National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Maine

The Maine Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) administers pension and other benefits for most public employees in the state, including state employees, public school teachers and other school district employees, and employees of political subdivisions that have elected to participate. The system administers the State and Teacher Plan, the Consolidated Plan (for employees of state and local public entities including school districts), and plans for legislators and judges. Maine PERS also administers a 401(a), 403(b), and 457 plan.

Authorizing Statutes

Title 5, Part 20 of the Maine Revised Statutes addresses the State Retirement System. Chapter 421, Subchapter 3 establishes the system. According to §17101. Establishment

1. Purpose. There is established a retirement system, the functions and operations of which are under the supervision of the board, for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and other benefits under this Part for employees. 2. Name. The retirement system is known as the "Maine Public Employees Retirement System" and by that name all of its business must be transacted, all of its funds invested and all of its cash and securities and other property held in trust for the purpose for which received.

Section §17102 describes the composition of the Board of Trustees.

1. Composition. The Board of Trustees of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, established by section 12004-F, subsection 9, is composed of 8 trustees, as follows:

  • The Treasurer of State or the Deputy Treasurer of State;

  • A person who is a member of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Program of the retirement system through employment as a teacher and who is duly elected by the Maine Education Association;

  • A person who is a member of the State Employee and Teacher Retirement Program of the retirement system through employment as a state employee and who is duly elected by the Maine State Employees' Association;

  • Four persons appointed by the Governor and subject to review by the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over retirement matters and to confirmation by the Legislature:

(1) At least 2 of whom must be qualified through training or experience in the field of investments, accounting, banking or insurance or as actuaries; (2) One of whom must be selected from a list of 3 nominees submitted by the Maine Retired Teachers' Association; and (3) One of whom must be the recipient of a retirement allowance through the retirement system and be selected from a list or lists of nominees submitted by retired state employees, retired participating local district employees or a committee comprised of representatives of these groups; and

  • A person who is a member of the Participating Local District Retirement Program of the retirement system through a participating local district and who is appointed by the governing body of the Maine Municipal Association.

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

Maine Public Employees Retirement System

8

5

2

4

1

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2011, employer contributions to Maine government pension plans were 3.10 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

It appears that the Maine courts have yet to address the exact protections for public pension benefits. Nevertheless, the courts recognize an employee's legitimate retirement expectations and will likely weigh those expectations against the government's justifications for an amendment. Spiller v. State, 627 A.2d 513 (Me. 1993) (declining to imply contractual rights where no intent expressed in statutory language, but recognizing that state employees have "legitimate retirement expectations,. entitling them to due process); Huard v. Maine State Retirement Sys., 562 A.2d 694 (Me. 1989)(state employees have legitimate retirement expectations); Soucy v. Board of Trustees of Maine State Retirement System, 456 A.2d 1279 (Me. 1983)(declining to address constitutional issues and holding that insubstantial changes in amount of retirement benefits did not impair retired police officers' state or federal constitutional rights); Me. Op. Atty. Gen. No. 91-6 (reasoning that Maine courts are likely to use a case-by-case approach weighing the particular alteration of the state employee's pension rights against the asserted governmental objective).(ME CONST., Article 1, §11) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Maine (June 16, 1909)

Population (2015) 1,329,328

Maine public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2015 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$12,768,657

Active Members

51,145

Annuitants

41,449

Benefits Paid

$839,260

Employee Contributions

$161,569

Employer Contributions

$366,486

Systems

1

More Data