198:20-c Trust Funds Created for Specific Purposes; Expenditures; Administration.
I. The school district may at any annual or special meeting appropriate such sums of money as it deems necessary to create expendable trust funds for specific purposes for the maintenance and operation of schools and for any other public purpose that is not foreign to the school district's institution or incompatible with the objects of their organization. The school board may be named agents to expend such trust funds. Expenditure from such trust funds shall be made only for the purpose for which the trust fund was established.
II. School district trust funds created pursuant to this section shall be held in custody by the trustee named pursuant to RSA 31:22 of trust funds of the town wherein the school district lies, or in the case of school districts embracing 2 or more towns, by the trustees of trust funds of that town which the voters of the school district may elect at the annual school district meeting. In order to expend such funds, the school board shall hold a public hearing prior to the expenditure to be made. Notice of the time, place, and subject of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the relevant municipality at least 7 days before the meeting is held.
III. A trust fund created under the provisions of this section that is established for the purpose of maintaining health insurance funds for the benefit of employees and retired employees of any school district, including an OPEB trust established pursuant to paragraph VII, shall be exempt from the provisions of paragraph II, and when so established, the school district may name its own trustees who may expend any funds in the trust for the payment of health claims or health insurance premiums for the benefit of any employees or retired employees of the school district. An annual accounting and report of the activities of the trust shall be presented to the school board of the district and published in the annual report.
IV. Trust funds created pursuant to this section shall be revocable by majority vote of the legal voters present and voting at any annual meeting, unless the vote creating the trust expressly provides that the trust shall be irrevocable, and upon revocation the trustees of trust funds holding the account for said trust shall pay all the moneys in such funds to the school treasurer.
V. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any trust fund created under this section shall be subject to the same provisions concerning custody, investment, expenditure, change of purpose and audit as are reserve funds established under RSA 35:1 or 35:1-c. The legal validity of such a fund properly established shall not be affected by its designation as a "trust," "reserve," "capital reserve," or any other designation. A trust fund established for maintaining health insurance funds as set forth in paragraph III shall be exempt from the provisions of RSA 35:8.
VI. The district may authorize the acceptance of privately-donated gifts, legacies and devises to be utilized for the same purpose as a trust fund created under this section; provided, however, that such gifts, legacies or devises shall be invested and accounted for separately from, and not commingled with, amounts appropriated under paragraph I, and shall be subject to the custody and investment provisions applicable to trust funds accepted under RSA 31:31.
VII. (a) A school district that created, on or before January 1, 2012, an actuarial liability to pay other post-employment benefits (OPEB) to employees or officers after their termination of service may establish an irrevocable trust to pay those benefits. In this paragraph, the term "other post-employment benefits" means employee benefits other than pensions that are received after employment ends, and may include such medical, disability, or other health benefits, as are covered by Statement No. 45 of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The term "trust" means a trust qualified under GASB Statement No. 43.
(b) Deposits to any fund under such a trust and any earnings on those deposits shall be irrevocable and shall be held in trust for the exclusive benefit of retirees and their beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the plans or programs providing other post-employment benefits, except that funds governed by the trust may be withdrawn for other purposes only when an employer's liability owed to former officers or employees for other post-employment benefits has been satisfied or otherwise eliminated pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2). The assets of any trust created pursuant to this paragraph or in which a school district participates pursuant to this paragraph shall be exempt from taxation and execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process. No public officer, employee, or agency shall divert, use, or authorize the use of such funds for any purpose other than as provided in law for other post-employment benefits covered by the trust and administrative expenses.
(c) The trustees of any trust created pursuant to this paragraph shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the trust. The trustees shall invest the assets of the trust with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The trustees shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so. The trustees may engage a trust administrator, investment consultants, or other qualified professionals to assist with management and investment of the funds of the trust and may pay for these services out of the funds of the trust.
(d) The school district may withdraw money from the funds of a trust created pursuant to this paragraph only:
(1) As needed to pay other post-employment benefits owed to former officers and employees; or
(2) When all other post-employment benefits liability owed to former officers or employees of the employing entity has been satisfied or otherwise defeased.
Source. 1991, 329:2. 1993, 176:14, 15. 1995, 20:8, eff. June 11, 1995. 2012, 219:2, 3, eff. July 1, 2012.