The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)
The next regular meeting of the PEBP Board will be July 27, following the latest meeting that was held May 25. To view a synopsis of the May 25 meeting, please click on the link below.
PEBP BILLS, SB 551 AND 552 HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SANDOVAL!
To read the full content of both bills, please click on the links below. The first link is to SB 551, the subsidy bill.
The second link is to SB 552, that appropriates funding over a four year plan to assist the non-state PEBP participants often referred
to as "orphans" who have faced escalating health care premiums
due to their dwindling pool.
SB 552 dealt with an issue that RPEN has been asking the Legislature to address for several sessions, and so we are grateful it has been approved and signed by the Governor. Both bills sailed through the Senate June 3 with a unanimous vote and nearly the same outcome in the Assembly, although SB 552 had four "nay" votes in the Assembly that included John Ellison from Elko, Lisa Krasner from Reno and Jim Marchant and Richard McArthur from Las Vegas.
SENATE BILL 502 IS SIGNED BY
GOVERNOR SANDOVAL AND
BECOMES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017!
PEBP BOARD REVERSES VOTE FROM
EARLIER MEETING AND AT APRIL 20 MEETING VOTES TO SUPPORT
SENATE BILL 502!!!
What a difference a couple of weeks make! When the PEBP Board met April 6 for a special legislative meeting to consider the bills they are tracking there was a lot of discussion about SB 502 that was followed by a vote to oppose the bill as it was introduced by PEBP Board Chairman Patrick Cates, who is also Director of the Department of Administration. As originally introduced, SB 502 sought to eliminate 3 board members, including one of the two Retiree positions on the board that RPEN fought so hard for several years ago! The bill also sought to make the PEBP advisory rather than governing. But prior to a hearing on the bill in Senate Government Affairs, Cates met with RPEN's Lead Lobbyist Marlene Lockard and two other public employee members in our coalition, and hammered out a compromise that included several amendments to the bill. Once the bill was heard it was approved as amended, and that led to a do-pass at a work session on the bill April 21. Then came the April 20 PEBP Board Legislative meeting where the board reversed its' April 6 decision and voted to support the bill as amended. SB 502 has been declared exempt but the bill remains with the Senate Government Affairs Committee who heard more on the amendments to the bill during an early evening meeting May 3. Cates and Lockard presented the amendments to the committee and Cates testified how much cooperation went into the amendments and urged the committee's passage. The bill received unanimous approval in both Houses and received the Governors' signature June 2!
PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock puts out a new, re-designed Newsletter. To view the latest information from PEBP, please click on the link below:
PEBP OFFERS WEEKLY PRE-MEDICARE INFORMATION ONLINE AND IN PERSON
The Public Employees' Benefits Program (PEBP), in an effort to further assist retirees about to enter the Medicare Exchange is introducing a new offering that includes weekly walk-in meetings in Carson City intended to go over the retirement process, options and enrollment into the Medicare Exchange. If you are NOT a member of PEBP as a Pre-Medicare participant, you can disregard this information. However, if you are a Pre-Medicare participant of PEBP, this information applies to you!
PEBP Operations Officer Laura Rich says PEBP decided to add these weekly walk-in meetings due to recent high demand and says participants will be able to get their questions answered and the meetings will also include a TW One Exchange representative available during the week that they are already scheduled to have hours in Carson City. Rich adds that PEBP hopes to one day offer a webinar version of this meeting that will extend the reach to those outside Carson City, especiall in the rural areas of the state. Currently PEBP and TW One Exchange take their informational meetings on the road to Las Vegas, Carson City and Reno on an infrequest basis, so the webinar would extend this information to those unable to attend those other meetings.
But for those in close proximity to Carson City, these new, weekly meetings will also be available and Rich says information the PEBP Pre-Medicare informational sessions is now up on the PEBP website under the "What's New" section.
The direct link is as follows: https://pebp.state.nv.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PreMedi_Intro.pdf
Pre-Medicare Retiree Presentation: https://pebp.state.nv.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MedicareTWpresentation.pdf
Pre-Medicare Retiree Events Calendar: https://pebp.state.nv.us/events/category/pre-medicare-retirees/2017-03/?tribe_events_cat=pre-medicare-retirees&tribe-bar-date=2017-03
For more information on PEBP and the meeting scheduled, please contact PEBP directly at 1-775-684-7000 to speak with a Member Services Representative. www.pebp.state.nv.us
Additionally, PEBP will have a representative from Towers Watson in their Carson City offices one week in May and June for one-on-one meetings. Appointments must be made in advance, however, and can be done by calling 1-844-266-1395. Appointments will be available Monday-Friday, from 8am-5pm.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada (PERS)
SENATE BILL 384, RPEN'S PRIVACY BILL
GETS VETOED BY
The decision from the Governor's office came late in the afternoon on Saturday, June 3. It followed action to amend the bill to remove the words "identifying number" and replaces it with the word "name" in an effort to gain favor from Governor Sandoval and remove a potential threat of a veto but it didn't stop him from adding this bill to the long list of bills he's already vetoed this session, many of them involving public employees.
The amendment came following a meeting of RPEN's Legislative/Insurance Committee, made up of leaders from 9 RPEN Chapters. They met for a special teleconference meeting Sunday, May 21, to discuss the situation. On a 5-1 vote, the committee agreed to have Lead Lobbyist Marlene Lockard seek an amendment from the bill sponsor, Senator Julia Ratti, to change from an "identifying number" to allow a retiree's name be shown, along with pension and last employer. Lockard told the committee she had gotten word SB 384 was on Governor Sandoval's "concerned" list of bills, and that he would only sign it if it included name, pension and last employer, something the original bill included before it was amended to remove name and insert an "identifying number" instead. Those would be the ONLY things that would be included in the bill as permissable identifying information available to the public.
In his veto message the Governor said "the goal of protecting public employee information from misuse was a worthy endeavor but making certain information (number of years of service credit and retirement date) secret wasn't the way to go". He added "SB 384 seeks to achieve its goals by limiting the public's right to access public information, upsetting the established balance between the privacy and transparency. In deciding how to balance these competing interests, the public's right to know cannot be compromised absent a compelling case that such limits are justified and in the public interest. SB 384 does not overcome this significant test in favor of less transparency. Although the proponents raised the possibility of identity theft, there is no assurance that SB 384 would actually prevent such risk".
Ironically, this is the exact same argument presented by the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) when they took the Nevada Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) to court earlier this year. So, it appears the issue may have to be decided in court as this case goes to the Nevada Supreme Court on appeal later this month following a District Court ruling that favored NPRI.
PERS RETIREMENT BOARD
The Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) Board meets again for a regular session on June 15 in Carson City. The agenda and board packet is posted below. The packet is 291 pages long.
Nevada Policy Research Institute Continually Targets NV PERS
NPRI recently published their legislative agenda outlining issues they will fight for at the 79th Session of the Nevada State Legislature. It's called Solutions 2017, and can be view by clicking the link below. As you know NPRI has actively sought many PERS reforms such as adding non-PERS participants to the PERS Board and instituting a 401K/Hybrid pension plan for new hires. Thankfully the most drastic "reforms" have been rejected at recent legislative sessions. The document is 121 pages long, and the PERS recommendations start on page 26 and conclude on page 33.
RPEN also obtained a document being used by NPRI in a fundraising attempt that names NV PERS many times in an effort to once again target PERS as another legislative session fast approaches. The document was given to RPEN anonymously. All public employees, those retired as well as those still working, need to be alarmed by this document, that can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
NPRI also recently filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in Carson City seeking the release of data requested from PERS in a format that is more usable for NPRI, which maintains a searchable online database of public employee salary and benefit information. In the document NPRI said it requested data about pension payouts last year to add to a website it maintains called Transparent Nevada. They said they received a report that listed pension payouts not by retiree name but by Social Security number, which by law must be redacted. NPRI complained this information leaves nothing more than a list of payments to unknown individuals. NPRI also said in their complaint a 2015 Nevada Supreme Court decision indicates that agencies are not excused from their disclosure duties if they have a computer program that could compile the information. The request for information from NV PERS started several years ago with a request from the Reno Gazette Journal. A hearing date for this latest effort has not been set.
For more information about Nevada PERS please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
RPEN LEGISLATIVE ALERTS
79TH SESSION OF THE
NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
TO VIEW PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW:
To go straight to the Nevada Legislative website now, please click on the link below:
(ALSO SEE THE LINK "LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS" ON OUR HOME PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION)
Now that you know about some of our issues going into the 79th Session of the Nevada State Legislature, perhaps you would like to reach out to your elected officals in one way or another, but don't know how to do so. Our Lead Lobbyist/Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard wants to help! Through her lobbying agency, The Lockard Group, she has prepared a list of helpful lobbying tips. To view the document, please click on the link below:
RPEN often sends out emails and notices through different channels to our members when we need to "pack" a meeting room when our issues are being heard at the Legislature, and by reviewing Marlene's well thought out document, you will be ready when the need arises!
Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN) Executive Committee Will Meet Again June 28 and 29 in Summerlin
The Executive Committee of RPEN will come together again June 28-29 at the Sun Coast Hotel/Casino in Summerlin, which will also serve as our host hotel for our annual meeting in the early fall. There were two properties in the south vying for our business, but the Sun Coast offered the best location. RPEN's newest chapter, the Summerlin Chapter, will be hosting our annual meeting, set for September 19-22.
For additional information on RPEN business, please contact the State Office at 1-775-882-7832, or email us at email@example.com
* Legislative meetings can also be seen/heard live over the Internet at: www.leg.state.nv.us Just go to that Web site and click on Listen to Meetings Live on the Internet