2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Flowers
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-11-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE GOVERNOR SHALL APPOINT THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-11-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-11-15. (1) Board of trustees: The general administration and responsibility for the proper operation of the Public Employees' Retirement System and the federal-state agreement and for making effective the provisions of Articles 1 and 3 are vested in a board of trustees.
(2) The board shall consist of ten (10) trustees, as follows:
(a) The State Treasurer;
(b) One (1) member who shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four (4) years, who shall be a member of the system;
(c) Two (2) members of the system having at least ten (10) years of creditable service who are state employees who are not employees of the state institutions of higher learning, who shall be elected by members of the system who are employees of state agencies and by members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System, but not by employees of the state institutions of higher learning;
(d) Two (2) members of the system having at least ten (10) years of creditable service who do not hold office in the legislative or judicial departments of municipal or county government, one (1) of whom shall be an employee of a municipality, instrumentality or juristic entity thereof, who shall be elected by members of the system who are employees of the municipalities, instrumentalities or juristic entities thereof and by members of the municipal systems and the firemen's and policemen's disability and relief funds administered by the board of trustees, and one (1) of whom shall be an employee of a county, instrumentality or juristic entity thereof, who shall be elected by members of the system who are employees of the counties, instrumentalities or juristic entities thereof;
(e) One (1) member of the system having at least ten (10) years of creditable service who is an employee of a state institution of higher learning, who shall be elected by members of the system who are employees of the state institutions of higher learning as included in Section 37-101-1. Any member of the board on July 1, 1984, who is an employee of an institution of higher learning shall serve as the member trustee representing the institutions of higher learning until the end of the term for which he was elected;
(f) Two (2) retired members who are receiving a retirement allowance from the system, who shall be elected by the retired members or beneficiaries receiving a retirement allowance from the system and by the retired members or beneficiaries of the municipal systems, the firemen's and policemen's disability and relief funds and the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System administered by the board of trustees, to serve for a term of six (6) years under rules and regulations adopted by the board to govern that election; however, any retired member of the board in office on April 19, 1993, shall serve as a retired trustee until the end of the term for which he was elected;
(g) One (1) member of the system having at least ten (10) years of creditable service who is an employee of any public school district or junior college or community college district that participates in the system, who shall be elected by the members of the system who are employees of any public school district or junior college or community college district; however, any member of the board on June 30, 1989, who is a certified classroom teacher shall serve as the member representing a classroom teacher until the end of the term for which the member was appointed;
(h) In the first election to be held for trustees one (1) member shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, and one (1) member for a term of four (4) years, and one (1) member for a term of six (6) years. Thereafter, their successors shall be elected for terms of six (6) years. All elections shall be held in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the board to govern those elections and the board shall be the sole judge of all questions arising incident to or connected with the elections.
(i) Any person eligible to vote for the election of a member of the board of trustees and who meets the qualifications for the office may seek election to the office and serve if elected. For purposes of determining eligibility to seek office as a member of the board of trustees, the required creditable service in "the system" shall include each system administered by the board of trustees in which the person is a member.
The members described above and serving on the board on June 30, 1989, shall continue to serve on the board until the expiration of their terms.
(3) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a trustee, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the office was previously filled. However, if the unexpired term is six (6) months or less, an election shall be held to fill the office vacated for the next succeeding full term of office, and the person so elected to fill the next full term shall be appointed by the board to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. Whenever any member who is elected to a position to represent a class of members ceases to be a member of that class, that board member is no longer eligible for membership on the board. The position shall be declared vacant, and the unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner as the office was previously filled.
(4) Each trustee shall, within ten (10) days after his appointment or election, take an oath of office as provided by law and, in addition, shall take an oath that he will diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the board, and that he will not knowingly violate or willingly permit to be violated any of the provisions of law applicable to Articles 1 and 3. The oath shall be signed by the member making it, certified by the officer before whom it is taken, and immediately filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
(5) Each trustee shall be entitled to one (1) vote. Six (6) members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the board, and a majority of those present shall be necessary for a decision.
(6) Subject to the limitations of Articles 1 and 3, the board shall establish rules and regulations for the administration of the system created by those articles and for the transaction of its business, and to give force and effect to the provisions of those articles wherever necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of the Legislature. The cited articles are remedial law and shall be liberally construed to accomplish their purposes.
(7) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, in the event of a natural disaster or other occurrence that results in the failure of the retirement system's computer system or a significant disruption of the normal activities of the retirement system, the executive director of the board, or his deputy, shall be authorized to contract with another entity, governmental or private, during the period of the failure or disruption, for services, commodities, work space and supplies as necessary to carry out the administration of all systems and programs administered by the board. The board shall be authorized to pay the reasonable cost of those services, commodities, work space and supplies. At the meeting of the board next following the execution of a contract authorized under this subsection, documentation of the contract, including a description of the services, commodities, work space or supplies, the price thereof and the nature of the disaster or occurrence, shall be presented to the board and placed on the minutes of the board. Because of their emergency nature, purchases made under this subsection shall not be required to comply with the provisions of Section 31-7-13 or any other law governing public purchases.
(8) The computer equipment and software owned by the Public Employees' Retirement System are assets of the Trust Fund by virtue of the Constitution, Section 272-A and acquisition and operation thereof shall be under the jurisdiction of the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(9) (a) The board shall elect a chairman * * *.
(b) The board of trustees shall employ such actuarial, clerical and other employees as are required to transact the business of the system, and shall fix the compensation of all employees, subject to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board.
(c) The Governor shall, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint a secretary of the board whose title shall be executive director. The secretary shall serve for a term of office that coincides with the term of Office of the Governor. The secretary shall not be a member of the board of trustees, shall be entitled to membership in the system and shall act as secretary of the board.
(10) Each member of the board shall receive as compensation for his services Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) per month. All members of the board shall be reimbursed for their necessary traveling expenses, which shall be paid in accordance with the requirements of Section 25-3-41 or other applicable statutes with respect to traveling expenses of state officials and employees on official business. All members of the board shall be entitled to be members of the system and shall be entitled to creditable service for all time served as a member of the board, except for the retired members, who shall not be entitled to be a member of the system and who shall be eligible to receive the retirement allowance and compensation for services from the system while serving as a member of the board.
(11) All expenses of the board incurred in the administration of Articles 1 and 3 shall be paid from such funds as may be appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose or from administrative fees collected from political subdivisions or juristic entities of the state. Each political subdivision of the state and each instrumentality of the state or of a political subdivision or subdivisions that submit a plan for approval by the board as provided in Section 25-11-11 shall reimburse the board, for coverage into the administrative expense fund, its pro rata share of the total expense of administering Articles 1 and 3 as provided by regulations of the board.
(12) There shall be an investment advisory board to provide advice and counsel to the board of trustees regarding the investment of the funds of the system. The advisory board shall consist of three (3) members, one (1) appointed by the Governor, one (1) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and one (1) appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Each member of the advisory board shall be someone who is not a public employee who has had at least ten (10) years' experience in investment banking or commercial banking or who has had at least ten (10) years' professional experience in managing investments. Each member of the advisory board shall serve for a term concurrent with the term of the appointing authority. Any vacancy on the advisory board shall be filled by appointment of the original appointing authority for the remainder of the unexpired term. Members of the advisory board shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, as provided in Section 25-3-41 for state officers and employees. The advisory board shall operate under the rules and regulations of the board of trustees and shall meet at such times as determined by the board of trustees.
(13) The Lieutenant Governor may designate two (2) Senators and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may designate two (2) Representatives to attend any meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System. The appointing authorities may designate alternate members from their respective houses to serve when the regular designees are unable to attend the meetings of the board. The legislative designees shall have no jurisdiction or vote on any matter within the jurisdiction of the board. For attending meetings of the board, the legislators shall receive per diem and expenses, which shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses for attending meetings of the board will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the board without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.