CHAPTER 568

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 68

ESTABLISHING A JUDICIAL PENSION REFORM COMMITTEE.

WHEREAS, members of the Judiciary of the State of Delaware are, by reason of their office, entitled to participate in a pension plan offering benefits which are among the most substantial offered to any State officer or employee; and

WHEREAS, the State Judiciary Retirement Fund created by Chapter 56, Title 29, Delaware Code, is beset by an unfunded past service liability which, unless addressed by the General Assembly, will increase in major proportion with each fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, as a result of recent litigation before the Delaware Supreme Court, it has been finally determined that members of the Judiciary first appointed after June 30, 1976, must contribute to the State Judiciary Retirement Fund at a rate higher than the rate of contribution for those members of the Judiciary appointed prior to June 30, 1976; and

WHEREAS, the aggregate rate of contribution by the members of the Judiciary to the State Judiciary Retirement Fund is not commensurate with the substantial level of benefits to which the said members of the Judiciary are entitled upon retirement or reaching the age of 65, whichever should later occur; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of meaningful reform, the current pension plan for the members of the Judiciary will assure inequities in the rate of contribution among the members of the Judiciary, promote the risk of further litigation, and contradict the policy of the State of Delaware that its pension funds be maintained on an actuarially sound basis, consistent with available resources; and

WHEREAS, it is the belief of the General Assembly that it is possible to achieve agreement on meaningful reform of the Judiciary pension plan if the General Assembly and the Judiciary negotiate promptly and in good faith to that end.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the State of Delaware, the Governor concurring therein, as follows:

1. There is hereby created a Committee to be known as the Judicial Pension Reform Committee, with responsibility for recommending to each House of the General Assembly and to the Governor actuarially provident reforms in the nature of benefits payable to members of the Judiciary from the State Judiciary Retirement Fund, and in the level and manner of contributions thereto by members of the Judiciary.

2. The Judicial Pension Reform Committee shall consist of nine members, two of whom shall be appointed by the President Pro Tempore from the membership of the Senate; two of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker from the membership of the House of Representatives; two of whom shall be appointed by the Chief Justice from the membership of the Judiciary; and three of whom shall be appointed by the Governor. Among those appointed by the Governor shall be a member of the Board of Pension Trustees, and the Chairperson of said Board who shall also serve as Chairperson of the Committee.

1. The Judicial Pension Reform Committee shall submit, in the form of draft legislation, its recommendations for reform of the Judiciary pension plan not later than June 20, 1978, to the Speaker of the House, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, and the Governor. Each such recommendation shall be accompanied by a written narrative explaining the basis therefor, and a statement of the actuarial implications thereof.

2. The Board of Pension Trustees shall provide such actuarial and other technical and administrative assistance to the Committee as the Committee may from time to time request.

Approved June 13, 1978.