Monday, March 4, 2024, 8:30 AM, Room 120 Capitol (Agenda & Materials)
Monday, March 11, 2024, 8:30 AM, Room 120 Capitol (Agenda TBA)
Monday, March 18, 2024, 8:30 AM, Room 120 Capitol (Agenda TBA)
Monday, March 25, 2024, 8:30 AM, Room 120 Capitol (Agenda TBA)
Our new address is: Centennial Office Building | 658 Cedar Street, 1st Floor | Saint Paul MN 55155
LCPR News and Developments
The IRAP to TRA Work Group delivers legislative proposal to the LCPR
The IRAP to TRA work group may have discovered the solution that will end the need for annual legislation to benefit single individuals. For many years, the Commission has considered special legislation for MN State employees who want to transfer from the IRAP to TRA, because they had not received notice or were unaware of the option to transfer when they were first eligible to do so.
The proposed legislation, recently delivered to the LCPR, establishes a new process that authorizes an eligible person to transfer to TRA, begin accruing service credit toward a TRA pension, and purchase past service credit. For each eligible person, the purchase of past service credit is funded by the following:
- The eligible person’s IRAP account
- An amount from a new state-funded account, for as long as funds are available
- Other retirement funds, if directed by the eligible person
PERA delivers plan for distributing $5 million in incentives to join the Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Plan
On January 5, 2024, PERA Executive Director Doug Anderson delivered an outline to the LCPR that describes how PERA intends to distribute the $5 million allocated to a new incentive program established by the legislature during the 2023 session. The program is intended to provide an incentive to fire departments with volunteer firefighter relief associations to join the SVF Plan. According to PERA’s outline, the initial incentive amount is:
- $10,000 per plan, plus
- $1,000 per member
This incentive amount applies to fire departments that join the SVF Plan in 2023, 2024, and 2025 or until the $5 million is exhausted. The legislation: Laws 2023, Chapter 45, Article 6, Section 2, Subdivision 2, Paragraph (a).
LCPR appoints three members to the board of directors of the Minnesota Secure Choice Retirement Program
The Executive Committee of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement met on Monday, January 8, at 10 a.m. to appoint three members of the board of directors of the Minnesota Secure Choice Retirement Program. The Commission’s Executive Committee consists of Chair Rep. Kaohly Vang Her, Vice Chair Sen. Nick Frenz, and Secretary Rep. Tim O’Driscoll. The Committee appointed the following, effective January 15, 2024:
- Cynthia Geiwitz, to the seat to be filled by an executive or operations manager with substantial experience in recordkeeping 401(k) plans. Ms. Geiwitz is Senior Counsel for Wells Fargo & Company.
- Danica Goshert, to the seat to be filled by an executive or operations manager with substantial experience in individual retirement accounts. Ms. Goshert is Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Manager at Integrated Equity Management.
- James Miley, to the seat to be filled by an executive or operations manager with substantial experience in retirement plan investments. Mr. Miley is co-founder, Managing Director, and Chief Investment Officer of Hays Financial Group.
The appointments were approved contingent on completion of a background check. The background checks have been completed and the appointments are now final.
The board will consist of the three members appointed by the Commission, two members appointed by the Governor’s office, and the executive directors of the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) and the State Board of Investment (SBI).
The Governor made his appointments on January 12 and they are:
- Alex West Steinman, to fill the seat for a small business owner.
- Robin Ritter, to fill the seat for a human resources executive.
2023 Session Summary
A brief summary of the 2023 Legislative Session is now avaliable.
IRAP to TRA Work Group
The LCPR has convened a work group to discuss recommending general legislation that would allow for certain participants in the higher education individual retirement account plan (IRAP), administered by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, to transfer to the Teachers Retirement Association. The work group has met four times between July 26 and November 6. The agendas and meeting materials can be found here, when available. The work group is mandated under Laws 2023, Ch 47, Art. 7, Sec. 3.
The LCPR has a new Deputy Director!
Sean Kelly joined Commission staff on July 31, 2023, as the new Deputy Director. Sean comes to the legislature from a Minneapolis law firm with a practice focused on representing employees in disputes related to their employment and employee benefits, including retirement benefits. Sean has five years of experience at the firm, most recently as its Case Development Coordinator. He is a graduate of St. John's University and was Managing Editor of the campus newspaper, The Record.
Sean's office is on the 1st floor of the Centennial Office Building. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his phone is 651.296.7820. Welcome, Sean, to the legislature and the wonderful world of public pensions!
Pension and retirement-related legislation enacted in 2023:
- Pension Policy Omnibus
- Pension Budget Omnibus
- Minnesota Secure Choice Retirement Program
- Public Safety PTSD/Duty Disability
- Pension-related provisions in the Omnibus Tax bill
(relevant pages of the bill)
➤ For summaries of the first four bills, go to the 2023 Pension and Retirement Bills page.
➤ Summary of the pension-related provisions in the Omnibus Tax Bill:
See previous LCPR News articles
- Effective July 1, 2025, normal retirement age is reduced from 66 to 65 for the Teachers Retirement Association and St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association, and paid for with a 0.25% increase in employee contributions and a 0.75% increase in employer contributions, the latter funded by a corresponding increase in state funding to school districts and other state employers.
- Effective January 1, 2023, along with a subtraction from federal adjusted gross income for social security benefits, the bill contains a subtraction from federal AGI for up to $25,000 (for married taxpayers and surviving spouses) or up to $12,500 (for all others) of "qualified retirement benefits." "Qualified retirement benefits" are pensions paid to "basic" members, i.e., members whose pensions are based on service for which the member is not also receiving social security benefits such as from the PERA Police and Fire Plan and the MSRS State Patrol Plan. Both subtractions are phased out after $100,000 in AGI for couples and $78,000 AGI for singles.
Post-traumatic stress disorder study
During the 2023 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature passed House File 2988, which requires the Department of Labor (DLI) to conduct a comprehensive study about work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the workers' compensation system. It will be completed by Aug. 1, 2025. Read more...
State Board of Investment reports a one-year 11.7% investment return for the Combined Funds as of September 30, 2023.
The Combined Funds consist of the assets of the statewide retirement systems, including the pension plans administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), and the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). These assets fund pensions and retirement accounts for active and retired public employees. For more information, see the chart at the bottom of this page and the SBI’s Combined Funds Summary.
Study report: Adequacy of Disability Benefits for Minnesota Police Officers.
During the 2022 session, the Minnesota Legislature passed Senate File 1547, a bill requiring the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to complete a study of police disability benefit adequacy with the assistance of the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA).
See the report...
In June 2023, the DLI issued an addendum to the study report that summarizes interviews conducted by DLI's research team of injured police officers and their families.
The summaries supplement the findings in the study report with perspectives from the direct recipients of workers' compensation and PERA disability benefits.
See previous Minnesota News articles
National News and Recent Publications
Liz Weston: Why 403(b) retirement savings accounts might not be best for you
One more in the stream of less than favorable, even shocking, articles about the hidden costs of 403(b) arrangements in which nearly all MN public school teachers invest, even when they have available to them the low-fee MN Deferred Compensation Plan. Read More...
NASRA publishes survey of employee contribution rates to public pension plans
The employee contribution rate for teachers in the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association has been of interest lately as stakeholders look at possible benefit improvements. At 7.75%, do MN teachers contribute more than teachers in other states? Have a look at the recently published NASRA issue brief that surveys employee contribution rates for many public pension plans across the U.S., including teacher plans.
NASRA publishes rate of return assumptions for public pension plans as of July 2023
The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) recently published investment return assumptions by plan. Read More...
See previous National News articles