Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director
June 14, 2011
Kevin J. Regan, Chairperson
Westfield Retirement Board
P.O. Box 106
Westfield, MA 01086
REFERENCE: Report of the Examination of the Westfield Retirement Board for the three-year period from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009
Dear Mr. Regan:
The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission has completed a follow-up review of the findings and recommendations contained in its audit report of the Westfield Retirement Board for the 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 recommendations cited in that report. The examination addressed two specific findings and recommendations included in the audit report for the period referenced above. The results are as follows:
1. The Audit Report cited a finding that retirement contributions are not being taken from payments made for being on call after normal hours. More than one department makes these types of payments.
Follow-up Result: Contracts were reviewed to confirm that these pay types meet the current definition of regular compensation. The DPW requires one foreman to be on call each week, for which the employee is paid one hour at their regular rate per day. The contract states that being on call “shall be equally divided among foremen.” Other DPW employees who are on call are paid $22 per day, and the schedule of on call assignments is set up each April. For the Water Treatment Plant, a group of 4 employees rotate receiving $175 per week ($25 per day) to be on call. Employees of the Westfield Gas and Electric Department who are on stand-by are paid an amount equal to two hours at their regular hourly rate for Monday through Friday, an amount of five hours at their regular rate for being on stand-by on a Saturday, and an amount of eight hours at their regular rate for being on stand-by on Sundays and holidays.
The payments in the preceding paragraph all meet the definition of regular compensation. The Board is currently not withholding contributions so this issue is unresolved. You indicated that the Board would be reviewing these pay types again over the next several months. Please inform us of any relevant Board votes.
2. The Audit Report cited a finding that one of the Board members had a rate of absenteeism greater than 25%.
Follow-up Result: Since the audit there have been twelve meetings. A review of these meetings shows that all Board members attended in person at least 75% of the time. This issue is resolved.
PERAC auditors may conduct an additional follow-up visit to ensure appropriate progress is being made in that area that has not been corrected adequately at this time.
We anticipate your continued cooperation in resolving this important matter.
Joseph E. Connarton