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Introduced Version Senate Bill 404 History

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Senate Bill No. 404

(By Senators Foster, Jenkins and Bowman)

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[Introduced February 28, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Pensions; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §8-22-22a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to restrictions on investments by municipal policemen's and firemen's pension and relief funds by increasing the amount which may be invested in equities.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §8-22-22a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 22. RETIREMENT BENEFITS GENERALLY; POLICEMEN'S PENSION AND RELIEF FUND; FIREMEN'S PENSION AND RELIEF FUND; PENSION PLANS FOR EMPLOYEES OF WATERWORKS SYSTEM, SEWERAGE SYSTEM OR COMBINED WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM.

§8-22-22a. Restrictions on investments.
Moneys invested as permitted by section twenty-two of this article are subject to the following restrictions and condition contained in this section:
(a) Fixed income securities shall at no time exceed ten percent of the total assets of the pension fund, which are issued by one issuer, other than the United States government or agencies thereof, whereas this limit shall not apply;
(b) At no time shall the equity portion of the portfolio exceed fifty sixty percent of the total portfolio. Furthermore, the debit or equity securities of any one company or association shall not exceed five percent with a maximum of fifteen percent in any one industry;
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, any investments in equities under subsections (g) and (h), section twenty-two of this article shall be subject to the following additional guidelines:
(1) Equity Mutual Funds shall be no sales load (front or back) and no contingent deferred sales charges shall be allowed. The total annual operating expense ratio shall not exceed one and three-quarter percent for any mutual fund;
(2) The stated investment policy requires one hundred percent of the equities of the portfolio be that of securities which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, or the NASDAQ National Market;
(3) Equity Mutual Funds may be only of the following fund description stated purpose: Growth funds, growth and income funds, equity income funds, index funds; utilities, funds, balanced funds and flexible portfolio funds;
(4) The equity value of investments shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the total portfolio for the first twelve months from enactment of these articles; thereafter no more than five percent of the total portfolio be invested in equity securities per calendar quarter up to the maximum of fifty sixty percent.
(d) The board of trustees of each fund shall obtain an independent performance evaluation of the funds at least annually and such evaluation shall consist of comparisons with other funds having similar investment objectives for performance results with appropriate market indices;
(e) Each entity conducting business for each pension fund, shall fully disclose all fees and costs of transactions conducted on a quarterly basis. Entities conducting business in mutual funds for and on behalf of each pension fund, shall timely file revised prospectus and normal quarterly and annual Securities Exchange Commission reporting documents with the board of trustees of each pension fund.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the amount of allowable equity investments in municipal police and fire pension plans from the current cap of 50% to 60%.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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