, Derry, New Hampshire

October 4, 2012

SEC ruling means refunds for school workers

Additional money in December

By James Niedzinski

---- — LONDONDERRY — As a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting more transparency in investments, school employees will be getting some money back.

SchoolCare, a health insurance provider for school employees, will be returning $521,000 to the district in December and an additional $521,000 next December.

Statewide, a total of $8.5 million will be awarded over two years to school districts.

Money is being returned to the district because the coverage costs have been lower than anticipated, SchoolCare executive director Lisa Duquette said.

SchoolCare has an agreement with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Bureau of Securities Regulation to return funds.

Duquette addressed the Londonderry School Board last week about the reimbursement.

The School District will receive a credit on its health-care bills in the future, allowing district officials to pass savings along to employees. While health-care premiums will rise, school employees will still receive money back due to the credit, Duquette said.

School Board members expressed some frustration, not because of the extra money going toward employees, but because the situation will complicate the upcoming budget process, Board Chairman John Laferriere said.

“This comes at an inconvenient time,” School Board member John Robinson said, citing budget meetings beginning in October and lasting throughout the year.

However, due to recent legislation, SchoolCare can only now invest in government programs and municipalities, limiting its investment portfolio, Duquette said.

Duquette said SchoolCare was previously able to invest in nearly anything, such as gold, silver and equities. By limiting what SchoolCare can invest it, the program may see lower investment returns due to the smaller portfolio.

“We get to put our money in government programs, which has clearly worked so well in the past,” Laferrier said.