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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4549        FILED ON: 8/25/2009

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4223

[LOCAL APPROVAL RECEIVED.]

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

William N. Brownsberger, Steven A. Tolman

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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 passage of the accompanying bill:

An Act amend ing Chapter 97 of the Acts of 2007 relative to the Town of Belmont Other Post Employment Benefits Trust Fund.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

William N. Brownsberger

24th Middlesex

Steven A. Tolman

Second Suffolk and Middlesex


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand and Nine

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An Act amending Chapter 97 of the Acts of 2007 relative to the Town of Belmont Other Post Employment Benefits Trust Fund.


 

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

              ARTICLE 28: Home Rule Petition - Amendment to OPEB Fund Enabling  Legislation

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen t o file a home rule petition with the General Court as set forth below; provided, however, that the General Court may make clerical or editorial changes of form only to the bill, unless the Board of Selectmen approves amendments to the bill before enactment by the General Court, and provided further that the Board of Selectmen is hereby authorized to approve amendments which shall be within the scope of the general public objectives of this petition:

`AN ACT AMENDING CHAPTER 97 OF THE ACTS OF 2007 RELATIVE TO THE TOWN OF BELMONT OTHER POST EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TRUST FUND.

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

SE CTION 1. Chapter 97 of the Acts of 2007, entitled, "An Act Authorizing the Town of Belmont to Establish an Other Postemployment Benefits Fund," is hereby amended by deleting the text of section two of said act in its entirety, and inserting in place thereo f the following: -

(a)                   Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the town of Belmont may appropriate funds in order to offset the anticipated cost of premium payments for or direct payments for OPEB benefits to be made to retired employees of the town and to any eligible surviving spouse of or dependents of deceased employees of the town. The town Treasurer shall transfer funds to a special trust fund to be known as the Belmont Other Post Employment Benefits Trust Fund (the "Trust Fund') as suc h funds become available. The Trust Fund shall be irrevocable as required by GASB 43 and 45.

(b)                   Beginning in fiscal year 2008 the Trust Fund shall be credited with i.) all amounts appropriated or other wise made available by the town for purposes of meeting t he current and future costs of OPEB costs payable by the town, and ii.) all amounts contributed or otherwise made available by employees of the town for the purpose of meeting future OPEB costs payable by the town. Any interest or other income earned by su ch fund shall be added to and become a part of the fund. Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, any amounts expended from such fund shall be expended only for the costs payable by the town for OPEB benefits.

(c)                   The Belmont contributory retirement boar d shall be the custodian of such fund and may employ an outside custodial service to hold the monies in the fund. The Belmont contributory retirement board may invest and re-invest the monies held in the fund not required for current disbursement in accord ance with the investment powers granted retirement boards under G.L. c. 32, §23(2)(g) and in accordance with the regulations of the public employees retirement administration commission and with any applicable general law. All monies held in the Trust Fund shall be segregated from other funds held by the Belmont retirement board and by the town. Trust Fund monies shall not be subject to the


claims of the town's general creditors. The Trust Fund shall be subject to the public employee retirement commission's triennial audit and the town's contributory retirement system annual audit.

(d)                   The Belmont contributory retirement board may employ any qualified bank, trust company, corporation, firm or person to provide advice on the investment of amounts held in the Trust Fund and to prepare any required actuarial study and may pay for any such advice or service from amounts held in the fund. Procurement for these services shall be subject to the procurement procedures and rules followed by the Belmont contrib utory retirement board for services to the town's contributory retirement system.

(e)                   If civil action is brought against a member of the retirement board, the defense or settlement of which action is made by an attorney employed by the retirement board, the me mber shall be indemnified for all expenses incurred in the defense of this action and shall be indemnified for damages to the same extent as provided for public employees in chapter 258 of the General Laws if the claim arose out of acts performed by the me mber or members while acting within the scope of his official duties, but a member of a retirement board shall not be indemnified for expenses incurred in the defense of an action, or damages awarded in an action, in which there is shown to be a breach of fiduciary duty, an act of willful dishonesty or an intentional violation of law by the member.

Chapter 97 of the Acts of 2007 is hereby further amended by deleting the text of section 3 of said act in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the followi ng: -

(a)               The Town shall engage an actuary, who shall be a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, to perform an actuarial valuation of the town's OPEB liabilities and funding schedule, as of January 1, 2006, and no less frequently than every second ye ar thereafter. The determinations shall be made in accordance with generally accepted actuarial standards and shall conform to the requirements of GASB 43 and 45 and the actuary shall make a report of the determinations to the town meeting and included in the town report. The report shall, without limitation, detail the demographic and economic actuarial assumptions used in making the determinations, and each report after the first report shall also include an explanation of the changes, if any, in the demo graphic and economic actuarial assumptions employed and the reasons for the changes. The cost of the bi-annual actuarial evaluation shall be at the Town's expense.

( b )               Beginning in fiscal year 2008, payments for the purposes of meeting the town's cost of OPEB under this act may be made from the Trust Fund.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage." or take any other action relative thereto.

This article seeks to amend the enabling legislation for the Town's Other Post-Employment Bene fits (OPEB) Trust Fund, which was set up to address the Town's future health care costs for its retirees. The new language makes technical  changes and clarifies that the Town will pay for the required biennial actuarial study.

Majority vote required for p assage               Yes               x               No              
The Warrant Committee will report orally on this Article.

ARTICLE 28 was unanimously approved at the April 29, 2009 session of the Belmont Annual Town Meeting held in the Belmont High School Auditorium.

 

True copy attest:                             
Delores A. Keefe, Town Clerk


 

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