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FAQs

PLD PLAN CHANGES

 

 

 

The following are frequently asked questions relating to the proposed changes to the PLD Consolidated Retirement Plan.

 

Q. How were these changes determined?

 

A. MainePERS continually monitors the PLD Plan, the financial markets and demographic trends, and other pension plans around the country.  Many trends have changed over the last 25 years that can affect the strength of the Plan and MainePERS’ ability to pay benefits throughout each member’s lifetime after retirement. A new framework for sharing financial risks in the wake of events such as the recent recession was developed to avoid pitfalls such as contribution rates becoming unaffordable or COLAs being frozen.  Additions to the core benefit were also studied to determine if they would be included in a defined benefit plan developed today. Those that benefited some members at the expense of other members were modified, and others were changed to benefit only members that are career employees in the Plan as a retention incentive.

These changes were reviewed, analyzed and discussed over an extensive period with the PLD Advisory Committee. MainePERS conducted outreach meetings around the State to share the framework and changes, and to receive input from members, retirees and employers.  Suggestions were evaluated, and further changes were made over the next several months after consideration by the PLD Advisory Committee.

 

Descriptions of the proposed changes were mailed to members, retirees and employers in early April 2018. The Board of Trustees held a hearing on April 12th, 2018 to hear further comments and accepted additional written comments through April 27th, 2018.  On May 10th, 2018 the Board of Trustees approved the proposed changes with some modifications.

 

During the last two weeks of June 2018, we performed additional outreach on the retire-rehire provisions prior to bringing it back to the PLD Advisory Committee for consideration. 


A proposed rule change was submitted to the Board of Trustees and a public hearing was held on August 9, 2018.  After consideration of comments received as well as recommendations made by the PLD Advisory Committee, the Board of Trustees adopted the amended rule on September 13, 2018.  

 

As we prepared to implement the changes that took effect beginning July 1, 2019, we identified areas that needed clarification or revision. After receiving approval for these amendments from the PLD Advisory Committee and completion of the rulemaking process, the Board of Trustees adopted these amendments on June 13, 2019.

 


Q. What additional changes did the Board of Trustees make on June 13, 2019?

                            

A. The amendments include the following:

  • Delaying the effective date for the change to the accrued leave provisions such that they will apply to members with an effective date of retirement on and after August 1, 2019

  • Excluding disability retirees from the change to the accrued leave provisions; and

  • Removing the option for a retiree who returns to work for an employer under the Plan to reenter the Plan.



Q. What are Normal and Unfunded Actuarial Liability Costs?

 

A. The MainePERS actuary determines the costs each year that must be paid to keep the Plan funded.  The normal costs are the routine annual costs for funding the Plan.  The unfunded actuarial liability costs are the costs to recover any losses in the Plan due to the financial markets (such as the recession) or other costs that result from, for example, increases in member life spans.



Q. I am already retired from the PLD Consolidated Plan. My existing monthly retirement payment isn’t going to be reduced, is it?

 

A. No. The proposed PLD Plan changes do not affect current monthly payment amounts. 


 

Q.  Can I still use my accrued vacation and sick leave to increase my service* retirement benefit?

 

A.  If you retire with an effective date prior to August 1, 2019, you can use up to 30 days of paid, unused accrued leave towards your earnable compensation and up to 90 days of unpaid, unused accrued leave towards additional service credit.  The inclusion of accrued leave typically increases your retirement benefit.

 

If you retire with an effective date on and after August 1, 2019, you can use your accrued leave if you have at least twenty (20) years of service credit under the PLD Consolidated Plan when you service retire.

 

*Note, the 20-year requirement does not apply to recipients of a disability retirement benefit.



Q. Can I still get a refund of my contributions?

 

A. Yes. None of the proposed changes affect your ability to terminate from your position and get a refund of the money you have paid into the plan.



Q. Are the contribution rates increasing to the caps on July 1, 2019?

 

A. No. Contribution rates will continue to be set annually. Caps were established to set maximum aggregate rates for both employers and members under the Plan. Click here to see the contribution rates for both employers and members under the Plan that will be effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.


 

Q. I am retiring from my PLD on January 1, 2019, and plan on going back to work there within a few weeks.  What do I have to pay? 

 

A. That depends on the employment arrangement you have with your employer.  A rate in the amount of the greater of 5%, or the aggregate unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) rate of the Plan must be remitted to MainePERS on retiree’s earnings for any retiree who returns to work for any PLD employer under the Plan in a MainePERS covered position after October 1, 2018.  The responsible party for paying the cost is determined by each employer.  MainePERS does not dictate who is responsible for paying the cost but the employer is responsible for reporting it to us.
 

Note: Earnings of retirees who returned to work for an employer under the Plan on or before
October 1, 2018 are not subject to this cost until July 1, 2021.




Q.  I am a retiree who has been rehired by my employer.  Can I stop my benefit and start paying into MainePERS again to increase my benefit?


A.  No, a retiree who is rehired is not permitted to re-enter the Plan.

 


 

 


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Information contained on this Web site is neither a legal reference nor a complete statement of the laws or MainePERS administrative rules. In any conflict between this information and Maine laws or administrative rules, the laws and administrative rules shall prevail.

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