TASK FORCE STRUCTURE & PARTICIPATION

The Task Force was Co-Chaired by Thomas S. Hamilton, Director of Administration for the City of Stamford, and Linda R. Savitsky, Director of the Municipal Finance Services Unit at the Office of Policy and Management. Mr. Hamilton was appointed Co-Chair by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ms. Savitsky was appointed Co-Chair by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

Task Force members included municipal officials and representatives from three state agencies, organized labor, and the investment community. Staff members of the Municipal Finance Services Unit of the Office of Policy and Management were designated as staff to the Task Force.

The Task Force met eight (8) times, between September of 1996 and March of 1997. At its organizational meeting, members agreed that the Task Force’s charge, in accordance with statute, would be the following:

1. Determine and study the funding practices, investment practices and actuarial valuation methods used to finance municipal retirement systems.

2. Determine and study any state policies having an impact upon the fiscal integrity of such systems.

3. Research and identify any innovative and fiscally sound practices used to mitigate unfunded pension liabilities.

4. Issue written report on the findings of the Task Force, including any State Statutory and administrative changes recommended to improve the funding practices used to finance municipal retirement systems in Connecticut.

The Task Force was in agreement that in order to accomplish its vast amount of work in a timely manner, the Committee should use the services of a consultant firm experienced in actuarial work. Milliman & Robertson, who serve as actuary for the State’s plans and some of the State’s municipalities, was retained.

There was a high level of public participation. The Committee felt it was important to allow for an exchange of ideas among members and the various groups for whom municipal retirement systems are a major concern. Staff to the Task Force maintained a mailing list of approximately fifty (50) interested parties. These included: rating agencies’ personnel, representatives from the investment and actuarial communities, Bond Counsel, accountants, representatives from various municipalities, staff from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and staff from legislative agencies.

The recommendations included in the report do not address all of the concerns and issues raised by individuals representing the various groups. The majority of findings and recommendations, however, do reflect a decided consensus of the Task Force.

 

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