NH State Pension Update

On Tuesday, the House Special Committee on Public Employee Pensions will review SB 3, the "Omnibus" pension bill sponsored by Sen. Jeb Bradley.

Last weekend, Sen. Bradley sent an email newsletter to his supporters, saying "It is my hope that this column will help provide clarification. As always, I remain open and available to discuss concerns or share thoughts on this issue."

The NH Retirement Security Coalition felt his email needed a factual response. Read Sen. Bradley's email -- and the NHRSC point-by-point response -- here.  Some of the NHRSC points:
  • Several attorneys testified at the public hearing for this bill, warning the Senate and Senator Bradley that several changes in the bill do not pass constitutional muster and that the Senate should seek legal advice before proceeding.
  • The NHRS actuaries, who are impartial counsel, confirmed that there are contractual based issues with this bill in the fiscal note for SB3 where they state that because SB3 makes changes to current members, they advised the Senate to seek legal advice.
  • SB3 most definitely changes cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) status, because it eliminates the ability to fund and provide COLAs by eliminating the special account. To say SB3 "does not alter, but it also does not authorize additional COLAS" is a misleading play on words.
  • Senate Bill 3 does nothing to pay down the $3.7 billion pension unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) and $1 billion medical subsidy liability.  It absolutely does not pay down the UAAL directly; it is a smoke and mirror budget trick at best.
The SEA is one of 14 member organizations that comprise the NHRSC.

We hope Sen. Bradley is open to new information about the pension issue.  We note that his email is based on unfunded accrued actuarial liability (UAAL) figures as of June 30, 2010.  Since that time, the NHRS Trust Fund has recovered significantly.  Read the latest "Investment Highlights" here.
Read analyses of SB 3's provisions here and here.

Speak out!  You can tell the Special Committee exactly what you think of SB 3 here.

This post was created by directly extracting the information from an SEA bulletin.