38-866. Defined contribution plan design; purpose; powers and duties of the board; administration

A. The board shall establish, design and administer a defined contribution plan to provide for the retirement of specified participants beginning July 1, 2017.

B. The purpose of this article is to provide a defined contribution plan that is fully funded on a current basis from employer and participant contributions.

C. The legislature intends that the defined contribution plan for participants under this article be designed to be a qualified governmental plan under section 401(a) of the internal revenue code, as amended, or successor provisions of law, and be exempt from taxation under section 501 of the internal revenue code. The board may adopt any additional provision to the defined contribution plan that is necessary to fulfill this intent. Consistent with this intent, the board may submit to the internal revenue service a request for a determination letter that the defined contribution plan is a plan qualified under section 401(a) of the internal revenue code and a private letter ruling that all participant contributions that are picked up by the employer as provided in section 38-867 shall be treated as employer contributions pursuant to section 414(h) of the internal revenue code.

D. The board shall:

1. Enter into a contract with a provider or providers to provide retirement plan investments, plan administration and services to participants in the defined contribution plan.  The plan shall provide for appropriate long-term retirement-oriented investments and shall include both fixed and variable deferred annuity options. The board shall consider all of the following when determining a company with which to contract:

(a) The financial stability of the company and the ability of the company to provide the contracted rights and benefits to the participants.

(b) The cost of the investments, plan administration and services to the participants.

(c) The experience of the company in providing defined contribution retirement plans in lieu of defined benefit plan participation to public employees.

(d) The experience of the company in paying retirement income to public employees.

(e) The experience of the company in providing plan education, counseling and advice to participants in public employee retirement plans that are offered in lieu of state defined benefit plan participation.

2. Require under a contract that a provider provide education, counseling and objective participant-specific plan advice to participants.  Any participant-specific advice and counseling shall be administered by a federally registered investment advisor. The federally registered investment advisor shall act as a fiduciary to participants and is required to act in the participant's best interest. 

3. Require under the contract that the defined contribution plan include not less than five and not more than twenty-five predetermined investment portfolio options to participants. The predetermined investment portfolio options shall include options that reflect different risk profiles and options that automatically reallocate and rebalance contributions as a participant ages. In addition, the defined contribution plan may permit participants to construct investment portfolios using some or all of the investment options comprising the predetermined investment portfolio options.

4. Require under a contract that the defined contribution retirement plan offer participants a menu of lifetime annuity options, either fixed or variable or a combination of both.

E. The board may:

1. Employ other services it deems necessary, including legal services, for the operation and administration of the defined contribution plan.

2. Perform all acts, whether or not expressly authorized, that it deems necessary and proper for the operation and protection of the plan.

F. The board shall adopt policies regarding the defined contribution plan, including the administration of the participant and employer contributions, investment options, termination of participation in the defined contribution plan, administration of the payout options under the defined contribution plan and administration of the participant distributions.

G. The board shall participate in a competitive bid process at least once every five years to contract with a private person or any qualified company or companies to administer the defined contribution plan established pursuant to this article.

H. Any contract for a third-party administrator of the defined contribution plan shall include competitive fees and provisions requiring quarterly meetings with the system, annual updates to the board on the status of the defined contribution plan and quarterly statements to each participant. On or before December 1 of each year, the board shall report the status of the defined contribution plan to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the joint legislative budget committee.