What laws govern PMRS and pension plans?
Generally, two laws regulate PMRS plans. Act 15 of 1974 regulates the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System and specifies the benefits which are available to its member municipalities. Act 205 of 1984, known as the Municipal Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act, requires that pension plans be adequately funded, requires that biannual actuarial valuations be performed, and specifies how state pension aid is calculated for eligible municipalities.
How does a member municipality improve its PMRS pension plan benefits?
The member municipality or an employee representative should call PMRS for information. If the plan is a defined benefit plan, our consulting actuary must first perform a study to determine how much the pension plan upgrade will cost. There is no charge for this cost study, which usually takes six to eight weeks. If the plan is a cash balance plan, an actuarial study is not required because the cost of the plan is the municipal contribution plus the administrative fee. With either type of plan, the municipality must notify PMRS, in writing, of the pension plan change(s) to be made. PMRS then provides the appropriate ordinance or resolution and agreement to modify the plan. When the documents are completed by the municipality, they are forwarded to PMRS for approval by its Board and legal counsel.