2017 Legislative Update
The 2017 Georgia General Assembly will convene on January 9, 2017, and is the first year of the two-year (2017 - 2018) biennium session. Retirement legislation introduced, but not acted on, during previous sessions is no longer valid.
Retirement legislation that has a fiscal impact can only be introduced during the 1st year of a two-year session and can only be acted on during the 2nd year. Therefore, the earliest date that a fiscal piece of legislation introduced during the 2017 session can become effective is July 1, 2018.
The Georgia Constitution contains several provisions relating to retirement legislation, which require that retirement bills be treated differently from other legislation. In Georgia, each bill having a fiscal (monetary) impact on a public retirement system such as TRS must be funded in the year it is enacted. In TRS, both the employee and the employer pay monthly into the retirement fund to pay for the employee’s retirement benefits. This “pay as you go” system ensures that future benefits are already paid for and do not depend on future appropriations. Thus, any bill that increases the liability of the retirement system must be funded “up front.” This ensures the fiscal stability of the retirement system.