LRTA Executive Board Approves Positions on Pre-filed Bills
In our 2021 Spring Newsletter, we provided a sneak peek of the retirement bills pre-filed for this session along with our recommended positions on the bills. Since this publication, the list has changed slightly. While legislators had to pre-file retirement bills by February 26, bills of other subject matter had to be pre-filed by April 2 to be introduced on the first day of session.
On April 20, during the LRTA Executive Board meeting, the Board formally approved the following positions on these pre-filed bills:
Require all new employees and some current employees of the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA) to be transferred to or become members of TRSL. Currently, LSBA employees are members of the Parochial Employees’ Retirement System of Louisiana.
LRTA will remain NEUTRAL
Would make a supplemental appropriation of $18.6 million to the TRSL initial unfunded accrued liability (IUAL) from a portion of the FY 2019-20 surplus funds in the state treasury.
LRTA will SUPPORT
Would change retirement eligibility for new hires in TRSL, LASERS, and LSERS whose first employment makes them eligible for membership in a state retirement system on or after July 1, 2021. Members hired on/after this date could retire under the following eligibility criteria:
LRTA will OPPOSE. After reviewing TRSL’s position and reasons for opposing the legislation, the LRTA Legislative Committee voted to oppose SB 22. LRTA is not asking that members take action at this time. However, if you would like to reach out to your senator as a concerned citizen, click here to find your legislators’ contact information.
Would grant a minimum benefit increase to certain retirees, beneficiaries, and survivors of TRSL as well as the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS), the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System (LSERS), and the Louisiana State Police Retirement System (LSPRS).
As currently written, TRSL retirees who meet all of the following criteria on June 30, 2021, would be granted a monthly benefit increase equal to the lesser of $300 or the difference between their current benefit and $1,450:
LRTA will SUPPORT. The Senate Retirement Committee moved to favorably report SB 24, and the bill now goes before Senate Finance. Stay tuned for updates on SB 24.
LRTA will also SUPPORT HCR 7 by Rep. Mike Johnson. This resolution memorializes Congress to repeal the GPO/WEP. The GPO and WEP are Social Security Administration issues that affect retired teachers in Louisiana. Learn more about the GPO and WEP here. While the GPO and WEP are federal issues Congress must take action on, resolutions from the Louisiana Legislature reinforces the need for Congress to repeal these provisions. LRTA will continue to provide updates about federal legislation like H.R. 82 as information becomes available.
In addition, LRTA will monitor HB 176 by Rep. Thompson and HB 417 by Rep. Ivey. These bills do not directly affect TRSL retirees, so LRTA will not take a position on this bill. You can keep track of the bills listed above using our online bill tracker.
Although the list of bills LRTA is tracking this session may appear short, we must continue to remain vigilant. LRTA will continue to monitor for any bills filed during the session that could affect your retirement benefits and may call on you to take action and contact your legislators. Keep an eye on your inboxes and the LRTA Facebook page and website!
Rodney R. Watson
LRTA Executive Director