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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Work Group on Relief Association Conversions and Dissolutions

Also known as:
Relief Association Work Group
Work Group on Firefighter Relief Association Conversions and Dissolutions
Active dates:2018-2019

This work group shall study: the statutes governing conversions from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan and aspects of such conversions that are not addressed or that are addressed by statutes that are ambiguous or unclear; the statutes governing dissolution of relief associations and the disposition of surplus assets; the prevalence of overfunded defined benefit relief associations in the state and the status of transitions underway at fire departments in the state from using the services of volunteer firefighters to employing salaried firefighters; alternatives for determining accrued benefits, vesting, and surplus assets upon conversion and for allocating surplus assets among firefighters, the affiliated municipality, or the state in the form of a reversion of fire state aid; alternatives for legislation that amends or supplements the statutes identified in clauses (1) and (2); and any related issues identified by the work group.


The work group shall submit a report by December 31, 2018, that summarizes the findings of the work group and provides the work group's recommendations to the chair and vice-chair of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement. The work group shall disband as of the end of the 2019 legislative session and any special session thereafter.


Members of the group shall include as many of the following individuals as are available, not to exceed 12 individuals: at least two municipal officials, each from a municipality with an affiliated defined benefit relief association, designated by the League of Minnesota Cities; one representative from the League of Minnesota Cities; at least two fire chiefs, designated by the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, from fire departments that use both volunteers covered by a defined benefit relief association and salaried firefighters covered by the public employees police and fire retirement plan; at least two active volunteer firefighters covered by a defined benefit relief association, designated by the Minnesota State Fire Departments Association; a fire chief or volunteer of an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation affiliated with a defined benefit relief association; one representative of the Office of the State Auditor, designated by the state auditor; and any other individual or individuals designated by the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement.

Participation in the activities of the work group shall not be considered lobbying under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A. A municipality or relief association may not retaliate against an individual because of the individual's participation in the work group.

As of July 28, 2018, 15 members include:

Merrill King, Chair - Finance Director, City of Minnetonka
Dean Lotter - New Brighton City Manager
William Reynolds - City Administrator, City of Shakopee
Anne Finn - League of Minnesota Cities
George Esbensen - Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Preparedness, Eden Prairie Fire Department
Greg Peterson - Fire Chief, White Bear Lake Fire Department
Martin Scheerer - Fire Chief, Waconia Fire Department
Tim Wiebe - Fire Chief, Chaska Fire Department
Bruce Hemstad - Bemidji Fire Relief Association
Mark Rosenblum - Golden Valley Fire Department/ President, MSFDA
Bruce Carlson - Treasurer, Lake Johanna Fire Relief Association
Rose Hennessy-Allen - Pension Division Director, Office of the State Auditor
Aaron Englesrud - President, Woodbury Fire Relief Association
Michael Kruse - Treasurer, Falcon Heights Fire Department Relief Association
Mike Walstien - Plymouth Fire Relief Association

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2018.
Record last updated: 03/27/2019

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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