Changes to MGL Chapter 32B, Section 20 – OPEB Trust rules

Changes effective November 7th

As the sponsor of an OPEB Plan in Massachusetts, you’ve likely either begun pre-funding your liabilities or have considered doing so. The upcoming adoption of GASB 74/75 for your OPEB accounting will put further pressure on entities to consider funding these obligations. As you’re likely aware, the Commonwealth has provided legislation under Chapter 32B, Section 20 to allow you to create an OPEB Trust for such purposes. Recently, new legislation was enacted effective November 7th that updates the rules related to OPEB Trusts – Rockland Trust has created a helpful chart showing what’s changed.

So, what’s changing?

The changes are relatively modest and mainly deal with the actual operation of the OPEB Trust that was largely ignored in the original legislation. A few key points:

  1. Clarifies that any Political Subdivision of the Commonwealth may accept this Section (originally only specified City, Town, County, District or Municipal Light Plan)
  2. Clarifies who shall be Trustee
  3. Details how funds may be distributed from the Trust to pay claims

Again, the changes are relatively modest but may provide clarity which allows your Board to consider accepting this Section.

As always, if you have questions on this or need more, please contact your Odyssey consultant.

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