RS 11:2260     

§2260. Administration

            A. Board of trustees:

            (1) The general administration and responsibility for the proper operation of the retirement system and for making effective the provisions of this Chapter are hereby vested in a board of trustees which shall be organized immediately after a majority of the trustees provided for in this Section shall have qualified and taken the oath of office. The administration of this system shall be domiciled in East Baton Rouge Parish except in such case as there is provision for joint administration of this system with another state or statewide retirement system.

            (2) The board shall consist of ten trustees as follows:

            (a) Two members of the Professional Fire Fighters Association who shall be members of the system and who shall be elected by a majority of the officers of the association as follows:

            (i) One member shall be elected in December, 1988, to take office January 1, 1989, to serve until January 1, 1992, and his successor shall be elected for a term of five years, commencing on January 1, 1992.

            (ii) One member shall be elected in December, 1988, to take office January 1, 1989, to serve until January 1, 1993, and his successor shall be elected for a term of five years, commencing on January 1, 1993.

            (b) A fire chief who is chief of a fire department participating in the system and who is a member of the system, shall be elected in December, 1988 by a majority of the fire chiefs of fire departments participating in the system, to take office January 1, 1989, to serve until January 1, 1991, and his successor shall be elected for a term of five years, commencing on January 1, 1991.

            (c) Two mayors appointed by the Louisiana Municipal Association from municipalities having fire departments participating in the system, to serve at the pleasure of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

            (d)(i) A member of the House Committee on Retirement appointed by the speaker, or the member's designee.

            (ii) The chairman of the Senate Committee on Retirement, or his designee.

            (e) A retiree of the system, who shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the board from at least three nominees submitted by the retired members of the system, for a term of five years, commencing on January 1, 1989.

            (f) The state treasurer or his designee.

            (g) The commissioner of administration or his designee.

            (3) If an active member dies while serving on the board, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the office was previously filled. If an active member's status changes such that he would no longer qualify for the position he holds on the board of trustees, or if an active member retires or a member terminates employment after participating in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan and retires, while serving on the board, he shall continue to serve until his term expires. If any other vacancy occurs in the office of a trustee, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as was previously filled. Should the term of a board member expire during the period of participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, he shall be eligible to seek reelection to his position while participating in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan.

            (4) The trustees shall receive for attendance at meetings of the board, not to exceed fifteen meetings per annum, a per diem as provided in R.S. 11:182(A) and they shall be reimbursed from the expense fund for all necessary expenses that they may incur through service on the board.

            (5) Each trustee shall, after his appointment or election, take an oath of office that, so far as it devolves upon him, he shall diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the said board, and that he shall not knowingly violate or willingly permit to be violated any of the provisions of law applicable to the retirement system. Such oath shall be subscribed to by the member making it, and certified by the officer before whom it is taken, and immediately filed in the office of the secretary of state.

            (6) Each trustee shall be entitled to one vote on the board. An affirmative vote by at least five members of the board of trustees shall be necessary for a decision by the trustees at any meeting of the board. The phrase "affirmative vote" shall mean that the vote shall be cast in favor of approving any motion.

            (7) The board of trustees is authorized to use interest earnings on investments of the system in excess of normal requirements, as determined by the actuary, to provide annual supplemental monthly cost-of-living adjustments. The supplemental monthly cost-of-living adjustments shall be computed on the current retirement or survivor's benefit. The annual supplemental monthly cost-of-living adjustment shall not be more than three percent in any year. Such benefits shall be paid only when funds are available from this source and payments shall be made in such manner and in such amounts as may be determined by the board of trustees, based on the funds available.

            (8) A majority of the board of trustees shall elect from its membership a chairman. A majority of the board shall also appoint a secretary to the board, define his duties, and set his compensation. The board of trustees shall engage such actuarial and other services as shall be required to transact the business of the retirement system. The compensation of all persons engaged by the board of trustees, and all other expenses of the board necessary for the operation of the retirement system shall be paid at such rates and in such amounts as the board of trustees shall approve.

            (9)(a) The board of trustees shall keep in convenient form such data as shall be necessary for actuarial valuation of the various funds of the retirement system and for checking the experience of the system.

            (b)(i) In order to assure the continued accuracy of the data required to be kept by the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, the board of trustees may conduct an audit of any participating employer, including but not limited to any such municipality or fire protection district. The information that is made the subject of the audit shall include such information as is necessary to accomplish any of the following audit objectives:

            (aa) To authenticate the eligibility of a member or members to participate in the system.

            (bb) To verify compensation being earned by a member or members and the manner and amount in which such compensation is reported to the retirement system.

            (cc) To verify the years of covered employment and service credit accrued by a member or members.

            (dd) To determine the accuracy of benefits scheduled to be paid or already being paid to any member or members.

            (ii) The participating employer that is the subject of the audit shall provide, and the auditor shall have, complete access to any books, records, documents, and accounts needed to accomplish the audit, including but not limited to copies of any member's birth certificate, death certificate, driver's license, marriage license, time sheets, leave forms, payroll records, and contribution records. Original documents shall be provided if available.

            (iii) The retirement system may request the legislative auditor to conduct the full audit or any portion of an audit authorized by this Subparagraph.

            (iv) Failure of any participating employer to comply with the provisions of this Subparagraph shall subject the governing authority of such employer and the custodian of records of such employer to the enforcement provisions of the public record laws set forth in R.S. 44:35.

            (10) The board of trustees shall keep a record of all of its proceedings which shall be open to public inspection. It shall publish annually a report showing the fiscal transactions of the retirement system for the preceding fiscal year, the amount of the accumulated cash and securities of the system, and the last balance sheet showing the financial condition of the system by means of an actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of the retirement system.

            (11)(a) The board of trustees may enter into an agreement with any municipality, parish, or fire protection district for merging any existing retirement plan for firefighters, or with the Metropolitan Council of the city of Baton Rouge and the parish of East Baton Rouge for merging the firefighter members of the Baton Rouge City Parish Employees' Retirement System with the Firefighters' Retirement System, subject to approval by three-fourths of the members of such system who have not retired and subject to approval by three-fourths of the retirees, beneficiaries, and survivors.

            (b) Such merger agreement shall require payment of at least sixty percent of the accrued liability for active members being transferred and of one hundred percent of the accrued liability of the retirees, beneficiaries, and survivors being transferred, and such merger shall not cause the contributions and other funding of the system to be less than the amount needed to actuarially provide for the normal cost and the amortization of the unfunded accrued liability of the system over a thirty-year period. However, the city of Alexandria shall be authorized to merge its firefighters' retirement plan into the Firefighters' Retirement System by paying sixty percent of the accrued liability for active members being transferred and one hundred percent of the accrued liability of the retirees, beneficiaries, and survivors being transferred. All payments by the city of Alexandria shall be based on those liabilities as they existed on June 30, 1988, with the difference between the amount paid by the city of Alexandria and the total actuarial accrued liability being assumed by the Firefighters' Retirement System of Louisiana as of the date of the merger, being paid by the state of Louisiana over the length of time and in the amounts as determined by the Public Retirement Systems' Actuarial Committee, provided that such merger is completed by June 30, 1993.

            (c)(i) The approval of a merger by three-fourths of the individuals being transferred is not required if the municipality, parish, or fire protection district shall guarantee to each of the individuals that he and his beneficiaries together shall retain after the merger all retirement and other eligibility rights, all benefit rights, and all other rights that they would have had in the former plan had he continued under such plan.

            (ii) This determination shall be made for each individual at least annually by the municipality, parish, or fire protection district and shall be based on total benefits paid to date to the individual and his beneficiaries by the Firefighters' Retirement System and this guarantee in the period beginning with his transfer to the Firefighters' Retirement System and ending on the date of determination.

            (iii) This guarantee shall have no more or less force and effect than the benefit guarantee of the former retirement plan and shall be accomplished by ordinance of the municipality, parish, or fire protection district.

            (d) Such merger shall be preceded by an actuarial investigation of the actuarial assumptions conducted jointly by the actuaries for the municipality, parish, or fire protection district, the Firefighters' Retirement System, and the legislative auditor, and must have the prior approval of the Joint Legislative Retirement Committee together with the recommendation of the actuary for the legislative auditor and any agreement entered into between the Firefighters' Retirement System and the municipality, parish, or fire protection district shall be binding on both parties.

            (e) Should the municipality, parish, or fire protection district fail to make any payments provided under such agreement, the board of trustees may proceed to collect such amounts as provided in R.S. 11:2262(D)(2).

            (f) Repealed by Acts 2003, No. 719, §2.

            (g)(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the board of trustees for this system is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement with the governing authorities of the Firemen's Pension and Relief Fund for the city of Lafayette to merge that system into the statewide Firefighters' Retirement System set forth in this Chapter, in accordance with the provisions of Subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this Paragraph, except as provided in this Subparagraph.

            (ii) The accumulated cost-of-living adjustments granted to any individual who has merged with this system pursuant to this Subparagraph, which cost-of-living adjustments have been granted by the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government by virtue of the individual's previous membership in the Firemen's Pension and Relief Fund for the city of Lafayette, shall not be diminished, reduced, or otherwise impaired by the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government should any cost-of-living adjustment be payable by this system. However, if the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government has granted a cost-of-living adjustment to any such individual in any year in which this system has also granted a cost-of-living adjustment, then nothing in this Item shall prevent the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government from reducing the amount of its cost-of-living adjustment for that same year by an amount not to exceed two percent, provided the amount of this system's cost-of-living adjustment is greater than two percent, and further provided that the amount of the previous years' accumulated cost-of-living adjustments shall not be diminished, reduced, or otherwise impaired.

            (iii) Any unlawful diminution, reduction, or impairment of accumulated cost-of-living adjustments by the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government shall give rise to a cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction by the individual adversely affected or his beneficiary or other appropriate successor in interest.

            (h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the board of trustees for this system is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement with the consolidated government of the city of Baton Rouge and parish of East Baton Rouge to merge less than all of the firefighter members of the Baton Rouge City Parish Employees' Retirement System meeting the definition of "employee" under the provisions of this Chapter. Such a partial merger shall be undertaken subsequent to a one time, thirty day election period, to be conducted by the consolidated government of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge. During this election each active firefighter member may elect either to: maintain his individual membership in the Baton Rouge City Parish Employee's Retirement System; or transfer his membership to this retirement system. Such election shall be irrevocable. Any partial merger of these active firefighter employees into this system shall be preceded by an actuarial investigation of the assets and liabilities in the system to the credit of the employees being merged. To each employee electing to avail himself of the provisions of this Subparagraph, the consolidated government shall guarantee by individual guarantee of benefits contracts with each individual employee electing to merge additional benefits not payable under the Firefighters' Retirement System. The municipality shall pay to this system in one cash payment an amount equal to sixty percent of the accrued liability, as determined or approved by the actuary for this system, for all members and service credit merged, or at the option of the municipality, such payment may be made in annual payments plus seven percent interest compounded annually over a period not exceeding thirty years. Subsequent to such partial merger, all newly hired firefighter employees meeting the definition of "employee" as contained in this Chapter shall be enrolled in this system as a condition of employment. This Subparagraph shall be subject to the provisions of Subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this Paragraph.

            B. Repealed by Acts 1988, No. 83, §2.

            C. Actuary:

            (1) The board of trustees shall designate an actuary who shall be the technical advisor of the board of trustees on matters regarding the operation of the fund created by the provisions of this Chapter, and shall perform such other duties as are required in connection therewith.

            (2) Immediately after the establishment of the retirement system, the actuary shall make such investigation of the mortality, service, and compensation experience of the members of the system as he shall recommend and the board of trustees shall authorize, and on the basis of such investigation he shall recommend for adoption by the board of trustees such tables and such rates as are required in R.S. 11:2260(C)(3)(a) and (b). The board of trustees shall adopt tables and certify rates, and as soon as practicable thereafter the actuary shall make a valuation based on such tables and rates of the assets and liabilities of the funds created by this Chapter.

            (3) In 1980, and at least once in each five-year period thereafter, the actuary shall make an actuarial investigation into the mortality, service, and compensation experience of the members and beneficiaries of the retirement system, and shall make a valuation of the assets and liabilities of the funds of the system, and taking into account the result of such investigation and valuation, the board of trustees shall:

            (a) Adopt for the retirement system such mortality, service, and other tables as shall be deemed necessary; and

            (b) Certify the rates of contribution payable by the employer on account of the new entrants.

            (4) On the basis of such tables as the board of trustees shall adopt, the actuary shall make an annual valuation of the assets and liabilities of the funds of the system created by this Chapter.

            D. The Firefighters' Retirement System and its board of trustees shall be domiciled in the Parish of East Baton Rouge.

            E. Repealed by Acts 1988, No. 974, §2, eff. July 27, 1988.

            Added by Acts 1979, No. 434, §1. Amended by Acts 1980, No. 178, §1; Acts 1982, No. 193, §1; Acts 1983, No. 261, §1; Acts 1984, No. 472, §1; Acts 1985, No. 776, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, No. 147, §1; Acts 1987, No. 911, §2; Acts 1988, No. 83, §2; Acts 1988, No. 974, §§1, 2; eff. July 27, 1988; Acts 1991, No. 67, §1; Redesignated from R.S. 33:2158 by Acts 1991, No. 74, §3, eff. June 25, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 952, §1, eff. July 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 755, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 89, §1, eff. July 7, 1994; Acts 1995, No. 783, §1; Acts 1997, No. 14, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1219, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 35, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1320, §1, eff. July 12, 1999; Acts 1999, No. 1379, §1; Acts 2003, No. 305, §§1, 2, eff. June 13, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 621, §1, eff. June 27, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 719, §§1, 2, eff. June 27, 2003; Acts 2007, No. 51, §1, eff. June 18, 2007; Acts 2008, No. 220, §4, eff. June 14, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 258, §1, eff. June 16, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 817, §1, eff. July 8, 2008; Acts 2016, No. 621, §1, eff. June 17, 2016.

NOTE: SEE ACTS 1984, NO. 472, §§2, 3.

NOTE: SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 974, §3.

NOTE: See Acts 2003, No. 719, §2, relative to retroactive application to Jan. 31, 2002, payment of liabilities and benefits, and pending applications for merger of individual service credit pursuant to R.S. 11:2260(A)(11)(f).

NOTE: See Acts 2003, No. 719, §3, relative to R.S. 11:2260(A)(6) as amended by Act No. 719 superceding conflicting Acts.