Legislative Session Archives
Please see below for a summary of retirement legislation passed in the referenced year.
2016 Legislative Session
Outcome of the 2016 Legislative Session
For complete information and positions taken by LASERS Board on the 2016 Legislative Session, see the detailed list.
In the 2016 Regular Legislative Session, more than 40 pieces of retirement legislation were introduced that would have impacted LASERS if passed. These bills covered topics such as administrative expenses, changes to the retirement boards, cost of living adjustments (COLAs), reporting requirements, and others. The LASERS Board of Trustees took positions on the majority of the legislation and worked with staff and legislators to provide information as to the impact on the System.
Four bills passed that were supported by the Board, two pertaining to COLAs and two reform measures:
|Jones||As amended: Authorizes a COLA of up to 1.5 percent (based on the amount of funds available in the Experience Account) for LASERS retirees and beneficiaries.|
|Peacock||Authorizes a COLA of up to 1.5 percent (based on the amount of funds available in the Experience Account) for LASERS retirees and beneficiaries.|
|Peacock||Includes noninvestment related administrative expenses in calculating the required employer contribution rate.|
|Peacock||As amended: Clarifies provisions created in Act 399 of 2014; reduces the amortization period for actuarial gains and losses from 30 years to 20 years once the system is 70% funded (rather than 85% funded); and provides for the reamortization of schedules of gains and losses for the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year and every fifth fiscal year thereafter.|
** Despite the passage of both measures, only one COLA of 1.5 percent will be granted since the payment is based on the availability of funds in the Experience Account. To be eligible, regular retirees must be retired at least one year and must be at least age 60 as of June 30, 2016. For survivors, the age 60 requirement is based on the age the retiree would have attained by June 30, 2016. There is no age requirement for disability retirees.
Two bills passed that were supported by the Board, insofar as they would reduce debt:
|SUPPORTED, INSOFAR AS IT REDUCED THE DEBT/PASSED|
|Leger||(Constitutional Amendment & Statutory Change) Establishes the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund, to be funded by certain mineral revenue and certain corporate franchise and income taxes. May provide annual appropriations to pay the IUALs of LASERS and TRSL. Funds shall be allocated proportionally based on each system’s IUAL balance. Act 639 becomes effective upon adoption of Constitutional Amendment (contained in Act 679) on November 8, 2016 Ballot.|
The LASERS Board took neutral positions on five bills that passed:
|Pearson||As amended, replaces the Chairman of the House Retirement Committee with a member of the House Retirement Committee appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on each state and statewide retirement system board.|
|Pearson||Requires the executive director of each of the state and statewide retirement systems to file annual personal financial disclosure statements.|
|Ivey||Requires the Legislative Auditor to prepare, at least every five years, comparative summaries of each system’s actuarial assumptions and funded ratio and the auditor’s findings as to the appropriateness of each system’s assumptions.|
|Morrish||Adds employees of the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority to LASERS. Requires Authority to adopt resolution by September 30, 2016, to implement.|
|Mills||Adds employees of the Iberia Parish Levee, Hurricane and Conservation District to LASERS. Requires District to adopt resolution by September 30, 2016, to implement.|
Other instruments of interest that passed:
|OF INTEREST TO LASERS|
|Leger||Requires that actuarial notes include the estimated fiscal impact on governmental entities, including the effect on federal, state, and local funds.|
|Peacock||Provides that actuarial notes for any bills prefiled at least 45 days prior to a regular session of the legislature shall be completed and filed at least five days prior to the convening of that session.|
|Bishop||Makes state museum police officers and state park wardens eligible for the Hazardous Duty Plan.|
|HSR 6||Ivey||Requests that the House Committee on Retirement study both the current and best practices in retirement system reporting standards and in adoption of actuarial assumptions and methods, to investigate past legislative improvements and the need for further improvement relative to state and statewide systems, and to report finding to the House of Representatives prior to the 2017 Regular Session.|
The following retirement bills were opposed by the LASERS Board and failed to pass:
||Foil||Places new hires of the 19th Judicial District Court in the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System.|
|HB 45||Ivey||(Constitutional Amendment) – Modifies existing constitutional guarantees to provide that only benefits annuitized by a state retirement system will be guaranteed by the State and that the accrued benefits of members that are annuitized and calculated based on accrual rate and average compensation shall not be diminished or impaired. Current constitutional language provides that the “state shall guarantee benefits payable to a member of a state retirement system or retiree or to his lawful beneficiary upon his death.” And, that “accrued benefits… shall not be diminished or impaired.”|
|HB 46||Ivey||(Constitutional Amendment) – For new hires on or after July 1, 2017, whose benefits are guaranteed by the Constitution, the member and employer shall share equally in the normal cost of the member’s benefit and any UAL associated with an augmentation of the member’s benefit.|
|HB 48||Ivey||Adds five members to the LASERS Board of Trustees. The members and their immediate families shall not be active or retired members of the system. Two members shall be appointed by Speaker of the House, two by the President of the Senate and one by the Legislative Auditor. The only qualification for the new members is that they shall have filed state income tax returns for the previous five consecutive years.|
|HB 49||Ivey||Rather than a set rate, contribution rates for new hires on or after July 1, 2017, shall be calculated each year to 50% of the normal cost, plus that year’s amortization payment of any UAL associated with benefit augmentations, plus that year’s amortization of overpayment or underpayment of employee contributions. Change is contingent upon passage of a constitutional amendment.|
|HB 50||Ivey||Creates a new retirement plan with tiered accrual rates for new hires on or after July 1, 2018. Accrual rates for rank-and-file employees will be applied to years of creditable service as follows:
• < 5 years - 1.50% • 5 - 9 years - 1.75% • 10-14 years - 2.00% • 15-24 years - 2.50% • 25-29 years - 3.00% • 30-34 years - 3.25% • 35 + years - 4.00%
|HB 51||Ivey||Requires that the LASERS Board of Trustees select an actuary from a list of at least three firms approved by the Legislative Auditor.|
|HB 52||Ivey||Adds four members to PRSAC – the chairman of the House Committee on Retirement, or his designee, and an additional member appointed by that chairman, and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Retirement, or his designee, and an additional member appointed by that chairman. Amended to delete designees as members.|
|HB 63||Ivey||Requires that one hour of annual training for members of the LASERS Boards of Trustees be conducted by the staff of the legislative auditor’s office.|
|HB 65||Ivey||Creates a new hybrid retirement plan for new hires on or after July 1, 2018.|
|HB 66||Ivey||Creates a new hybrid retirement plan for new hires on or after July 1, 2017.|
|HB 621||Ivey||Legislative auditor shall have access to books, records, documents, and accounts that are held by an entity that provides actuarial or investment services to a retirement system. Amendment: allows designated agent of the auditor to have access to records.|
|HB917||Ivey||Removes the authority of the Board of Trustees to invest system assets, establish asset allocations, and set actuarial assumed rates of return. Creates the Consolidated State Investment Committee to make investment decisions for all State retirement systems.|
|HB 1092||Ivey||State retirement systems shall use a uniform inflation assumption adopted by PRSAC in their annual actuarial valuations.|
|SB 346||Carter||Abolishes certain special funds. It would abolish the following funds related to LASERS:1. Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Control Officers Fund
2. Department of Public Safety Peace Officers Fund
3. Adult Probation and Parole Officer Fund.
2015 Legislative Session
2015 Regular Legislative Session – Final Outcome of Retirement Bills
For complete information and positions taken by LASERS Board on the 2015 Legislative Session, see the detailed list.
| Legislative Update
The 2015 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature resulted in the passage
of only a few changes to the Plans administered by LASERS.
||Effective August 1, 2015, increases littering fines and distributes 50 percent of the fines to the retirement system of the law enforcement agency issuing the litter citation.|
|Act 44||Effective June 5, 2015, for surviving children of Wildlife agents in the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, allows benefits to continue to age 23, so long as the child remains unmarried and is a full-time student.|
|Act 56||Effective June 19, 2015, appropriates about $2.7 million to LASERS to be applied to the initial unfunded liability of the System, as required by the State Constitution.|
2014 Legislative Session
2014 Regular Legislative Session – Final Outcome of Retirement Bills
For complete information and positions taken by LASERS Board on the 2014 Legislative Session, see the detailed list.
2014 Legislation Supported and Opposed by Board
| Legislative Update
The 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature resulted in the passage
of a number of changes to the Plan administered by LASERS.
||Effective July 1, 2014, granted a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment to eligible retirees and beneficiaries. A retiree was eligible for the COLA if, by June 30, 2014, they had been retired at least one year and were at least age 60, unless they were a disability retiree. The amount on which the COLA is based was limited to the first $96,931 of the member’s retirement benefit.|
|Act 226||Changes retirement eligibility to five years of service at age 62, for those hired on or after July 1, 2015. It does not apply to members of the Hazardous Duty Services Plan.|
|Act 399||Effective July 1, 2014, is a complex piece of legislation designed to direct more investment earnings to pay System debt and tie the granting of future COLAs to the funded level of the System. It applies not only to LASERS, but to the other state retirement systems. It will result in the value of only one COLA being placed in the Experience Account until the System is 80 percent funded. Excess earnings that were previously put into the Experience Account will be applied to System debt. COLAs will be limited to every other year until the System is 85 percent funded and will be limited to the first $60,000 of the retirement benefit (indexed to the CPI-U as of July 1, 2015). The amount of future COLAs will range from 1.5% to 3.0%, depending on the system funded level and investment returns, and limited by the CPI-U.|
|Act 571||Effective June 30, 2014, changes the actuarial funding method for LASERS from projected unit credit to entry age normal.|
|Act 648||Provides for enrollment of new hires of the Harbor Police Department of the Port of New Orleans in the LASERS Hazardous Duty Services Plan starting July 1, 2014. It also authorizes a cooperative endeavor agreement to transfer the administration of the Harbor Police Retirement System to LASERS, effective July 1, 2015, upon approval of the agreement by the Public Retirement Systems’ Actuarial Committee.|
|Act 852||Effective June 30, 2014, makes technical corrections dealing with the joint and survivor annuity option, the employee contribution rate for members working after DROP, and survivor benefits for physically handicapped and mentally disabled children.|
|Act 852||Provides enhanced retroactive retirement benefits to certain Adult Probation & Parole Officers employed prior to July 1, 2014. The benefits are funded through the Adult Probation & Parole Officer Retirement Fund.|
|Act 55||Appropriates about $4.3 million in surplus funds to LASERS to be applied to the Initial Unfunded Accrued Liability of the system.|