Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/16/1993 09:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE April 16, 1993 9:05 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chairman Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chairman Senator Robin Taylor MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Johnny Ellis Senator Jim Duncan COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 11 Designating the month of March as "Women's History Month." SENATE BILL NO. 118 "An Act permitting certain public health service officers to receive credited service in the public employees' retirement system." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HCR 11 - No previous action to record. SB 118 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Renee Chapman, Legislative Aide to Representative Bettye Davis State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HCR 11. Richard Whitbeck, Legislative Aide to Senator Loren Leman State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 118. Art Ronimus 18113 Sanctuary Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99577 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 118. Tom wolf 2415 Susitna Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99517 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 118. Dr. Michael Beller 2507 Redwood Street Anchorage, Alaska 99508 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 118. James Patterson P.O. Box 240721 Anchorage, Alaska 99524 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 118. Steve Bainbridge P.O. Box 60831 Fairbanks, Alaska 99706 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 118. Bob Stalnaker, Director Division of Retirement and Benefits Department of Administration P.O. Box 110203 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0203 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 118. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93-28, SIDE A Number 001 Chairman Leman called the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. and announced HCR 11 (WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH) to be up for consideration. RENEE CHAPMAN, Legislative Aide for Representative Bettye Davis, explained the resolution. SENATOR LEMAN commented that as important as social crusades in the working labor force are, he hoped that in elevating their importance we didn't overlook the other important roles women play as mothers. He thought women needed more recognition for that. He said he intended to move the resolution when he had a quorum. Number 76 SENATOR LEMAN announced SB 118 (PERS CREDIT FOR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OFF) to be up for consideration. RICK WHITBECK, Legislative Aide for Senator Leman, briefly commented on SB 118. He said it would allow a vested member of PERS to receive credit for service with the U.S. Public Health Service by purchasing up to 5 years of benefits via retroactive contributions. ART RONIMUS, Anchorage, said he was a licensed engineer. He said he was not eligible to contribute to Keogh or IRA plans while in the military. And the only way he could contribute to a military plan was to make a 20 year commitment. He supported this legislation, because it would allow him to buy up to 5 years of Public Health Service (PHS) time and credit it to his PERS longevity. SENATOR LEMAN asked if he was partially or fully vested with the PHS when he retired. Did he get a cash value or was there something he could roll over into another retirement plan. MR. RONIMOUS said the military plan is, if you leave before 20 years, you receive no benefits. Number 200 TOM WOLF said he joined the Public Health Service for 6 1/2 years. Subsequently he worked with the Municipality of Anchorage and became vested in PERS. He wanted the opportunity to participate in the Service Credit Program like other officers of the federal government. DR. MIKE BELLER, Division of Public Health, Department of Social Services, fully supported this bill which would provide former commissioned officers the same privileges with respect to the state retirement system as other veterans now have. He said it is extremely difficult for the state of Alaska to attract highly qualified experienced physicians to work in public health. Their pay is lower than doctors in private practice or even in other state agencies. He said he served for 2 years with the Public Health Service. Number 293 JIM PATTERSON, former PHS officer, supported SB 118. STEVE BAINBRIDGE said he was commissioned by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1972 and would appreciate the opportunity to buy back 5 years of his public health service time which will be lost otherwise. Number 362 BOB STALNAKER, Director, Division of Retirement and Benefits, said the administration did not support expanding the systems or expanding credit granted under the systems. He explained the complications involved with residual charges for a benefit. SENATOR LEMAN asked him to explain why this bill would increase the unfunded liabilities of the PERS by approximately $30,000. MR. STALNAKER replied that the $30,000 is the cost of the adverse selection. The actuary calculates if there are 15 people who have an average of 5 years to claim, this amount of liability would be added to the system. It is discounted by the amount the person would have to pay. The $30,000 is the residual cost remaining. MR. STALNAKER said the average funding level for state plans is around 75% and we are well funded compared to that - in the 90% range. The 75% is just for the pension benefit obligation. He said they want to target up to 100%, not over, because they do not want to overcharge the employer. Number 499 SENATOR MILLER asked what the employer contribution was now. MR. STALNAKER said it was 14.6% from employers and 6.7% from employees for non-police officers and 8.5% for police officers. Number 515 SENATOR LEMAN asked if this legislation would open the door to people with other claims. MR. STALNAKER said that is an effect they see quite frequently. SENATOR MILLER asked if they could claim prior service. MR. STALNAKER said they could claim prior service only if the employer participated. Number 563 STEVE BAINBRIDGE, Anchorage, said he appreciated Mr. Stalnaker's testimony, but said the key issue here is one of consistency, because they are recognized under various state programs currently. He asked for equitable treatment of all military veterans under the PERS statute. Number 578 SENATOR MILLER moved to pass SB 118 from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR LEMAN announced HCR 11 (WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH) was back before the committee. SENATOR MILLER moved to pass HCR 11 from committee with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SENATOR LEMAN adjourned the meeting at 9:55 a.m.