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Maine Public Employees Retirement System
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FAQs on Proposed Changes for the PLD Consolidated Plan in 2018

 

 

The following are frequently asked questions relating to the proposed changes to the PLD Consolidated Retirement Plan.

 


 

Q. How were these changes determined?

 

A. MainePERS continually monitors the PLD Plan, the financial markets and demographic trends, and other pension plans around the country.  Many trends have changed over the last 25 years that can affect the strength of the Plan and MainePERS’ ability to pay benefits throughout each member’s lifetime after retirement.  A new framework for sharing financial risks in the wake of events such as the recent recession was developed to avoid pitfalls such as contribution rates becoming unaffordable or COLAs being frozen.  Additions to the core benefit were also studied to determine if they would be included in a defined benefit plan developed today. Those that benefited some members at the expense of other members were modified, and others were changed to benefit only members that are career employees in the Plan as a retention incentive.

These changes were reviewed, analyzed and discussed over an 18-month period with the PLD Advisory Committee. MainePERS and the PLD Advisory Committee revised the proposed changes.  MainePERS conducted outreach meetings around the State of Maine in the fall of 2017 to share the framework and changes, and to receive input from members, retirees and employers.  Suggestions were evaluated, and further changes were made over the next 5 months with the PLD Advisory Committee.

 

Descriptions of the proposed changes were mailed to members, retirees and employers in early April. The Board of Trustees held a hearing on April 12th to hear further comments and accepted  additional written comments through April 27th.  On May 10th, the Board of Trustees approved the proposed changes with some modifications.


 

Q. What modifications to the proposed changes did the Board of Trustees make?

 

A. The modifications include not adopting the proposed retire-rehire provision at this time and delaying the effective date for the accrued leave provision to July 1, 2019.

 

We will perform more outreach on the retire-rehire issue before bringing it back to the Board later this year for further consideration.



Q. What are Normal and Unfunded Actuarial Liability Costs?

 

A. The MainePERS actuary determines the costs each year that must be paid to keep the Plan funded.  The normal costs are the routine annual costs for funding the Plan.  The unfunded actuarial liability costs are the costs to recover any losses in the Plan due to the financial markets (such as the recession) or other costs that result from, for example, increases in member life spans.

 


 

Q. I am already retired from the PLD Consolidated Plan. My existing monthly retirement payment isn’t going to be reduced, is it?

 

A. No. The proposed PLD Plan changes do not affect current monthly payment amounts. 

 


 

Q.  Can I still use my accrued vacation and sick leave to increase my retirement benefit?

 

A.  If you retire prior to July 1, 2019, you can use up to 30 days of paid, unused accrued leave towards your earnable compensation and up to 90 days of unpaid, unused accrued leave towards additional service credit.  The inclusion of accrued leave typically increases your retirement benefit.

 

Effective July 1, 2019, you can use your accrued leave if you have at least twenty (20) years of service credit when you retire.

 


 

Q. Can I still get a refund of my contributions?

 

A. Yes. None of the proposed changes affect your ability to terminate from your position and get a refund of the money you have paid into the plan.
 


 

Q. Are the contribution rates increasing to the caps on July 1, 2019?
 

A. No. Contribution rates will continue to be set annually. Caps were established to set maximum aggregate rates for both employers and members under the Plan. Contribution rates for the year beginning July 1, 2019 will be available later this fall.

 

 
 



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