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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1702        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1384

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Bruce E. Tarr

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relieving municipal personnel costs .

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Bruce E. Tarr

 

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1702        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1384

By Mr. Tarr, petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1384) of DiDomenico and Tarr for legislation to relieve municipal personnel costs [Joint Committee on Public Service].

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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An Act relieving municipal personnel costs .

 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

                          SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding chapter 32 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, a municipality which accepts this section may establish and implement an early retirement incentive program for its employees in accordance with this section.

                          (b) The chief executive officer of the municipality shall limit the total number of participating employees, with preference given to those with greater years of creditable service, and shall have the authority to determine which eligible municipal employees may participate and to approve early retirement benefits for each employee in order to avoid adverse impacts on municipal operations and services.

                          (c) In order to be eligible to participate in a program established under this section, in addition to any other requirements imposed by the municipality, an employee must be an active member of a municipal, regional or county retirement system with at least 20 years of service whose salary is paid from the operating budget and not from federal, trust or other capital funds.

                          (d) An employee who is eligible for the early retirement incentive program may request in an application for retirement that the retirement board credit the employee with an additional retirement benefit of a combination of years of creditable service and years of age, in full year increments, the sum of which shall not be greater than 3 years, or a lesser amount established by the municipality, for the purposes of determining the employee’s superannuation retirement allowance under paragraph (a) of subdivision (2) of section 5 of chapter 32 of the General Laws. Notwithstanding the credit, the total normal yearly amount of the retirement allowance, as determined in accordance with said section 5 of said chapter 32, of any employee who retires and receives the retirement incentive program benefit shall not exceed 80 per cent of the average annual rate of the employee’s regular compensation as determined in accordance with said section 5 of said chapter 32. All participants shall forego the right to accrued sick and vacation time, and the amount that would have been paid to a retiree for accrued sick and vacation time shall be paid into the municipal, regional or county retirement system to reduce the additional pension liability resulting from this program.

                          (e) In filling positions which have been vacated by employees who participate in an early retirement incentive program under this section, the chief executive officer of the municipality shall be limited to paying compensation, contract and professional services in an amount that does not exceed the following percentage of the total annual salary of all participants in the program calculated as of their respective retirement dates: 30 per cent in fiscal year 2011, 45 per cent in fiscal year 2012 and 60 per cent in fiscal year 2013.

                          (f) A municipality that establishes an early retirement incentive program under this section shall provide the public employee retirement administration commission with information demonstrating the value of the plan and any information requested by the public employee retirement administration commission in order to allow it to evaluate the plan and confirm the analysis, including historic data upon which the plan is based, the elements of the municipal plan including the total number of participants, the types of eligible employees, the salaries of participating employees, the benefits to be received and the limits on refilling vacated positions. In addition, the municipality shall certify to the public employee retirement administration commission that the present value cost of its plan is estimated to be less than the present value savings and provide the commission with all information it requests to evaluate the plan and confirm a cost analysis.

                          (g) In order to establish an early retirement incentive program under this section, a municipality shall:

                              (i) require the chief executive officer of a municipality that chooses to participate to submit its plan to the public employee retirement administration commission for approval within 8 months after the effective date of this act;

                              (ii) once the plan has been approved, submit to the legislative body of the municipality for acceptance not later than the next meeting of the legislative body at which the plan can practicably be submitted;

                              (iii) publish and make available to employees the approved plan within 1 month after its acceptance by the legislative body;

                              (iv) require employees to participate within 2 months of the plan’s publication;

                              (v) determine which applicants shall be allowed to participate in the program and notify them within 1 month of the application deadline; and

                              (vi) require that participating employees retire within 2 months of notification of acceptance.

                          (h) The chief executive officer of a municipality that establishes a program under this section shall submit an annual report to the public employee retirement administration commission, the executive office for administration and finance and the municipal legislative body. The report shall include the salaries and positions of participants, the amount of sick and vacation time being contributed by participants, the salaries and positions of those being hired as replacements and whether the positions of participants have been permanently eliminated.

                          (i) A municipality’s increased pension liability resulting from participation in a program established under this section shall be amortized over 10 years, starting in the next fiscal year after all participating employees retire, in equal installments, and shall be separately identified in the municipal, regional or county retirement system’s pension funding schedule.

                          (j) For purposes of sections (a) to (i), inclusive, the powers and duties of the chief executive officer shall be vested in the manager of the municipal lighting plant for all matters affecting municipal lighting plant employees.

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