plan (100-E) will take effect in 2013
  • the unfunded liability will increase

The bill is scheduled to be considered by the full House this coming Tuesday, May 15. However, the House is scheduled to meet in session on Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday. There is a tendency for items to not be considered as ordered. So, we cannot say with certainty that this will be considered as scheduled.

The Concord Monitor ran an interesting editorial about this topic earlier this week. You can read it here.

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