[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 9-4-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There shall be established a fund, separate and apart from the general revenues of the Town of Smithfield, known as the "Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust Fund," herein referred to as the "OPEB Trust Fund." This fund may be separated into subaccounts for funding and reporting purposes.
The OPEB Trust Fund is hereby established to provide the Town with a fund into which monies may be deposited from time to time, to provide funds to pay the Town's liability for payment of premiums and/or related expenses in connection with health care, dental care, and other benefits for its employees after retirement, which include, but are not limited to, medical, dental, vision, life insurance, disability insurance and any other OPEB benefits, whether optional or mandatory, in effect now or to be in effect in the future, at the time of retirement.
The OPEB Trust Fund shall be administered by the OPEB Board as hereinafter provided. Such OPEB Trust Fund shall consist of:
All funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Town for the purposes of meeting the current and future OPEB costs payable by the Town.
Amounts contributed or otherwise made available by employees of the Town for the purposes of meeting future OPEB costs payable by the Town.
All interest, dividends and other income derived from the above.
The OPEB Board shall be composed of the Smithfield Town Manager, the Smithfield Finance Director, and the Smithfield School Department Business Manager.
The OPEB Board shall be responsible for the general administration, investment and maintenance of the OPEB Trust Fund and for the payment from the fund of insurance premiums and/or other post-employment benefits as directed by the Financial Town Meeting. The OPEB Board may, from time to time, adopt rules and regulations for its administration, and for the conduct and transaction of business affairs. The OPEB Board shall have such power as may be necessary to discharge its duties, including, but not limited to, the power to interpret and construe the provisions hereof, determine all questions of date of retirement, eligibility, duration of service, continuity of service, dates of birth, participation or retirement, and similar related matters subject to existing collective bargaining provisions, and its determination of all questions shall be binding upon all participants or any others concerned, subject to existing collective bargaining provisions. All matters falling outside of the scope of the powers and duties of the OPEB Board and not otherwise provided for herein shall be referred to the Town Council, which shall have the power to act thereon.
Meetings of the OPEB Board shall be conducted in accordance with the Rhode Island Open Meetings Act. The records of the OPEB Board shall be subject to the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act.
The OPEB Board shall have, with respect to all monies and properties of the OPEB Trust Fund at any time held by it, the power in its discretion to invest and reinvest in any investment permitted for the Town and State of Rhode Island pension funds. Investments must be consistent with the prudent person rule and the investment policies of the Town and the Rhode Island General Treasurer. The OPEB Board shall also be empowered to make such payments from the OPEB Trust Fund as are herein provided.
The OPEB Board shall have power and authority, with the approval of the Town Council, to agree with a bank or trust company which is licensed in the State of Rhode Island, to serve as its agent in keeping custody of the monies and securities in such fund, in keeping accounts and for other related duties in connection with the administration of the OPEB Trust Fund; and it is further authorized, with the approval of the Town Council, to agree with such bank or trust company to act as its agent in the investment of the OPEB Trust Fund and otherwise to assist in its management, and to pay for any of such foregoing services. Procurement for these services shall be subject to the procurement procedures and rules governing Rhode Island municipalities. There shall be an investment policy, adopted by the Town Council, governing the investment of the OPEB Trust Fund.
The Town Council may, in its discretion, employ one or more qualified consultants, actuaries, accountants, attorneys or other professionals at such times as are necessary or advisable to assure the maintenance of the OPEB Trust Fund. An actuary shall perform an actuarial valuation of the Town's OPEB liabilities and funding schedule, as required by and in accordance with Government Accounting Standards Board Statements 43 and 45, for the purposes thereof, and may assist with the administration of the OPEB Trust Fund. The expenses of the consultants will be payable from the OPEB Trust Fund unless otherwise directed by the Town Council.
The OPEB Board shall use ordinary care and reasonable diligence in the performance of its duty and its members shall not be personally liable for any error of omission or commission unless such error results from his or her own gross negligence, willful misconduct or lack of good faith.
No part of the OPEB Trust Fund assets shall be subject, in any manner, to sale, transfer, alienation, pledge, assignment, attachment, or any other encumbrance, whether voluntary or involuntary, by operation of law or court order. Any attempt to sell, transfer, alienate, pledge, assign or otherwise encumber the assets of the OPEB Trust Fund shall be void and of no force and effect.
To the extent a distribution has been made from the OPEB Trust Fund that was based on incorrect or inaccurate information received by the OPEB Board at the time, or resulted in an overpayment, the OPEB Board shall use its best efforts to apply such overpayment to the next succeeding payment due or otherwise receive a credit, and deposit any refund received, into the OPEB Trust Fund to the extent of such overpayment.
At any time, the Smithfield Finance Director may submit a statement or invoice for premiums and/or other allowable related costs due during such fiscal period for post-employment benefits due retired employees of the Town, which statement shall include the amount to be paid from the OPEB Trust Fund. The OPEB Board shall make arrangements to withdraw from the OPEB Trust Fund an amount sufficient to pay such expenditures due.
The OPEB Board shall comply with all applicable provisions of Rhode Island law which relate to other post-employment benefits, including G.L. §§ 45-21-65 and 16-2-9.5. Any provision of this chapter which is inconsistent with any provision of federal or state law shall be deemed stricken from this chapter without affecting the validity or enforceability of the remaining provisions of this chapter.