PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
JUDICIAL RETIREMENT PLAN
100-C:11 Administration and Delegation.
I. The judicial retirement plan shall be administered by a board of trustees, which shall be separate from the board of trustees of the New Hampshire retirement system. The board of the judicial retirement plan shall have the exclusive authority and full power to administer and to invest and manage those assets of the judicial retirement plan.
II. The board of trustees of the judicial retirement plan shall consist of 7 members. The governor and council shall appoint 2 trustees, one of whom the governor shall designate to serve as chairman of the board of trustees, and who shall be qualified persons with business experience and not members of the judicial retirement plan, and who shall serve for a term of 3 years and until such trustee's successor is appointed and qualified, except that the original appointment of one of the trustees shall be for a term of one year. The chief justice of the state supreme court, with the advice and consent of the chief justice of the superior court, the administrative judge and deputy administrative judge of the circuit court, and the director of the administrative office of the courts, shall appoint 3 trustees, at least 2 of whom shall be active members of the judicial retirement plan and one of whom may be a retired member, and who shall serve for a term of 3 years and until such trustee's successor is appointed and qualified, except that the original appointment of one of the trustees shall be for a term of one year, and the original appointment of another of the trustees shall be for a term of 2 years. One member of the state senate shall be appointed biennially by the senate president as a trustee of the board, and one member of the house of representatives shall be appointed biennially by the speaker of the house as a trustee of the board.
III. (a) In addition to those other powers conferred herein, the board of trustees shall have exclusive authority and full power, consistent with the board's duties under this chapter, to:
(1) Establish an administrative budget sufficient to exercise the board's powers and to perform the board's duties and, as appropriate and reasonable, draw upon assets of the plan to fund the budget;
(2) Obtain by employment or contract the services necessary to exercise the board's powers and perform the board's duties, including actuarial, auditing, custodial, investment, and legal services; and
(3) Procure and dispose of goods and property necessary to exercise the board's powers and perform the board's duties.
(b) In exercising its authority under this section, the board shall be subject to the fiduciary duties of this chapter, but not to civil service, personnel, procurement, or similar general laws relating to the subjects of subparagraph III(a).
IV. The members of the board of trustees shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary traveling and other expenses and disbursements incurred or made by them in the discharge of their official duties.
V. Each trustee shall be entitled to one vote in the board of trustees. Four trustees shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business. In the event of only four trustees voting at any meeting, a unanimous vote shall be necessary for any resolution or action by the board at such meeting.
VI. (a) The board may engage such administrative services as may be required to transact the business of the judicial retirement plan. The compensation for such services, and all other necessary expenses of the board shall be paid at such rates and in such amounts as the board shall approve. The New Hampshire retirement system may be engaged to provide such administrative services to the judicial retirement plan on such terms as the board of trustees of each plan may both agree.
(b) The board may delegate functions, including the administration of the plan, that a prudent trustee acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters could properly delegate under the circumstances.
(c) The board shall exercise reasonable care, skill, and caution in:
(1) Selecting an agent, including administrator of the judicial retirement plan;
(2) Establishing the scope and terms of the delegation, consistent with the purposes and terms of this chapter; and
(3) Periodically reviewing the agent's performance and compliance with the terms of the delegation.
(d) In performing a delegated function, an agent owes a duty to the judicial retirement plan and to its members and beneficiaries to comply with the terms of the delegation and, if a fiduciary, to comply with the duties imposed by this chapter.
(e) A trustee of the board who complies with subparagraphs (b) and (c) shall not be liable to the plan or to its members or beneficiaries for the decisions or actions of the agent to whom the function was properly delegated.
(f) By accepting the delegation of a function from the board, an agent submits to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state.
(g) The board may limit the authority of an agent to further delegate functions under this section.
VII. The board shall keep a record of all of its proceedings. In furtherance of public disclosure:
(a) The board by the plan administrator shall prepare and disseminate:
(1) A summary plan description of the judicial retirement plan;
(2) A summary description of any material modification in the terms of the plan and any material change in the information required to be contained in the summary plan description, to the extent the modification or change has not been integrated into an updated summary plan description;
(3) An annual disclosure of the plan's financial and actuarial status; and
(4) An annual report.
(b) The board shall make available for public examination in the principal administrative offices of the plan or in such other places as the board may designate:
(1) The governing law of the judicial retirement plan;
(2) The most recent summary plan description;
(3) Summary descriptions of modifications or changes described in subparagraph (a)(2) that have been provided to members and beneficiaries but have not yet been integrated into the summary plan description;
(4) The most recent annual disclosure of financial and actuarial status; and
(5) The most recent annual report.
(c) Upon written request by a plan member, beneficiary, or member of the public, the board by its administrator shall provide a copy of any publication described in subparagraph (b). Except as otherwise provided herein, the board may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of providing copies. The board by its administrator shall provide the copies within 30 days after the request or, if a fee is charged, within 30 days after receiving payment.
VIII. The board of trustees shall direct the administrator of the plan to make the following disclosure to members and beneficiaries of the judicial retirement plan:
(a) The administrator shall furnish to each member and to each beneficiary who is receiving benefits under the plan:
(1) A copy of the most recent summary plan description, along with any summary descriptions of modifications or changes described in paragraph VII(a)(2); within 30 days after a person becomes a member or, in the case of a beneficiary, within 30 days after a person first receives benefits;
(2) The summary description of any modifications or changes described in paragraph VII(a)(2), within 7 months after the end of the fiscal year of the plan in which a modification or change has been made;
(3) A copy of an updated summary plan description that integrates all modifications and changes at intervals not exceeding 5 years; and
(4) The annual report within 7 months after the end of each fiscal year of the plan.
(b) The board by its administrator shall provide to a member or beneficiary a statement containing information that would permit the member or beneficiary to reasonably estimate projected benefits to the extent the information is regularly maintained by the plan. The information may be provided periodically with the annual report or upon written request of the member or beneficiary. The information need not be provided to a member or beneficiary who is currently receiving benefits.
(c) A member who is not currently receiving benefits is entitled without charge to one statement under subparagraph (b) during any fiscal year of the plan. The administrator may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of providing additional statements. The administrator shall provide the statements within 30 days of receipt of the member or beneficiary's written request or, if a fee is charged, within 30 days after receiving payment.
(d) A summary plan description and summary description of modifications or changes provided herein must be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average member and be accurate and sufficiently comprehensive reasonably to inform the members and beneficiaries of their rights and obligations under the plan and shall contain:
(1) The name of the plan and type of administration;
(2) The name and business address of the administrator appointed by the board;
(3) The name and business address of each agent for service of process;
(4) Citations to the governing law of the judicial retirement plan;
(5) A description of the plan's requirements concerning eligibility for participation and benefits;
(6) A description of the plan's provisions providing for nonforfeitable benefits;
(7) A description of circumstances that may result in disqualification, ineligibility, or denial or loss of benefits;
(8) A description of the benefits provided by the plan, including the manner of calculating benefits and any benefits provided for spouses and survivors;
(9) The source of financing of the program;
(10) The identity of any organization through which benefits are provided;
(11) The date the fiscal year of the plan ends;
(12) The procedures to claim benefits under the program and the administrative procedures available under the program for the redress of claims that are denied in whole or in part; and
(13) Notice of the availability of additional information provided herein.
(e) The board of trustees shall file with the secretary of state a copy of:
(1) The summary plan and of updated summary plan descriptions at the same time such are first furnished to plan members or beneficiaries pursuant to subparagraph (a)(3);
(2) Any summary description of modifications or changes within 7 months after the end of the fiscal year in which a modification or change has been made; and
(3) Disclosures of the plan's financial and actuarial status and its annual report within 7 months after the end of each fiscal year of the plan.
IX. The board shall make disclosures of the financial and actuarial status of the judicial retirement plan as provided herein.
(a) As used in this paragraph, "qualified public accountant" means:
(1) An auditing agency of this state which has no direct relationship with the functions or activities of the judicial retirement plan or its fiduciaries other than:
(A) Functions relating to this chapter, or
(B) A person who is an independent public accountant, certified or licensed by a regulatory authority of a state.
(b) As used in this paragraph, "related person" of an individual means:
(1) The individual's spouse or a parent or sibling of the spouse;
(2) The individual's descendant, sibling, or parent, or the spouse of the individual's descendant, sibling, or parent;
(3) Another individual residing in the same household as the individual;
(4) A trust or estate in which an individual described in above subparagraphs (1), (2), or (3) has a substantial interest;
(5) A trust or estate for which the individual has fiduciary responsibilities; or
(6) An incompetent, ward, or minor for whom the individual has fiduciary responsibilities.
(c) The annual disclosure of the financial and actuarial status of the plan shall contain:
(1) The name of the plan;
(2) The name and principal business office of the administrator appointed by the board of trustees;
(3) The name and business address of each member of the board of trustees and a brief description of how the trustee was selected;
(4) The name and business address of the plan's agent for service of process;
(5) The name and business address of each fiduciary;
(6) The current statement of investment objectives and policies of the plan;
(7) Financial statements and notes to the financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles;
(8) An opinion on the financial statements by a qualified public accountant in conformity with generally accepted auditing standards;
(9) Actuarial schedules and notes to the actuarial schedules in conformity with generally accepted actuarial principles and practices for measuring pension obligations;
(10) An opinion by the actuary that the actuarial schedules are complete and accurate to the best of the actuary's knowledge, that each assumption and method used in preparing the schedules is reasonable, that the assumptions and methods in the aggregate are reasonable, and that the assumptions and methods in combination offer the actuary's best estimate of anticipated experience;
(11) A description of any material interest held by any trustee, administrator, or employee who is a fiduciary with respect to the investment and management of assets of the plan, and, if the fiduciary is an individual, by a related person of the beneficiary, in any material transaction with the plan within the last 3 years or proposed to be effected;
(12) A schedule of the rates of return, net of total investment expense, on assets of the plan overall and on assets aggregated by category over the most recent one-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year periods, to the extent available, and the rates of return stated against appropriate benchmarks for assets of the system overall and for each category over each period; and
(13) A schedule of the sum of total investment expense and total general administrative expense paid by the plan for the fiscal year expressed as a percentage of the fair value of assets of the system on the last day of the fiscal year, and an equivalent percentage for the preceding 5 fiscal years.
X. The annual report for the plan shall contain:
(a) The name and business address of each member of the board of trustees;
(b) The financial statements, but not the notes, required by paragraph IX(c)(7);
(c) The actuarial schedules, but not the notes, required by paragraph IX(c)(9);
(d) The schedules described in paragraphs IX(c)(12) and (13);
(e) A brief description of the above statements and schedules;
(f) Other material to summarize fairly and accurately the annual disclosure of the plan's financial and actuarial status; and
(g) A general notice of the availability of the public, member and beneficiary information provided herein.
XI. Following each calendar year, the board shall report to the fiscal committee of the general court and the executive departments and administration committees of the senate and house of representatives on the supplemental allowances paid pursuant to RSA 100-C:17. The board shall also annually provide copies of its annual report to the executive departments and administration committees of the senate and house of representatives.
Source. 2003, 311:1. 2007, 313:1, 5, 6, eff. July 13, 2007. 2013, 177:2, eff. July 2, 2013.