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LSERS Celebrates 70 Years

We invite you to share in our excitement as we celebrate 70 years of outstanding service while providing lifetime retirement benefits to support personnel in public school systems across the state of Louisiana.
 
LSERS was created in 1946 when House Bill No. 154 was introduced by, then Louisiana Legislators J. Howard Lafleur and Lee Fontenot, and enacted as Act 124.  LSERS became fully operational on July 1, 1947.  The first retirement benefits became effective August 1, 1948 and by the end of the 1948-49 fiscal year, 252 retirees were receiving benefits.
 
Now, 70 years after its creation, LSERS provides benefits to more than 13,000 retirees and beneficiaries. The total amount of benefits paid annually has grown from approximately $138 thousand in 1949 to approximately $155 million today.
 
LSERS was created with a mission—a mission maintained today—to enhance the financial security and quality of life for LSERS’ members and their families by offering professional and courteous service and maintaining an accountable and sound retirement program that provides comprehensive retirement benefits through prudent management and successful investment of LSERS’ assets.
 
LSERS Board of Trustees and staff wish to thank you for being a part of this celebration.  With each year, we promise to strive for excellence in customer service to our members and employers.
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Year End Closing Deadline

Fiscal year end closing for employers will be Friday, July 22, 2016. All exceptions must be cleared using a Contribution Correction Report (CCR) or Retiree Return-To-Work Earnings online form on or before this deadline. After that date, any changes to salary or contribution for FY 2015-16 will require submission of a Form 4P, Prior Year Correction of Earnings and Contributions.

Reminder--June regular salary contribution reporting and retiree RTW earnings limit salary reporting are due on July 15, 2016.

If you have questions about the year-end closing process, contact Kim Stewart at 225.925.4411, kstewart@lsers.net or Chenfei Zhou at 225.925.6492, czhou@lsers.net.
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Legislative Wrap-up

The Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature came to an end on June 6, 2016. Senator Barrow Peacock, Senate Committee on Retirement Chairman, filed a package of bills including not only a COLA of up to 2% for our retirees but reforms relative to the payment of administrative expenses annually rather than the current practice of amortization of such expenses over 30 years and shortening other amortization schedules to 20 years upon the attainment of a funded rate of 72% for LSERS.   The Board of Trustees supported this package of bills and is pleased to report that each of these bills passed. 

Representative Sam Jones also filed a bill providing for a COLA of up to 2% for eligible retirees which was passed in the final days of session and became ACT 512.  The passage of this bill will result in a COLA of 1.9% being paid to eligible retirees effective July 1, 2016.  

The Board of Trustees requested, and Senator Peacock authored a few bills which also gained favorable passage.  These include: 
 
SB6 removes the requirement to transfer certain ex-member’s balances to the Pension Accumulation Fund in the event the system does not receive a response from the notice of rights submitted to the member.  Elimination of this practice will result in more accurate pricing of liabilities.  (ACT 319)
 
SB7 removes the requirement that a member shall be an “active, contributing” member in order to be eligible to purchase service credit.  The bill also removes the requirement of purchasing a minimum of 90 days of service. (ACT 320)
 
SB8 removes the word “systematic” relative to DROP disbursement requirements in order to allow the Board to consider additional options to our retirees for withdrawing their funds.  (ACT 321)

We began this session with a large “Pension Reform” package filed by Representative Barry Ivey including resolutions and companion bills which would remove the guarantee of certain retirement benefits as well as establish hybrid benefit plans and tiered plans for new hires.  The Board voted to oppose these bills and not one of them made it out of the House Committee on Retirement. 
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OGB Requirements at Retirement

Information recently received from Office of Group Benefits (OGB) revealed that every OGB member, upon retirement, is required to complete and submit to their human resources department a Form GB-01 within 30 days of their retirement date.  If the form is not submitted/received within the designated timeframe, OGB will cancel all coverage.  We encourage you to share this information with your employees.  OGB customer service line is 1.800.272.8451 for further discussion or you can visit their website at info.groupbenefits.org.
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Office Closure

LSERS Office will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2016 for the observance of Independence Day. Have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July!
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Revised Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet 1 – Overview & Contacts has been revised and is now available on LSERS website.

And, as always, we appreciate and welcome any and all comments, as this helps
us identify ways to make improvements for you and provide better service to our
members and employers. Feel free to provide feedback and suggestions using
the LSERS Satisfaction Survey on our "Contact Us" page on the LSERS website.

Copyright © 2016 Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System, All rights reserved.


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