On Oct. 12 the House Retirement Committee met and reported favorably, by substitute bill, House Bill 36 by Rep. Tony Bacala. The bill now has a new number, House Bill 97.
HB 97 is the substitute bill for HB 36. HB 97 is a return-to-work bill that would authorize the re-employment of retirees from the four state retirement systems during a declared state of emergency without any effect on retirement benefits if all the following conditions occur:
The re-employment occurs during a state of emergency declared by the governor.
The employer certifies in writing to the retirement system that employment of the retiree is critical to the effectiveness of the employer’s response to the emergency. The employer shall recertify that the employee is critical every six months.
The date of the retiree’s retirement is more than 30 days prior to the initial declaration of the state of emergency that he is reemployed to respond to.
The retiree’s retirement was not based on a disability.
Specific to TRSL, this substitute bill provides as follows:
That the ability to be re-employed without reduction or suspension ends on the last day of the month in which the state of emergency ends.
Thereafter, until the end of the fiscal year (June 30), retirees who remain re-employed and whose earnings exceed 25% of their FAC during the fiscal year, will have their benefits reduced by the amount in excess of the earnings cap.
After the last day of such fiscal year, enrollment in the system will be terminated for all RTW retirees re-employed under the provisions of this bill, and such retirees shall become subject to the regular RTW laws;
Stipulates that RTW retirees cannot be concurrently re-employed under any other provisions of the RTW law;
Requires both RTW retirees and employers to make contributions to TRSL for the duration of the re-employment, but specifies that RTW retirees will not accrue any additional retirement benefits due to their re-employment during a declared state of emergency;
States that RTW retirees can receive a refund of the employee contributions after termination of the re-employment;
Provides for reporting requirements for employers to report the hiring of a RTW retiree during a declared state of emergency, which are similar to reporting requirements in current law; and
Provides that the proposed law’s applicability terminates 60 days after adjournment of any Regular Session of the Legislature if state of emergency has been in effect continuously for more than 365 days on the first day of such session.
LRTA SUPPORTS HB 97. The bill now goes before the full House this afternoon.
Contact your Representatives TODAY and ask them to vote “YES” on HB 97!