National Association of State Retirement Administrators

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Retirement System administers pension and other benefits for substantially all public employees in the state, including state employees, teachers, and employees of county and local governments that have elected to participate.

 

Authorizing Statutes

100-A:2 creates the New Hampshire Retirement System

The retirement system hereby created shall be established as of July 1, 1967. It shall be known as the New Hampshire retirement system, and by such name all of its business shall be transacted, all of its funds invested, and all of its cash, securities and other property held in trust for the purpose for which received, and is intended for all time to meet the requirements of a qualified pension trust within the meaning of section 401(a), and to qualify as a governmental plan within the meaning of section 414(d) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

100-A:14 discusses administration of the fund

The administration of this system is vested in a board of 13 trustees. Each newly appointed or reappointed trustee shall have familiarity with or experience in finance or business management. The state treasurer shall be an ex officio voting member of the board. The governor and council shall appoint 4 trustees, to be known as nonmember trustees, who shall be qualified persons with investment and/or financial experience as provided in this paragraph and not be members of the system, and who shall serve for a term of 2 years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. The nonmember trustees of the board shall have substantial experience in the field of institutional investment or finance, taking into account factors such as educational background, business experience, and professional licensure and designations. The original appointment of the nonmember trustees shall be made to provide for staggered terms. The remaining 8 members of the board shall consist of: one employee member, one teacher member, one permanent police member, one permanent fireman member, and 4 employer members. The New Hampshire state employees' association, the New Hampshire education association, the New Hampshire police association, and the New Hampshire state permanent firemen's association shall each annually nominate from their members a panel of 5 persons, all of whom shall be active members of the retirement system, no later than May 31 of each year, and the panels so named shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than June 10 of each year. From the above named panels the governor and council shall appoint the active member trustees of the board as needed so as to maintain the representation on the board. The governor and council shall appoint the employer members of the board with one member nominated by the New Hampshire Association of Counties, one member nominated by the New Hampshire Municipal Association, one member nominated by the New Hampshire School Boards Association, and one member to represent management of state employees. Members appointed to the board in the manner aforesaid shall serve for a term of 2 years. Each member so appointed shall hold office until his or her successor shall be appointed and qualified. Whenever a vacancy occurs, the governor and council shall fill the vacancy by appointing a member who shall serve for the unexpired term. The governor shall designate one of the nonmember trustees to serve as chairman of said board of trustees. 

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

New Hampshire Retirement System

13

12

0

8

1

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2014, employer contributions to New Hampshire state and local government pension plans were 3.40 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection based on impairment of contract principles. McKenzie v. City of Berlin, 767 A.2d 396 (N.H. 2000)(holding that city was not permitted to force city employees into the city retirement plan after employees were enrolled in state retirement plan); State Employees' Ass'n of New Hampshire, Inc. v. Belknap County, 448 A.2d 969 (N.H. 1982)(implying waiver of sovereign immunity because legislature gave employees vested right to pension and must provide an appropriate remedy to enforce this right); Gilman v. Cheshire County, 493 A.2d 485 (N.H. 1985) (recognizing that benefits are an integral part of compensation and become vested at the time one becomes a permanent state employee); Cioutier v. State, 42 A.3d 816, 823 (N.H. 2012)(impairment of retired judges contractual rights due to application of amended statutes that modified method of calculating retirement benefits for judges was substantial if it was not offset by compensating benefit); but see In re Concord Teachers (NH. 2009) 969 A.2d 403 (application of statutory 150 percent cap on earnable compensation that was used to compute retirement annuities for those who retired early did not violate Contract Clauses of Federal or State Constitution, as cap did not operate upon collective bargaining agreement's early retirement provision retroactively because it was enacted and became effective prior to inclusion of early retirement provision within CBA). (NH CONST., Pt. 1, Article 23) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits
Flag of New Hampshire (November 30, 1931)

Population (2016) 1,334,795

New Hampshire public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2016 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$7,735,542

Active Members

49,483

Annuitants

33,869

Benefits Paid

$695,338

Employee Contributions

$208,299

Employer Contributions

$393,575

Systems

5

More Data