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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Administrative and Policy Change Log

Here you will see a list of Admin and Policy changes.

02

Posting Date: July 02, 2018

Action required: No

What: At the March MERS Retirement Board Meeting, the Board voted to amend the plan termination policy for the defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid plans.

Key Date(s): Effective Date of New Policy: March 15, 2018

Impacted audiences: Municipalities with a MERS Defined Benefit Plan, Defined Contribution Plan or Hybrid Plan

Key information:

  • It is important to ensure a fair and transparent process that protects the integrity of our entire pool of customers.
  • The previous process for electing to terminate participation, specifically in the MERS Defined Benefit Plan, was established over 70 years ago, presumably in an effort to protect the volatility a small pool of municipalities. Today that pool has grown and MERS serves over 700 defined benefit customers with over $11B in assets.
  • MERS Retirement Board evaluated and amended the process for electing to terminate the Defined Benefit plan. The updated process ensures:
    • The process is reasonable and transparent
    • Must be an agenda item at two consecutive meetings
    • The local government must notify MERS of its intention to address the topic of termination at least one month prior to the first meeting
    •  A two-thirds majority vote of the governing body is required
    • Plan participants (members and retirees) are notified and have the opportunity to provide feedback prior to vote to exit MERS. 
    • There are adequate timeframes to transition all assets and plan participants to the receiving plan in place
    • From the date of the governing body's decision through the date of transfer, there are various timeframes and check points built into the process, with a minimum of 120 days from start to finish
    • Adequate safeguards are in place to uphold state and federal laws
    • Ensures successor plan is a qualified pension plan under federal and state law (e.g. acknowledgements from the local government for the transfer of all fiduciary duties are taken)
    • Addressed emergency manager concern that was raised by many
  • Through internal policy changes, we were able to account for many variables that a mandated state policy change couldn't anticipate to protect the integrity of the pool and uphold our fiduciary role through any transition

Resources available: Click to View

For more information, contact: Your MERS Benefit Plan Coordinator – 800.767.6377 (MERS)

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The information contained in this Web site is being made available as a public service. The information is not intended to constitute legal or investment advice, or to replace official versions of that information. Benefit Estimates or Service Credit Purchase estimates requested through this Web site are not official descriptions of any benefits, and do not represent a promise by MERS to provide any benefit(s) to any person(s). No one can detrimentally rely upon the information provided in, or requested through this Web site. MERS reserves the right to correct any errors, and presents this information without warranties, express or implied, regarding the information?s accuracy, timeliness or completeness. If you believe the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete, or if you have problems accessing or reading the information, please call MERS at 800.767.MERS (6377).