Commonwealth of Massachusetts | Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
Five Middlesex Avenue, Suite 304, Somerville, MA 02145
Ph 617 666 4446 | Fax 617 628 4002 | TTY 617 591 8917 | www.mass.gov/perac
Philip Y. Brown, Esq., Chairman
Auditor Suzanne M. Bump | Kathleen Fallon | Kate Fitzpatrick | James M. Machado | Robert B. McCarthy | Jennifer F. Sullivan

Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director

October 26, 2016

Mr. Edward Reilly, Chairman
Pittsfield Retirement Board
114 Fenn Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Reference: Report of the Examination of the Pittsfield Retirement Board for the   three-year period from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013.

Dear Chairman Reilly:

The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission has completed a follow-up review of the finding and recommendation contained in its audit report of the Pittsfield Retirement Board for the most recent period referenced above. We conduct these visits as a regular part of the oversight process. They are designed to ensure the timely implementation of corrective action for the recommendation cited in that report. The result is as follows:

The Audit Report cited a regular compensation finding that the City of Pittsfield’s School Department guarantees their bus drivers 21.25 hours per week. A bus driver will frequently drive more than 21.25 hours because they sign up for charters, which are assigned by rotating through the list of volunteers. One of the characteristics of regular compensation is that it is guaranteed. As charters are paid at the same rate, the base salary is the first 21.25 hours. Any time beyond this does not qualify as regular compensation.

Follow-up Result: The Board has reviewed this regular compensation issue and has met with the School Bus Department personnel. Additionally, the Board’s Attorney and the labor counsel for the Pittsfield Public Schools issued letters of correspondence to the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission for consideration to resolve this matter. The PERAC opinion remains that retirement deductions must be withheld only from the first 21.25 hours of work. This finding is not resolved. 

The Commission wishes to acknowledge the efforts demonstrated to date by the staff of the Pittsfield Retirement Board in an effort to correct this deficiency cited in the most recent examination of the system.  PERAC auditors may conduct an additional follow-up visit to ensure appropriate progress is being made in the area that has not been corrected at this time.

Thank you for your continued cooperation in this important matter.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Connarton
Executive Director