Legislation

The 2019 Regular Session will end no later than June 18, 2019. 

Summary

Updated April 19, 2019

The Legislature completed the tenth and eleventh legislative days of the Regular Session this week.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB147, by Sen. Waggoner, which would allow local governments that participate in ERS to provide Tier I benefits to their Tier II members. The bill now moves to the House.

On Wednesday, after much consideration and discussion, the House Ways and Means Education committee gave a favorable report to HB77, by Rep. Baker, which would create a Tier III for TRS to improve retirement benefits for Tier II members.

Bills to create Tier III for ERS State members were filed this week. HB437 by Rep. Ingram and SB319 by Sen. Barfoot mirror the TRS Tier III bill (HB77) currently pending in the House. The legislation proposes three benefit improvements to current Tier II: (1) increase the multiplier to 2.00%; (2) allow 30-year retirement; and (3) allow sick leave conversion. It would also increase the member’s contribution to 7.5% for regular employees and 7.75% for FLC members (firefighters, law enforcement officers, and corrections officers). In addition, FLC members would still be able to retire at age 56 with at least 10 years of service. The bills provide that Tier II members would be automatically converted to Tier III (with an option to revert back to Tier II) and all ERS State members hired for the first time after January 1, 2021, would be Tier III members.

Additionally, HB439 by Rep. Wadsworth and SB288 by Sen. Smitherman were introduced and would provide a one-time bonus in the amount of $800 to TRS retirees. This bonus would be funded by appropriations from the Education Trust Fund.

Finally, Sen. Whatley filed SB299, which would create a trust to fund COLAs for TRS retirees.

Bill Chart

House Bills

Bill/SponsorCompanionSummaryStatus

HB1/Hanes

SB149/Shelnutt

Reinstitutes DROP with modifications to the original DROP. Only 80% of a member’s benefit will be deposited in his or her DROP account, no interest will accrue, and employee contributions made during the participation period will be non-refundable. Changes name from DROP to EIRP (Employees’ Investment Retirement Plan).

Read First Time in House of Origin.

HB21/Baker

n/a

Provides an option at retirement for a member to take up to 2 years of his or her benefit as a partial lump sum in exchange for a reduced lifetime monthly benefit.

Read First Time in Second House.

HB61/Ledbetter

SB147/Waggoner

Allows local employers participating in ERS to provide Tier I benefits to Tier II members.

Read Second Time in House of Origin.

HB77/Baker

 

n/a

Creates Tier III for TRS which would modify Tier II by increasing the benefit multiplier, allowing 30-year retirement, allowing sick leave conversion, and increasing the employee contribution to 7.5%. Would be effective October 1, 2020, for new members and Tier II members could opt-in.

Read Second Time in House of Origin.

HB78/Reynolds

n/a

Increases return to work compensation caps from $31,000 to $42,000 and suspends CPI increases until 2025.

Read First Time in House of Origin.

HB152/Clouse

Substitute

n/a

General Fund Budget; fully funds ERS.

Read First Time in Second House.

HB355/Chesnutt

 

n/a

Exempts retired law enforcement officers rehired by rural municipalities from the return to work laws and revolving door prohibitions. Amended in House committee to apply return to work laws.

Read Second Time in House of Origin.

HB359/Ingram

SB206/Ward

Provides a one-time bonus to ERS retirees in the amount of $2 per month of service with a $300 minimum. Provides local units that participate in ERS the option to provide the bonus to their retirees.

Read First Time in House of Origin.

HB389/Rogersn/aAllows purchase of service credit for a TRS member who served as postdoctoral fellow at UAB.Read First Time in House of Origin.
HB437/IngramSB319/BarfootCreates Tier III for ERS State which would modify Tier II by increasing the benefit multiplier, allowing 30-year retirement, allowing sick leave conversion, and increasing the employee contribution to 7.5%. Would be effective January 1, 2021, for new members and Tier II members could opt-in.Read First Time in House of Origin.
HB439/WadsworthSB288/SmithermanProvides a one-time bonus of $800 to TRS retirees.Read First Time in House of Origin.

Senate Bills

Bill/SponsorCompanionSummaryStatus

SB57/Ward

n/a

Allows payments for a member’s beneficiary to be paid to a special needs trust.

Read First Time in Second House.

SB147/Waggoner

HB61/Ledbetter

Allows local employers participating in ERS to provide Tier I benefits to Tier II members.

Read First Time in Second House.

SB149/Shelnutt

HB1/Hanes

Reinstitutes DROP with modifications to the original DROP. Only 80% of a member’s benefit will be deposited in his or her DROP account, no interest will accrue, and employee contributions made during the participation period will be non-refundable. Changes name from DROP to EIRP (Employees’ Investment Retirement Plan).

Read First Time in House of Origin.

SB180/Smitherman

n/a

Provides a 3% COLA to TRS Retirees.

Read First Time in House of Origin.

SB199/Orr

n/a

Education Trust Fund Budget; fully funds TRS and PEEHIP.

Read First Time in House of Origin.

SB206/Ward

HB359/Ingram

Provides a one-time bonus to ERS retirees in the amount of $2 per month of service with a $300 minimum. Provides local units that participate in ERS the option to provide the bonus to their retirees.

Read Second Time in House of Origin.

SB288/SmithermanHB439/WadsworthProvides a one-time bonus of $800 to TRS retirees.Read First Time in House of Origin.
SB299/Whatleyn/aEstablishes a trust to fund COLAs for TRS retirees.Read First Time in House of Origin.
SB310/Beasleyn/aProposes a constitutional amendment to allow Barbour County elected officials to participate in ERS.Read First Time in House of Origin.
SB319/BarfootHB437/IngramCreates Tier III for ERS State which would modify Tier II by increasing the benefit multiplier, allowing 30-year retirement, allowing sick leave conversion, and increasing the employee contribution to 7.5%. Would be effective January 1, 2021, for new members and Tier II members could opt-in.Read First Time in House of Origin.

March Updates

April Updates

2018 Regular Session (archive)

Presentations

TRS Update for W&ME - 2/13/2019

PEEHIP Update for W&ME - 2/12/2019

News

Lawmakers, Advocates Discussing Increases to Teachers' Retirement Benefits to Battle Teacher Shortage

Contacts

Representatives by District

Senators by District

Neah Mitchell Scott,
Legislative Counsel
neah.scott@rsa-al.gov
Twitter: @neahmitchell

Neah Mitchell Scott,
Legislative Counsel
neah.scott@rsa-al.gov
Twitter: @neahmitchell

Neah Mitchell Scott has served as Legislative Counsel for the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) since September 2013. Prior to joining the RSA, Neah practiced in the areas of civil litigation and healthcare law as an associate with Balch & Bingham LLP. Neah obtained a juris doctorate from the University of Alabama in 2008 and a B.A. in History from Auburn University in 2004.

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