Following statutory requirement, the 2017 Decennial Commission convened in the early Fall of 2017 and met several times over the following months. Utilizing independent research experts, the Commission concluded its work and filed its final report in January 2018.
The most noteworthy recommendations and subsequent enrolled legislation from the 2017 Commission includes:
Change the terms of office for NHRS Board of Trustee members to serve three-year terms
This change simply increased the sitting term for members of the NHRS Board from two-years to three-years to align with the Independent Investment Committee term limits.
Authorize layered amortization for all future increases and decreases in the UAAL
This change separates each change made to the UAAL. Changes to the UAAL could include: changes to benefits, changes in demographics, market losses or gains, revised actuarial assumptions. With layered amortization each change to the system is calculated separately providing transparency on the effects each change makes to the system and helps smooth increases to employer rates.
Establish a legislative study committee to consider dollar amortization schedule
This change establishes a study committee to consider the potential benefit of the NHRS adopting level dollar for the UAAL amortization methodology. Right now, the NHRS uses level percent of payroll. The change would mean higher costs upfront, but less money overall to pay off the remaining UAAL.
Authorize a one-time payment of $500 per retiree, in 2018, and whenever funding is available*
This change gives a one-time payment of $500 to retirees who had at least 20 years of creditable service, were retired 5 years at time of bill passage, and whose benefit was $30,000 or less.
Made several recommendations for changes to Return to Work*
These recommendations include replacing the current 32 hour a week limit and replacing it with an annual calendar year limit of 1,040 hours; enact a penalty which would authorize the NHRS to suspend the state portion of a retiree’s annuity benefit for a 12-month period if the retiree exceeds the annual 1,040 hour threshold; a 60 day waiting period for employees to return to work after retiring.
The most noteworthy recommendation that become legislation but did not pass:
Defer the reduction in benefits for Group I active employees from age 65 to age 67*
This change would have moved the 10% reduction that each Group I member sees in their retirement benefit at age 65 to the age they receive their Social Security benefit.