Pension ordinance clears up commission’s role

Revisions to the ordinance delineating the operations of the Pension Commission were approved at a town meeting of about a dozen voters on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The changes had been proposed by the Pension Commission.

“Our intent is to update and revise governing documents to make them consistent with what we’re actually doing,” Pension Commission member Chris Christiansen told the public hearing that preceded the town meeting.

“… It isn’t changing the role of the Pension Commission.”

The changes to the ordinance are part of a coordinated effort that also involves revisions to the town charter and the “trust documents” of the pension program, he said.

“We’re clarifying that the town is the entity that provides these pensions, not the Pension Commission,” Christiansen said. “… Our role is to oversee these funds.”

The revised ordinance says, in part:  “The Board of Selectmen may establish pension plans and other post-retirement benefits for the benefit of town employees and elected officials. The assets of each such plan shall be held in one or more trusts, annuity contracts, guaranteed investment contracts or similar funding vehicles…

“The Pension Commission shall serve collectively as the Trustee of the trust(s) established by the town to hold the assets of any defined benefit pension plans, any money purchase pension plans, and any other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans for the municipal employees and elected officials of the town.”

At the town meeting, moderated by Ed Tyrrell, the motion to approve the changes was made by John Katz and seconded by Selectwoman Maureen Kozlark.

“Does anyone want to say anything?” Tyrrell asked.

Silence.

And when Tyrrell asked for the votes: All “ayes,” no “nays.”

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