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pld consolidated plan changes menu

SUMMARY
PLD PLAN CHANGES

 


The following overview summarizes the changes to the rule that governs the PLD Consolidated Retirement Plan that were adopted by the MainePERS Board of Trustees on May 10, 2018, and September 13, 2018.  These changes were adopted to protect the long-term funding of the PLD Plan by distributing market risk more evenly, and to substantially limit the need to make further changes in the future.

 

Contributions

  • Contribution rates are changing to enable both members and employers to share in positive and negative risks such as investments returns.  Both member and employer contribution rates will be adjusted annually, replacing the current method where only employer rates change each year.  Contribution caps and minimums will be applied to both member and employer rates, allowing each to help maintain sound Plan funding without uncontrolled increases or decreases.  Beginning July 1, 2019 (fiscal year 2020), total contribution rates may change year to year based on a split of approximately 58% to the employer, and 42% to the employee.  The employer aggregate rate cap, or total rate cap for all sub plans, is 12.5%.  Similarly, the employee aggregate rate cap for all sub plans is 9%.  Each of the 11 sub plans will have a different cap and minimum which forms the aggregate Plan rate caps.  MainePERS will provide information on contribution rate caps specific to each of the 11 sub plans once FY 2018 accounting is complete.

 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

  • The post-retirement COLA cap based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) changes from 3% to 2.5%, applicable to COLAs issued in September 2018 and later.

  • Post-retirement cost-of-living (“COLA”) becomes available after 24 months of retirement, instead of 12 months.  This is applicable to those who retire on or after September 1, 2019.

  • Possible downward adjustments to future COLAs on a year-by-year basis may occur if severe market losses create costs to the Plan that exceed established employer and member contribution caps. In order to avoid COLA freezes, COLAs may be temporarily reduced until markets improve and investment gains return.

 Early Retirement

  • Early retirement will remain available to members. The early retirement subsidy is being eliminated.  The early retirement subsidy is created when the full age reduction factor is not applied to the benefit of a member who retires prior to reaching their normal retirement age of 55, 60 or 65.  This subsidy is being eliminated because it shifts the costs of the early retirement from the individual retiring to all other members, employers and the Plan.  Beginning July 1, 2019, the age reduction factor to be applied to the benefits of members who retire younger than their normal retirement age will be based on the full actuarially sound factor.  The new reduction factor for a member retiring early will be approximately 6% to 7% for each year of early retirement.  The actual factor will vary depending on the age of the retiree at retirement.  

  • Members retiring early will now have an additional option to defer receiving cost of living adjustments until they reach their normal retirement age.  This creates an actuarial reduction factor that is slightly less than the full actuarial reduction factor of 6% to 7% for each year of early retirement.

  • A limited group of members will continue to be eligible for the early retirement subsidy. Members that joined the Plan prior to July 1, 2014 with 20 or more years of creditable service under the PLD Consolidated Plan on July 1, 2019 will continue to be eligible for the 2.125% per year reduction  Members that joined the plan after June 30, 2014 with 20 or more years of creditable service will continue to be eligible for the 6% per year reduction.

Retire-rehire

  • The changes to the retire-rehire provisions apply to any retiree of the Plan who returns to work for any employer under the Plan in a covered position.  PLD employers who hire a retiree of the Plan are must report to MainePERS when they hire a retiree from the Plan, regardless of which employer the member retired from.  Two situations apply:

    • Continuing as a retiree
      During the period that a retiree is employed, payments must be remitted to the System by the PLD in the amount of the greater of 5%, or the aggregate unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) rate of the Plan, of the person's earnable compensation.

  • Re-entering the Plan
    This option is not available until July 1, 2019.  If a retiree reenters the plan, the service
    retirement benefit is terminated, and the person again becomes a full contributing
    member of the Plan and will accumulate additional service credit.  When the person
    again retires, the benefit will be calculated in accordance with the law in effect at that time.

  • Important Note
    These changes do not apply to retirees employed by a PLD on October 1, 2018 until the earlier of termination of employment or June 30, 2021.  If a retiree in this category is still employed by a PLD on July 1, 2021 they will be subject to the provisions of re-entering the plan or continuing as a retiree subject to the UAL payment being submitted on their earnable compensation going forward.

      Unused Sick and/or Vacation

  • Effective July 1, 2019, the ability to use accrued, unused vacation and sick leave towards retirement benefits will be available only to those who have 20 or more years of creditable service under the Plan at retirement.

Employer Withdrawal Liability

  • An employer that withdraws from the Plan at a time when the Plan is underfunded must make a withdrawal liability payment.  This payment covers the individual employer’s share of the Plan’s unfunded actuarial liability so not to pass that cost on to the remaining employers under the Plan.

Employer Resumption Fee

  • An employer that has withdrawn from participation and rejoins the Plan more than one time is no longer subject to a $250 fee.

Change of Service Retirement Benefit Plan or Plans

  • An employer that changes its service retirement plan(s) from a plan with COLA to a plan without COLA can do so on a prospective basis only. Existing members of the Plan on the effective date of the plan change must remain under the COLA plan, and the No-COLA plan is applicable to new hires only. This change is a clarification of existing plan provisions.

 


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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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