Bill makes PERS benefits confidential

Legislation to make the names of retired public employees and the amount of their benefits confidential was approved by the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

SB384 was introduced by Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, to clarify exactly what information about retired public workers is public and what’s confidential. It sprang from a November 2013 ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court that ordered the Public Employees Retirement System to make public a monthly report that lists the benefits of each retiree by name.

The original version of the bill specified the name, dollar amount of benefits received by each retiree, their last public employer are the only pieces of public information in a retiree’s file. But PERS officials convinced the committee to make the individual’s name confidential, instead allowing them to assign a unique identification number to the public information in the event the identity had to be tracked within the system.

PERS Executive Director Tina Leiss said the version approved by the committee will provide that file number, whether the benefit is retirement or disability, the retiree’s last employer, position, hire and retirement dates along with the dollar amount of their benefit. She said the name won’t be on the report.

SB384 applies not only to retired state workers but retired justices and judges, university system employees and legislators.

It says all other information in the public retiree’s file is confidential regardless of its location, form or storage and employees who have access to that information can’t be required to disclose any of it.

SB384 was unanimously recommended for passage and now goes to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

PERS provides retirement benefits for all Nevada public employees including state and local government workers, school district and university workers, police and firefighters — more than 100,000 Nevada workers.


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