Revision: Jan. 27, 2017, 12:09 p.m.
HB 421-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 421-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Fraser, Belk. 1; Rep. McConnell, Ches. 12; Rep. J. Belanger, Hills. 27
COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration
This bill allows the board of trustees of the retirement system to revoke a member’s benefits if the member is convicted of a crime related to his or her public office or public employment which occurred during active service and for which the member resigned or was dismissed from employment.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
100-A:27-a Revocation of Benefits.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any retirement or other benefit to which a permanent policeman, permanent fireman, employee, or teacher member is otherwise entitled under this chapter may be revoked by the board of trustees if the member is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to theft of assets or any other crime related to his or her public office or public employment which occurred during his or her active service while a member and for which the member resigned or was dismissed from employment.
II. In deciding to revoke benefits under paragraph I, the board shall consider the following:
(a) The severity of the crime related to public office or public employment of which the member has been convicted or to which the member has pled guilty or nolo contendere.
(b) The amount of monetary loss suffered by the member's employer or by any other person as a result of the subject crime related to public office or public employment.
(c) The degree of public trust reposed in the subject permanent policeman, permanent fireman, employee, or teacher member by virtue of his or her public office or public employment.
(d) That entitlement to benefits under this chapter presumes and requires that the service shall have been honorably rendered.
(e) Any other factors as, in the judgment of the board, justice may require.
III.(a) Any cost incurred by the retirement system in investigating or implementing a revocation of benefits under this section may be required to be reimbursed from employee contributions prior to any return of member contributions under RSA 100-A:11.
(b) If a court orders the member to make restitution to the state or any political subdivision of the state for monetary loss incurred as a result of the crime, the court may order that restitution payments be made by the retirement system from the amount contributed by the member to the retirement system.
IV. Any member whose retirement benefits are revoked pursuant to this section shall:
(a) Be entitled to the return of the member’s contributions under RSA 100-A:11, less any required reimbursement or restitution under paragraph III.
(b) Not be eligible for payment of any medical benefits or other post-retirement benefits under RSA 100-A:50-55 or under RSA 21-I:26-36.
HB 421-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
*The New Hamsphire Retirement System states it is not able to separate the fiscal impact of this legislation between county and local government, therefore the fiscal impact is shown together as political subdivisions.
This bill allows the Board of Trustees of the New Hampshire Retirement System to revoke the benefits of a member if the member is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to theft or any other crime related to the member’s public office or public employment which occurred during the member’s active service while a member and for which the member resigned or was dismissed from employment. The board is directed to consider several circumstances in rendering its decision. Any costs incurred by the retirement system involving investigation or revocation of benefits may be required to be reimbursed from employee contributions prior to any return of member contributions. Court-ordered restitution to the State or any political subdivision may be made from the amount contributed by the member to the system. A member whose benefits are revoked shall also not be eligible for any medical benefits or post-retirement benefits.
The New Hampshire Retirement System states there is no mechanism to notify the system when a public official is convicted of a crime in the commission of their duty. The system is not able to project the number or amount of retirement benefit revocations, the reimbursed cost to investigate or implement a revocation or the amount of court-ordered restitutions. Therefore the fiscal impact to the system is indeterminable.
The Department of Administrative Services states that in order to implement the bill, the Department would terminate a member’s health benefit coverage after receipt of a final court order and a decision from the New Hampshire Retirement System Board of Trustees to terminate such benefits. The administrative costs associated with such termination of benefits is minimal and indeterminable. There may be some net savings in premiums if the member’s premiums were lower than the cost of service provided to that member through the health benefit. However, there are few individuals likely to be subject to revocation and each member’s health circumstances and related costs of care will vary significantly. Member’s spouse and dependent children coverage may also be affected.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates that the legislation is likely to be invoked infrequently and may result in a nominal reduction in the liabilities of the system. This could lead to a reduction in municipal expenditures for contributions to the system, but this reduction is likely to be negligible.
The Department of Justice states the Department does not provide any services to the New Hampshire Retirement System, so there is no fiscal impact to the Department.
New Hampshire Retirement System, Department of Administrative Services, New Hampshire Municipal Association, and Department of Justice