The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon [Ordinances]
Last amended: 2003
ORIGINALLY ADOPTED: July 17, 1996
SUBJECT: Elders' Retirement and SSI Programs
RESOLUTION NUMBER: 044-96
Elders' Retirement Program and Supplemental Security Income Program Ordinance
Tribal Code § 450
(a) AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE:
(1) The authority for this Ordinance is found in the Grand Ronde Constitution Article III, Section 1.
(2) To provide authorization of a retirement income program for the elders of the Tribes and to authorize the establishment of an Elders' Trust Fund for the purpose of ensuring the availability of resources in the future to provide for the ongoing costs of the Program to make resources available for elders in a manner that will not diminish Social Security benefits.
(1) "Federal Supplemental Security Income Program" or "SSI Program" shall mean the programs of the Social Security Administration to provide supplemental security income to individuals who have attained age 65 or are blind or otherwise disabled.
(2) "Income" shall mean both earned and unearned income as defined in the Act establishing the Federal Supplemental Security Income Program at 42 U.S.C. 1382.
(3) "Elder" shall mean an enrolled member of the Tribe who has attained the age of 55.
(c) ELDERS RETIREMENT INCOME PROGRAM:
(1) Program Authorization: There is hereby authorized to be expended from available Tribal appropriations, for the benefit of elders of the Tribes, retirement income payments, which shall be paid monthly in such amounts as are set by this policy.
(2) Purpose: The purpose of the benefit is to augment other income to which elders of the Tribes are entitled in order to provide additional comfort and security during their later years.
(3) Program discretionary: The benefit program shall be discretionary and subject to the amount appropriated by the Tribal Council. The authorization of the program does not create any liability on the part of the Tribes for any future payment, nor shall any member have any vested right in future benefit payments.
(4) Amount: The amount of benefit shall be $100 per month to all living, eligible elders.
(5) Eligibility: Members of the Tribes shall become eligible for benefit payments on the first day of the month immediately following their 55th birthday.
(6) Source: Benefit payments shall be made from appropriations by the Tribal Council pursuant to Tribal Budget.
(7) Method: The method of payment shall be by check, or, at the discretion of the Tribal Council, direct deposit to members' accounts or other method as may be beneficial and consistent with the desires of the elders.
(8) Payment date: Payments shall be made on the tenth day of each month to all eligible elders on the first day of that month.
(9) Waiver of benefit: Elders may, upon written, notarized request, waive the benefit or request that it be paid instead to a tribal trust fund or other benevolent purpose on their behalf, but not to another person unless such person is a legal agent or legal guardian. Elections may be made indefinitely, or for a certain period of time, not less than six months. Notary shall be waived if the request is signed in the presence of the Tribal Enrollment Officer or Elders' security benefits coordinator.
(10) Benefits not to reduce other resources: The benefits paid under this policy shall not be available to offset, reduce or otherwise interfere with any other resources or benefits to which an elder shall be entitled.
(11) Designation as supplemental security income: An elder may request that their monthly payment be designated as "supplemental security income" and be governed by §(e) of this Ordinance.
(12) Review of member needs: The Executive Officer shall gather and report information regarding the income levels and cost of living of Elders in order to enable the Tribal Council to assess the needed level of benefits. Such information shall be reported as a part of the annual review of this ordinance.
(13) Disputes as to Eligibility: All issues as to the eligibility of a member for benefits under this ordinance or any disputes about the amount of said benefits shall be resolved by the Executive Officer.
(d) TRIBAL ELDERS RETIREMENT TRUST FUND AUTHORIZED:
(1) Fund Authorization: There is hereby authorized the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde "Tribal Elders' Retirement Trust Fund". The Fund shall be used to provide retirement income services for tribal elders and shall be a non-expendable trust fund.
(2) Contributions to the Fund: The contributions to the Fund shall be by appropriation of resources available from tribal revenues and thereafter will grow through further Tribal contributions and the addition of unexpended annual investment earnings. The Tribe may accept private donations to the fund, provided that such donations require no specific actions on the part of the Tribe other than to be used for the program.
(3) Custody: Contributions, assets and earnings of the Fund shall be custodied in a bank account, brokerage account, or trust account of an institutional trust company, or any combination thereof, selected by the Financial Officer and approved by the Tribal Council.
(4) Management of Fund Assets and Earnings: Assets placed in the Fund shall be managed in accordance with an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) adopted by the Tribal Council for Tribal Social Funds, or specifically for the Fund. Said policy shall provide for optimum return on investment, without unnecessary risk or exposure of the Fund. Fund assets may be invested through investment professionals selected by the Tribal Council in any securities specifically allowed by the IPS. Fund assets may be invested in common with assets of other Tribal Funds provided they have similar duration, liquidity and risk constraints.
(5) Authorized Uses of the Fund: The Fund may only be used to provide support for the Tribal Elder Security Program payments as shall be authorized by the Tribal Council.
(6) Appropriation Procedures: Amounts shall not be appropriated from the Fund until it reaches its minimum target fund balance. Thereafter, in accordance with its intent as a permanent non-expendable trust fund, the Tribal Council intends to expend only a portion of the earnings each year so that the principle or corpus of the trust shall not be less than an amount needed to finance benefits in perpetuity. Such amounts shall be appropriated annually pursuant to the Tribal budget. The Tribal Council anticipates that resources other than from the Fund shall be utilized in early years of the program while the fund is built to a desired level. Except as otherwise provided within Tribal budgets, the amount appropriated to provide benefits which are not expended during any calendar year shall be transferred to increase the corpus of the Fund.
(7) Margin Borrowing on or leveraging of Fund Assets: Margin Borrowing: provided the Fund is custodied in a brokerage account governed by regulation T limits on margin borrowing, the Tribal Council may authorize margin borrowing in the Fund for the following purposes:
(A) If funds are needed for immediate liquidity and current investments are not sufficiently liquid to clear a required wire or check redemption.
(B) In order to invest in short term secure instruments that have a yield two percent or greater above the margin borrowing rate.
(8) Financial and Budget Reports: The Executive Officer shall provide an accounting for the fund, its receipts, disbursements and obligated and unobligated fund balance by the 20th day following the end of each quarter to the Tribal Council.
(9) Minimum Target Fund Balance: The minimum target fund balance shall be an actuarially established amount needed to finance authorized benefits in perpetuity.
(e) ELDERS' SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME PROGRAM
(1) Program Authorization: There is hereby authorized to be expended from available Tribal appropriations, for the benefit of members of the Tribes who are eligible, supplemental security income payments, which shall be paid monthly in such amounts as are set by this policy.
(2) Purpose: The purpose of the benefit is to augment other income from federal programs received by members of the Tribes who are aged, blind, or otherwise disabled.
(3) (a) Program discretionary: The benefit program shall be discretionary and subject to the amount appropriated by the Tribal Council. The authorization of the program does not create any liability on the part of the Tribe for any future payments, nor shall any member have any vested right in future benefit payments.
(b) Amount: The amount of benefit shall be $100 per month to all living, eligible members of the Tribe, and such other amounts as may be from time to time made available by Tribal Council.
(c) Eligibility: Members of the Tribe may become eligible for the supplemental security payments on the first day of the month immediately following their 55th birthday, or as they are determined to be eligible, after completion of the application for the program benefit.
(d) Source: Benefit payments shall be made from appropriations by the Tribal Council pursuant to Tribal Budget.
(e) Method of payment: The method of payment shall be by check, or, at the discretion of the Tribal Council, direct deposit to members' accounts or other method as may be beneficial and consistent with the desires of the members.
(f) Payment date: Payments shall be made on the tenth day of each month to all living members determined to be eligible on the first day of that month.
(g) Waiver: Members may, upon written, notarized request, waive the benefit or request that it be paid instead to a tribal trust fund or other benevolent purpose on their behalf, but not to another person unless such person is a legal agent or guardian. Elections may be made indefinitely, or for a certain period of time, not less than six months. Notary shall be waived if the request is signed in the presence of the Tribal Enrollment Officer or Elders benefits coordinator.
(h) Benefits not to reduce other resources: The benefits paid under this policy shall not be available to offset, reduce or otherwise interfere with any other resources or benefits to which an elder shall be entitled.
(4) Designation as supplemental security income: A member of the Tribe determined to be eligible for the program may request that their payment be designated as supplemental security income" in order to ensure that the payments are recognized by the Federal Social Security Administration and other agencies in such a manner as to avoid any offset or reduction of Social Security or Supplemental Security payments or other benefits to which the member may be entitled.
(A) Said designation shall be made only to eligible enrolled members of the Tribes who have submitted an application for such benefits. The Executive Officer shall make application forms available to any eligible enrolled member of the Tribes desiring to apply for such benefits.
(B) The supplemental benefits designation shall be made only to persons who are eligible for payments or are receiving payments under the Federal Supplemental Security Income Program or similar program, or to persons who would be eligible upon filing an application for such payments with the Social Security Administration or other agencies.
(C) Such benefits shall be paid only to such persons who are determined by the Executive Officer or designee, to meet the above eligibility requirements for such designation.
(5) Notification to Social Security Administration: In recognition of the fact that this plan for the payment of supplemental benefits is designed to provide assistance based on need in supplementation of the benefits paid under the Federal SSI Program and to therefore qualify for exclusion as income under the rules and regulations of the Social Security Administration, the Executive Officer shall advise the Social Security Administration of any amendments to this Ordinance which shall change the conditions for eligibility or change the provisions for method of payment and shall seek a determination by said amendment on the plan's status as an excluded income payment under the appropriate law and regulations governing the Federal SSI Program.
(f) IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW:
The Executive Officer shall provide for all necessary procedures to carry out its provisions.
The Executive Officer shall provide for review of the programs authorized by this Ordinance not less than once each year and shall make recommendations for such changes as are consistent with the intent of the fund. The review completed within the first year of establishment of this fund and at 3 year intervals thereafter, shall include a limited or informal actuarial analysis to determine the amount needed for future annual expenditures, provided, however, that said analysis shall be updated for any year in which enrollment growth exceeds 5%.
The Council having found that an emergency exists, this Ordinance is effective retroactive to January 1, 1996.
I certify this to be a true copy of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon Elders' Retirement Program and Supplemental Security Program Ordinance.
Ed Pearsall, Tribal Council Secretary