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Committee Substitute House Bill 4540 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2022 regular session

Committee Substitute

for

House Bill 4540

By Delegates Storch, Evans, Bates, Anderson, Pethtel,

and Gearheart
(By Request of the Consolidated Public Retirement Board)

[Originating in the Committee on Finance;
February 21, 2022]


 

A BILL to amend and reenact §5-10-2, §5-10-27b and §5-10-44 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §7-14D-2, §7-14D-7a and §7-14D-9b; to amend and reenact §8-22A-2, §8-22A-8a and §8-22A-11; to amend and reenact §15-2-25b, §15-2-45 and §15-2-54; to amend and reenact §15-2A-2, §15-2A-6b and §15-2A-23; to amend and reenact §16-5V-2, §16-5V-8a and §16-5V-13; to amend and reenact §18-7A-3, §18-7A-14c and §18-7A-28b; to amend and reenact §18-7B-2, §18-7B-12a and §18-7B-21; to amend and reenact §20-18-2, §20-18-9 and §20-18-14; and to amend and reenact §51-9-1a, §51-9-12b and §51-9-18, all relating to updating provisions of the retirement and pension benefits of the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Retirement System, the Municipal Police and Firefighters Retirement System, the State Police Death, Disability and Retirement Fund, the West Virginia State Police Retirement Fund, the Emergency Medical Services Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System, the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Retirement System, the Natural Resources Police Officers Retirement System and the Judges’ Retirement Fund in order to comply with federal law; changing age threshold for plan members born after June 30, 1949; clarifying provisions regarding correction of errors; and amending definitions for each retirement system named here.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

CHAPTER 5. GENERAL POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL; BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS; MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS, OFFICES, PROGRAMS, ETC.

ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ACT.

§5-10-2. Definitions.


Unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context, the following words and phrases as used in this article have the following meanings:

(1) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensations of a member and credited to his or her individual account in the members’ deposit fund, together with regular interest on the contributions;

(2) “Accumulated net benefit” means the aggregate amount of all benefits paid to or on behalf of a retired member;

(3) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of a mortality table and regular interest adopted by the board of trustees from time to time: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, actuarial equivalent shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements;

(4) “Annuity” means an annual amount payable by the retirement system throughout the life of a person. All annuities shall be paid in equal monthly installments, rounding to the upper cent for any fraction of a cent;

(5) “Annuity reserve” means the present value of all payments to be made to a retirant or beneficiary of a retirant on account of any annuity, computed upon the basis of mortality and other tables of experience, and regular interest, adopted by the board of trustees from time to time;

(6) “Beneficiary” means any person, except a retirant, who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the retirement system;

(7) “Board of Trustees” or “board” means the Board of Trustees of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement System Board;

(8) “Compensation” means the remuneration paid a member by a participating public employer for personal services rendered by the member to the participating public employer. In the event a member’s remuneration is not all paid in money, his or her participating public employer shall fix the value of the portion of the remuneration which is not paid in money: Provided, That members hired in a position for the first time on or after July 1, 2014, who receive nonmonetary remuneration shall not have nonmonetary remuneration included in compensation for retirement purposes and nonmonetary remuneration may not be used in calculating a member’s final average salary. Any lump sum or other payments paid to members that do not constitute regular salary or wage payments are not considered compensation for the purpose of withholding contributions for the system or for the purpose of calculating a member’s final average salary. These payments include, but are not limited to, attendance or performance bonuses, one-time flat fee or lump sum payments, payments paid as a result of excess budget, or employee recognition payments. The board shall have final power to decide whether the payments shall be considered compensation for purposes of this article;

(9) “Contributing service” means service rendered by a member within this state and for which the member made contributions to a public retirement system account of this state, to the extent credited him or her as provided by this article;

(10) “Credited service” means the sum of a member’s prior service credit, military service credit, workers’ compensation service credit and contributing service credit standing to his or her credit as provided in this article;

(11) “Employee” means any person who serves regularly as an officer or employee, full time, on a salary basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of, and whose compensation is payable, in whole or in part, by any political subdivision, or an officer or employee whose compensation is calculated on a daily basis and paid monthly or on completion of assignment, including technicians and other personnel employed by the West Virginia National Guard whose compensation, in whole or in part, is paid by the federal government: Provided, That an employee of the Legislature whose term of employment is otherwise classified as temporary and who is employed to perform services required by the Legislature for its regular sessions or during the interim between regular sessions and who has been or is employed during regular sessions or during the interim between regular sessions in seven or more consecutive calendar years, as certified by the clerk of the house in which the employee served, is an employee, any provision to the contrary in this article notwithstanding, and is entitled to credited service in accordance with provisions of §5-10-14 of this code: Provided, however, That members of the legislative body of any political subdivision and judges commissioners of the state Court of Claims West Virginia Claims Commission are employees receiving one year of service credit for each one-year term served and prorated service credit for any partial term served, anything contained in this article to the contrary notwithstanding: Provided further, That only a compensated board member of a participating public employer appointed to a board of a nonlegislative body for the first time on or after July 1, 2014, who normally is required to work 12 months per year and 1040 hours of service per year is an employee. In any case of doubt as to who is an employee within the meaning of this article, the board of trustees shall decide the question;

(12) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation, or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required; A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this section by a participating public employer does not constitute employer error

(13) “Final average salary” means either of the following: Provided, That salaries for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and Section 401 (a) (17) of the Internal Revenue Code: Provided, however, That the provisions of §5-10-22h of this code are not applicable to the amendments made to this subdivision during the 2011 regular session of the Legislature;

(A) The average of the highest annual compensation received by a member, including a member of the Legislature who participates in the retirement system in the year 1971 or thereafter, during any period of three consecutive years of credited service contained within the member’s 15 years of credited service immediately preceding the date his or her employment with a participating public employer last terminated: Provided, That for persons who were first hired on or after July 1, 2015, any period of five consecutive years of contributing service contained within the member’s fifteen years of credited service immediately preceding the date his or her employment with a participating public employer last terminated; or

(B) If the member has less than five years of credited service, the average of the annual rate of compensation received by the member during his or her total years of credited service; and in determining the annual compensation, under either paragraph (A) or (B) of this subdivision, of a member of the Legislature who participates in the retirement system as a member of the Legislature in the year 1971, or in any year thereafter, his or her actual legislative compensation (the total of all compensation paid under §4-2A-2, §4-2A-3, §4-2A-4, and §4-2A-5 of this code), in the year 1971, or in any year thereafter, plus any other compensation he or she receives in any year from any other participating public employer including the State of West Virginia, without any multiple in excess of one times his or her actual legislative compensation and other compensation, shall be used: Provided, That final average salary for any former member of the Legislature or for any member of the Legislature in the year 1971 who, in either event, was a member of the Legislature on November 30, 1968, or November 30, 1969, or November 30, 1970, or on November 30 in any one or more of those three years and who participated in the retirement system as a member of the Legislature in any one or more of those years means: (i) Either, notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision preceding this proviso, $1,500 multiplied by eight, plus the highest other compensation the former member or member received in any one of the three years from any other participating public employer including the State of West Virginia; or (ii) final average salary determined in accordance with paragraph (A) or (B) of this subdivision, whichever computation produces the higher final average salary, and in determining the annual compensation under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the legislative compensation of the former member shall be computed on the basis of $1,500 multiplied by eight, and the legislative compensation of the member shall be computed on the basis set forth in the provisions of this subdivision immediately preceding this paragraph or on the basis of $1,500 multiplied by eight, whichever computation as to the member produces the higher annual compensation;

(14) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, codified at Title 26 of the United States Code;

(15) “Limited credited service” means service by employees of the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, in the employment of West Virginia University, during a period when the employee made contributions to another retirement system, as required by West Virginia University, and did not make contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System: Provided, That while limited credited service can be used for the formula set forth in §5-10-21(e) of this code, it may not be used to increase benefits calculated under §5-10-22 of this code;

(16) “Member” means any person who has accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the members’ deposit fund;

(17) “Participating public employer” means the State of West Virginia, any board, commission, department, institution or spending unit and includes any agency created by rule of the Supreme Court of Appeals having full-time employees, which for the purposes of this article is considered a department of state government; and any political subdivision in the state which has elected to cover its employees, as defined in this article, under the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System;

(18) “Plan year” means the same as referenced in §5-10-42 of this code;

(19) “Political subdivision” means the State of West Virginia, a county, city or town in the state; a school corporation or corporate unit; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; and any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns: Provided, That any mental health agency participating in the Public Employees Retirement System before July 1, 1997, is considered a political subdivision solely for the purpose of permitting those employees who are members of the Public Employees Retirement System to remain members and continue to participate in the retirement system at their option after July 1, 1997: Provided, however, That the Regional Community Policing Institute which participated in the Public Employees Retirement System before July 1, 2000, is considered a political subdivision solely for the purpose of permitting those employees who are members of the Public Employees Retirement System to remain members and continue to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System after July 1, 2000;

(20) “Prior service” means service rendered prior to July 1, 1961, to the extent credited a member as provided in this article;

(21) “Regular interest” means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board of trustees adopts from time to time;

(22) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (A) The calendar year in which the member attains age seventy and one-half years of age 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (B) the calendar year in which a member who has attained the age seventy and one-half years of age and who ceases providing service covered under this retirement system to a participating employer;

(23) “Retirant” means any member who commences an annuity payable by the retirement system;

(24) “Retirement” means a member’s withdrawal from the employ of a participating public employer and the commencement of an annuity by the retirement system;

(25) “Retirement system” or “system” means the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System created and established by this article;

(26) “Retroactive service” means: (1) Service between July 1, 1961, and the date an employer decides to become a participating member of the Public Employees Retirement System; (2) service prior to July 1, 1961, for which the employee is not entitled to prior service at no cost in accordance with 162 CSR 5.13 5.12; and (3) service of any member of a legislative body or employees of the State Legislature whose term of employment is otherwise classified as temporary for which the employee is eligible, but for which the employee did not elect to participate at that time;

(27) “Service” means personal service rendered to a participating public employer by an employee of a participating public employer; and

(28) “State” means the State of West Virginia.

§5-10-27b. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this code. This provision applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in this code to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article. The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the retirement system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section shall not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this retirement system which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

§5-10-44. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether an individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the retirement system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the retirement system may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the participating public employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the retirement system will result in the retirement system paying a retirant an additional amount, this additional payment shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the participating public employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the retirement system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the retirement system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the retirement system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer currently or formerly participating in the retirement system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination and terminate participation in the retirement system. Any erroneous payments to the retirement system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the retirement system to such individual shall be returned to the retirement system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the retirement system, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the retirement system, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the retirement system as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the retirement system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 14D. DEPUTY SHERIFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM ACT.

§7-14D-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a) “Accrued benefit” means on behalf of any member two and one-quarter percent of the member’s final average salary multiplied by the member’s years of credited service: Provided, That members who are retired on or retire after July 1, 2018, shall have an accrued benefit of two and one-half percent of the member’s final average salary multiplied by the member’s years of credited service. A member’s accrued benefit may not exceed the limits of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to the provisions of §7-14D-9a of this code.

(b) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member, or paid on his or her behalf pursuant to §5-10C-1 et seq. of this code, either pursuant to §7-14D-7 of this code or §5-10-29 of this code as a result of covered employment together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.

(c) “Active member” means a member who is active and contributing to the plan.

(d) “Active military duty” means full-time active duty with any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including service with the National Guard or reserve military forces when the member has been called to active full-time duty and has received no compensation during the period of that duty from any board or employer other than the armed forces.

(e) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarial equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(f) “Annual compensation” means the wages paid to the member during covered employment within the meaning of Section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based upon the nature or location of employment or services performed during the plan year plus amounts excluded under Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense allowances, cash, or noncash fringe benefits or both, deferred compensation, and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(g) “Annual leave service” means accrued annual leave.

(h) “Annuity starting date” means the first day of the first calendar month following receipt of the retirement application by the board or the required beginning date, if earlier: Provided, That the member has ceased covered employment and reached early or normal retirement age.

(i) “Base salary” means a member’s cash compensation exclusive of overtime from covered employment during the last 12 months of employment. Until a member has worked 12 months, annualized base salary is used as base salary.

(j) “Beneficiary” means a natural person who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the plan.

(k) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

(l) “County commission” has the meaning ascribed to it in §7-1-1 of this code.

(m) “Covered employment” means either: (1) Employment as a deputy sheriff and the active performance of the duties required of a deputy sheriff; (2) the period of time which active duties are not performed but disability benefits are received under §7-14D-14 or §7-14D-15 of this code; or (3) concurrent employment by a deputy sheriff in a job or jobs in addition to his or her employment as a deputy sheriff where the secondary employment requires the deputy sheriff to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That the deputy sheriff contributes to the fund created in §7-14D-6 of this code the amount specified as the deputy sheriff’s contribution in §7-14D-7 of this code.

(n) “Credited service” means the sum of a member’s years of service, active military duty, disability service, unused annual leave service, and unused sick leave service.

(o) “Deputy sheriff” means an individual employed as a county law-enforcement deputy sheriff in this state and as defined by §7-14-2 of this code.

(p) “Dependent child” means either:

(1) An unmarried person under age 18 who is:

(A) A natural child of the member;

(B) A legally adopted child of the member;

(C) A child who at the time of the member’s death was living with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any period of probation; or

(D) A stepchild of the member residing in the member’s household at the time of the member’s death; or

(2) Any unmarried child under age 23:

(A) Who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university;

(B) Who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death; and

(C) Whose relationship with the member is described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C), paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(q) “Dependent parent” means the father or mother of the member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death.

(r) “Disability service” means service credit received by a member, expressed in whole years, fractions thereof or both, equal to one half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which time a member receives disability benefits under §7-14D-14 or §7-14D-15 of this code.

(s) “Early retirement age” means age 40 or over and completion of 20 years of service.

(t) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation, or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Rules or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Rules by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required. A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this section by a participating public employer does not constitute employer error

(u) “Effective date” means July 1, 1998.

(v) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest annual compensation received for covered employment by the member during any five consecutive plan years within the member’s last 10 years of service. If the member did not have annual compensation for the five full plan years preceding the member’s attainment of normal retirement age and during that period the member received disability benefits under §7-14D-14 or §7-14D-15 of this code then “final average salary” means the average of the full monthly salary determined paid to the member during that period multiplied by 12.

(w) “Fund” means the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Retirement Fund created pursuant to §7-14D-6 of this code.

(x) “Hour of service” means:

(1) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during which time active duties are performed. These hours shall be credited to the member for the plan year in which the duties are performed; and

(2) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during a plan year but where no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of absence, or any combination thereof and without regard to whether the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this paragraph shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West Virginia Division of Labor rules. A member will not be credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she is receiving benefits under §7-14D-14 or §7-14D-15 of this code; and

(3) Each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the employing county commission, irrespective of mitigation of damages.  The same hours of service shall not be credited both under this paragraph and paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision.  Hours under this paragraph shall be credited to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or agreement pertains rather than the plan year in which the award, agreement, or payment is made.

(y) “Member” means a person first hired as a deputy sheriff after the effective date of this article, as defined in subdivision (u) of this section, or a deputy sheriff first hired prior to the effective date and who elects to become a member pursuant to §7-14D-5 or §7-14D-17 of this code.  A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited or until cessation of membership pursuant to §7-14D-5 of this code.

(z) “Monthly salary” means the portion of a member’s annual compensation which is paid to him or her per month.

(aa) “Normal form” means a monthly annuity which is one-twelfth of the amount of the member’s accrued benefit which is payable for the member’s life. If the member dies before the sum of the payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the total of the retirement income payments made to the member.

(bb) “Normal retirement age” means the first to occur of the following: (1) Attainment of age 50 years and the completion of 20 or more years of service; (2) while still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 50 years, and when the sum of current age plus years of service equals or exceeds 70 years; (3) while still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 60 years, and completion of five years of service; or (4) attainment of age 62 years and completion of five or more years of service.

(cc) “Partially disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in the duties of deputy sheriff by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. A member may be determined partially disabled for the purposes of this article and maintain the ability to engage in other gainful employment which exists within the state but which ability would not enable him or her to earn an amount at least equal to two thirds of the average annual compensation earned by all active members of this plan during the plan year ending as of the most recent June 30, as of which plan data has been assembled and used for the actuarial valuation of the plan.

(dd) “Public Employees Retirement System” means the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System created by §5-10-1 et seq. of this code.

(ee) “Plan” means the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Death, Disability, and Retirement Plan established by this article.

(ff) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending the following June 30.

(gg) “Qualified public safety employee” means any employee of a participating state or political subdivision who provides police protection, fire-fighting services, or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of the state or political subdivision, or such other meaning given to the term by section 72(t)(10)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code or by Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1(b)(2)(v) as they may be amended from time to time.

(hh) “Regular interest” means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board adopts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(ii) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (i) The calendar year in which the member attains age 70 and one half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30,1949); or (ii) the calendar year in which he or she retires or otherwise separates from covered employment.

(jj) “Retire” or “retirement” means a member’s withdrawal from the employ of a participating public employer and the commencement of an annuity by the plan.

(kk) “Retirement income payments” means the annual retirement income payments payable under the plan.

(ll) “Spouse” means the person to whom the member is legally married on the annuity starting date.

(mm) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member’s death and who survived the member.

(nn) “Totally disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. For purposes of this subdivision:

(1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairment or impairments are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as a deputy sheriff but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired if he or she applied for work.

(2) “Physical or mental impairment” is an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. A member’s receipt of Social Security disability benefits creates a rebuttable presumption that the member is totally disabled for purposes of this plan. Substantial gainful employment rebuts the presumption of total disability.

(oo) “Year of service”. — A member shall, except in his or her first and last years of covered employment, be credited with year of service credit based upon the hours of service performed as covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year based upon the following schedule:

Hours of Service                           Years of Service Credited

Less than 500                                              0

500 to 999                                                 1/3

1,000 to 1,499                                           2/3

1,500 or more                                              1

During a member’s first and last years of covered employment, the member shall be credited with one-twelfth of a year of service for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited with an hour of service. A member is not entitled to credit for years of service for any time period during which he or she received disability payments under §7-14D-14 or §7-14D-15 of this code. Except as specifically excluded, years of service include covered employment prior to the effective date. Years of service which are credited to a member prior to his or her receipt of accumulated contributions upon termination of employment pursuant to §7-14D-13 or §5-10-30 of this code, shall be disregarded for all purposes under this plan unless the member repays the accumulated contributions with interest pursuant to §7-14D-13 of this code or had prior to the effective date made the repayment pursuant to §5-10-18 of this code.

§7-14D-7a. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule: Upon learning of errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement plan in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the plan: Any error resulting in an underpayment to the plan may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the participating public employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the plan will result in the plan paying a retirant an additional amount, this additional payment shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the plan by an employer: When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the plan, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments made to the plan.

(d) Overpayments to the plan by an employee: When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the participating public employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the plan: If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the plan shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the plan in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy.  Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the plan: If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the plan less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors: If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer formerly or currently participating in the plan is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and terminate participation in the plan. Any erroneous payments to the retirement system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the plan to such individual shall be returned to the plan in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the plan, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the plan, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the plan as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the plan shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

§7-14D-9b. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this plan. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the plan to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the plan to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section shall not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this plan which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the plan has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

ARTICLE 22A. WEST VIRGINIA MUNICIPAL POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§8-22A-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a) “Accrued benefit” means on behalf of any member two and six-tenths percent per year of the member’s final average salary for the first 20 years of credited service. Additionally, two percent per year for 21 through 25 years and one percent per year for 26 through 30 years will be credited with a maximum benefit of 67 percent of a member’s final average salary. A member’s accrued benefit may not exceed the limits of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to the provisions of §8-22A-10 of this code.

(b) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all retirement contributions deducted from the compensation of a member, or paid on his or her behalf as a result of covered employment, together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.

(c) “Active military duty” means full-time duty in the active military service of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps. The term does not include regularly required training or other duty performed by a member of a reserve component or National Guard unless the member can substantiate that he or she was called into the full-time active military service of the United States and has received no compensation during the period of that duty from any board or employer other than the armed forces.

(d) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value computed on the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarial equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(e) “Annual compensation” means the wages paid to the member during covered employment within the meaning of section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based on the nature or location of employment or services performed during the plan year plus amounts excluded under section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense allowances, cash or noncash fringe benefits, or both, deferred compensation and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost-of-living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a) (17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(f) “Annual leave service” means accrued annual leave.

(g) “Annuity starting date” means the first day of the month for which an annuity is payable after submission of a retirement application or the required beginning date, if earlier. For purposes of this subsection, if retirement income payments commence after the normal retirement age, “retirement” means the first day of the month following or coincident with the latter of the last day the member worked in covered employment or the member’s normal retirement age and after completing proper written application for retirement on an application supplied by the board.

(h) “Beneficiary” means a natural person who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the plan.

(i) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

(j) “Covered employment” means either: (1) Employment as a full-time municipal police officer or firefighter and the active performance of the duties required of that employment; or (2) the period of time during which active duties are not performed but disability benefits are received under this article; or (3) concurrent employment by a municipal police officer or firefighter in a job or jobs in addition to his or her employment as a municipal police officer or firefighter in this plan where the secondary employment requires the police officer or firefighter to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to this code: Provided, That the police officer or firefighter contributes to the fund created in this article the amount specified as the member’s contribution in §8-22A-8 of this code. 

(k) “Credited service” means the sum of a member’s years of service, active military duty and disability service.

(l) “Dependent child” means either: (1) An unmarried person under age 18 who is: (A) A natural child of the member; (B) a legally adopted child of the member; (C) a child who at the time of the member’s death was living with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any period of probation; or (D) a stepchild of the member residing in the member’s household at the time of the member’s death; or (2) Any unmarried child under age 23: (A) Who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university; (B) who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death; and (C) whose relationship with the member is described in paragraph (A), (B) or (C), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(m) “Dependent parent” means the father or mother of the member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death.

(n) “Disability service” means service credit received by a member, expressed in whole years, fractions thereof, or both, equal to one half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which time a member receives disability benefits under this article.

(o) “Effective date” means January 1, 2010.

(p) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required.

(p) (q) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest annual compensation received for covered employment by the member during any five consecutive plan years within the member’s last 10 years of service while employed, prior to any disability payment. If the member did not have annual compensation for the five full plan years preceding the member’s attainment of normal retirement age and during that period the member received disability benefits under this article, then “final average salary” means the average of the monthly compensation which the member was receiving in the plan year prior to the initial disability. “Final average salary” does not include any lump sum payment for unused, accrued leave of any kind or character.

(q) (r) “Full-time employment” means permanent employment of an employee by a participating municipality in a position which normally requires 12 months per year service and requires at least 1,040 hours per year service in that position.

(r) (s) “Fund” means the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement Fund created by this article.

(s) (t) “Hour of service” means: (1) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during which time active duties are performed. These hours shall be credited to the member for the plan year in which the duties are performed; and (2) each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during a plan year but where no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of absence or any combination thereof and without regard to whether the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this subdivision shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West Virginia Division of Labor rules. A member may not be credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she is receiving benefits under §8-22A-17 and §8-22A-18 of this code; and (3) each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the employing municipality, irrespective of mitigation of damages. The same hours of service may not be credited both under subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection and under this subdivision. Hours under this paragraph shall be credited to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or agreement pertains, rather than the plan year in which the award, agreement or payment is made.

(t) (u) “Member” means, except as provided in §8-22A-32 and §8-22A-33 of this code, a person hired as a municipal police officer or municipal firefighter, as defined in this section, by a participating municipal employer on or after January 1, 2010. A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited.

(u) (v) “Monthly salary” means the W-2 reportable compensation received by a member during the month.

(v) (w) “Municipality” has the meaning ascribed to it in this code.

(w) (x)(1) “Municipal police officer” means an individual employed as a member of a paid police department by a West Virginia municipality or municipal subdivision which has established and maintains a municipal policemen’s pension and relief fund, and who is not a member of, and not eligible for membership in, a municipal policemen’s pension and relief fund as provided in §8-22-16 of this code: Provided, That municipal police officer also means an individual employed as a member of a paid police department by a West Virginia municipality or municipal subdivision which is authorized to elect to participate in the plan pursuant to §8-22A-33 of this code. Paid police department does not mean a department whose employees are paid nominal salaries or wages or are paid only for services actually rendered on an hourly basis.

(2) “Municipal firefighter” means an individual employed as a member of a paid fire department by a West Virginia municipality or municipal subdivision which has established and maintains a municipal firemen’s pension and relief fund, and who is not a member of, and not eligible for membership in, a municipal firemen’s pension and relief fund as provided in §8-22-16 of this code: Provided, That municipal firefighter also means an individual employed as a member of a paid fire department by a West Virginia municipality or municipal subdivision which is authorized to elect to participate in the plan pursuant to §8-22A-33 of this code. Paid fire department does not mean a department whose employees are paid nominal salaries or wages or are paid only for services actually rendered on an hourly basis.

(x) (y) “Municipal subdivision” means any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more municipalities, as permitted by law; and any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more municipalities.

(y) (z) “Normal form” means a monthly annuity which is one twelfth of the amount of the member’s accrued benefit which is payable for the member’s life. If the member dies before the sum of the payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the total of the retirement income payments made to the member.

(z) (aa) “Normal retirement age” means the first to occur of the following: (1) Attainment of age 50 years and the completion of 20 or more years of regular contributory service; (2) while still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 50 years and when the sum of current age plus regular contributory service equals or exceeds 70 years; (3) while still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 60 years and completion of 10 years of regular contributory service; or (4) attainment of age 62 years and completion of five or more years of regular contributory service.

(aa) (bb) “Plan” means the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System established by this article.

(bb) (cc) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on January 1 of any designated year and ending the following December 31.

(cc) (dd) “Qualified public safety employee” means any employee of a participating state or political subdivision who provides police protection, firefighting services or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of the state or political subdivision, or such other meaning given to the term by section 72(t) (10) (B) of the Internal Revenue Code or by Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1(b) (2) (v) as they may be amended from time to time.

(dd) (ee) “Regular contributory service” means a member’s credited service excluding active military duty, disability service and accrued annual and sick leave service.

(ee) (ff) “Regular interest” means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board adopts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(ff) (gg) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (1) The calendar year in which the member attains age 70 and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (2) the calendar year in which he or she retires or otherwise separates from covered employment.

(gg) (hh) “Retirement income payments” means the monthly retirement income payments payable.

(hh) (ii) “Spouse” means the person to whom the member is legally married on the annuity starting date.

(ii) (jj) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member’s death and who survived the member.

(jj) (kk) “Totally disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. For purposes of this subsection: (1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairment or impairments is are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as a police officer or firefighter but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired if he or she applied for work. For purposes of this article, substantial gainful employment is the same definition as used by the United States Social Security Administration; and (2) “Physical or mental impairment” is an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. The board may require submission of a member’s annual tax return for purposes of monitoring the earnings limitation.

(kk) (ll) “Vested” means eligible for retirement income payments after completion of five or more years of regular contributory service.

(ll) (mm) “Year of service” means a member shall, except in his or her first and last years of covered employment, be credited with years of service credit based on the hours of service performed as covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year based on the following schedule:

Hours of Service                                                Year of Service Credited

Less than 500                                                                            0

500 to 999                                                                               1/3

1,000 to 1,499                                                                         2/3

1,500 or more                                                                            1

During a member’s first and last years of covered employment, the member shall be credited with one twelfth of a year of service for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited with an hour of service for which contributions were received by the fund. A member is not entitled to credit for years of service for any time period during which he or she received disability payments under §8-22A-17 and §8-22A-18 of this code.

§8-22A-8a. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of errors, the board shall correct errors in the plan in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity, and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the plan. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the plan may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors, and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the employer. The employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the plan will result in the plan correcting an erroneous underpayment from the plan, the correction of the underpayment from the plan shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the plan by the employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions, including any overpayments have been made to the retirement system by the employer, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the plan.

(d) Overpayments to the plan by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the plan, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the plan. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the plan more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, after upon learning of the error shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the plan shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the retirement system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary, or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the plan. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the plan less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer formerly or currently participating in the plan is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and terminate participation in the plan. Any erroneous payments to the plan shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, and any erroneous payments from the plan to such individual shall be returned to the plan in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the retirement plan, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the plan, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the plan as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the plan shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

§8-22A-11. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this plan. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the plan to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article. The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the plan to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section shall not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this plan which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent on, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the plan has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the plan is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

CHAPTER 15. PUBLIC SAFETY.

ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE.

§15-2-25b. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a) “Actuarially equivalent” or “of equal actuarial value” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarially equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(b) “Agency” means the West Virginia State Police.

(c) “Beneficiary” means a surviving spouse or other surviving beneficiary who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the fund.

(d) “Board” means the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

(e) “Dependent child” means any unmarried child or children born to or adopted by a member of the fund who is:

(1) Under the age of 18;

(2) After reaching 18 years of age, continues as a full-time student in an accredited high school, college, university, business or trade school, until the child or children reaches the age of 20 years; or

(3) Is financially dependent on the member by virtue of a permanent mental or physical disability upon evidence satisfactory to the board.

(f) “Dependent parent” means the member’s parent or stepparent claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death.

(g) “Employee” means any person regularly employed in the service of the agency as a law-enforcement officer before March 12, 1994, and who is eligible to participate in the fund.

(h) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required.

(i) “Fund”, “plan” or “system” means the West Virginia State Police Death, Disability and Retirement Fund.

(i) (j) “Law-enforcement officer” means an individual employed or otherwise engaged in either a public or private position which involves the rendition of services relating to enforcement of federal, state or local laws for the protection of public or private safety, including, but not limited to, positions as deputy sheriffs, police officers, marshals, bailiffs, court security officers or any other law-enforcement position which requires certification, but excluding positions held by elected sheriffs or appointed chiefs of police whose duties are determined by the board to be purely administrative in nature.

(j) (k) “Member” means any person who has contributions standing to his or her credit in the fund and who has not yet entered into retirement status.

(k) (l) “Partially disabled” means an employee’s inability, on a probable permanent basis, to perform the essential duties of a law-enforcement officer by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, but which impairment does not preclude the employee from engaging in other types of nonlaw-enforcement employment.

(l) (m) “Physical or mental impairment” means an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.

(m) (n) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending the following June 30.

(n) (o) “Qualified public safety employee” means any employee of a participating state or political subdivision who provides police protection, fire-fighting services or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of the state or political subdivision, or such other meaning given to the term by section 72(t)(10)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code or by Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1(b)(2)(v) as they may be amended from time to time.

(o) (p) “Retirant” or “retiree” means any former member who is receiving an annuity payable by the fund.

(p) (q) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member’s death and who survived the member.

(q) (r) “Totally disabled” means an employee’s probable permanent inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. For purposes of this subsection, an employee is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairments are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as an employee of the agency but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (1) The work exists in the immediate area in which the employee lives; (2) a specific job vacancy exists; or (3) the employee would be hired if he or she applied for work.

§15-2-45. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this code. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the retirement system to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the fund to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary, or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system. For purposes of this section, the term “required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (i) The calendar year in which the member attains age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (ii) the calendar year in which the member retires or otherwise ceases providing covered service under this fund. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the fund is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

§15-2-54. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity, or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the system may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error is the responsibility of the employer. The employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the system will result in the system correcting an erroneous underpayment from the system, the correction of the underpayment from the system shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the system by an employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions, including any overpayments have been made to the system by the employer, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the system, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the retirement system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer currently or formerly participating in the retirement system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination and terminate participation in the system. Any erroneous payments to the system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the system to such individual shall be returned to the system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the system, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the system, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the system as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) in this section, including interest.

ARTICLE 2A. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§15-2A-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(1) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from base salary, together with four percent interest compounded annually.

(2) “Active military duty” means full-time active duty with the armed forces of the United States, namely, the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy; and service with the National Guard or reserve military forces of any of the armed forces when the employee has been called to active full-time duty.

(3) “Actuarially equivalent” or “of equal actuarial value” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarially equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(4) “Agency” means the West Virginia State Police.

(5) “Base salary” means compensation paid to an employee without regard to any overtime pay.

(6) “Beneficiary” means a surviving spouse or other surviving beneficiary who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the fund.

(7) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D- 1 et seq. of this code.

(8) “Dependent child” means any unmarried child or children born to or adopted by a member or retirant of the fund who:

(A) Is under the age of 18;

(B) After reaching 18 years of age, continues as a full-time student in an accredited high school, college, university or business or trade school until the child or children reaches reaches the age of 23 years; or

(C) Is financially dependent on the member or retirant by virtue of a permanent mental or physical disability upon evidence satisfactory to the board.

(9) “Dependent parent” means the member’s or retirant’s parent or stepparent claimed as a dependent by the member or retirant for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s or retirant’s death.

(10) “Employee” means any person regularly employed in the service of the agency as a law-enforcement officer after March 12, 1994, and who is eligible to participate in the fund.

(11) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required.

(12) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest annual compensation received for employment with the agency, including compensation paid for overtime service, received by the employee during any five calendar years within the employee’s last 10 years of service: Provided, That annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(12) (13) “Fund”, “plan”, “system” or “retirement system” means the West Virginia State Police Retirement Fund created and established by this article.

(13) (14) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(14) (15) “Law-enforcement officer” means an individual employed or otherwise engaged in either a public or private position which involves the rendition of services relating to enforcement of federal, state or local laws for the protection of public or private safety, including, but not limited to, positions as deputy sheriffs, police officers, marshals, bailiffs, court security officers or any other law-enforcement position which requires certification, but excluding positions held by elected sheriffs or appointed chiefs of police whose duties are purely administrative in nature.

(15) (16) “Member” means any person who has contributions standing to his or her credit in the fund and who has not yet entered into retirement status.

(16) (17) “Month of service” means each month for which an employee is paid or entitled to payment for at least one hour of service for which contributions were remitted to the fund. These months shall be credited to the member for the calendar year in which the duties are performed.

(17) (18) “Partially disabled” means an employee’s inability, on a probable permanent basis, to perform the essential duties of a law-enforcement officer by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, but which impairment does not preclude the employee from engaging in other types of nonlaw-enforcement employment.

(18) (19) “Physical or mental impairment” means an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.

(19) (20) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending the following June 30.

(20) (21) “Qualified public safety employee” means any employee of a participating state or political subdivision who provides police protection, fire fighting services or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of the state or political subdivision, or such other meaning given to the term by section 72(t)(10)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code or by Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1(b)(2)(v) as they may be amended from time to time.

(21) (22) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (A) The calendar year in which the member attains age seventy and one-half years 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (B) the calendar year in which he or she retires or otherwise separates from service with the agency. after having attained the age of 70.5 years.

(22) (23) “Retirant” or “retiree” means any member who commences an annuity payable by the retirement system.

(23) (24) “Salary” means the compensation of an employee, excluding any overtime payments.

(24) (25) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member or retirant was legally married at the time of the member’s or retirant’s death and who survived the member or retirant.

(25) (26) “Totally disabled” means an employee’s probable permanent inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. For purposes of this subdivision, an employee is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairments are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as an employee of the agency, but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the employee lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the employee would be hired if he or she applied for work.

(26) (27) “Years of service” means the months of service acquired by a member while in active employment with the agency divided by 12. Years of service shall be calculated in years and fraction of a year from the date of active employment of the member with the agency through the date of termination of employment or retirement from the agency. If a member returns to active employment with the agency following a previous termination of employment with the agency and the member has not received a refund of contributions plus interest for the previous employment under section eight of this article §15-2A-8 of this code, service shall be calculated separately for each period of continuous employment and years of service shall be the total service for all periods of employment. Years of service shall exclude any periods of employment with the agency for which a refund of contributions plus interest has been paid to the member unless the employee repays the previous withdrawal, as provided in section eight of this article §15-2A-8 of this code, to reinstate the years of service.

§15-2A-6b.  Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this retirement system. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the retirement system to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the retirement system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

§15-2A-23. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the system, may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the employer. The employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the system will result in the system correcting an erroneous underpayment from the system, the correction of the underpayment from the system shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the system by an employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other overpayments have been made to the system by an employer, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer currently or formerly participating in the system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination and terminate participation in the system. Any erroneous payments to the system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the system to such individual shall be returned to the system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the system, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the system, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the system as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) in this section, including interest.

CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.

ARTICLE 5V. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES RETIREMENT SYSTEM ACT.

§16-5V-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a) “Accrued benefit” means on behalf of any member two and six 10ths percent per year of the member’s final average salary for the first 20 years of credited service. Additionally, two percent per year for 21 through 25 years and one and one-half percent per year for each year over 25 years will be credited with a maximum benefit of 67 percent. A member’s accrued benefit may not exceed the limits of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to the provisions of section 12 of this article §16-5V-12 of this code.

(1) The board may, upon the recommendation of the board’s actuary, increase the employees’ contribution rate to 10 and five-tenths percent should the funding of the plan not reach 70 percent funded by July 1, 2012. The board shall decrease the contribution rate to eight and one-half percent once the plan funding reaches the 70 percent support objective as of any later actuarial valuation date.

(2) Upon reaching the 75 percent actuarial funded level, as of an actuarial valuation date, the board shall increase the two and six-tenths percent to two and three-quarter percent for the first 20 years of credited service. The maximum benefit will also be increased from 67 percent to 90 percent.

(b) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all retirement contributions deducted from the compensation of a member, or paid on his or her behalf as a result of covered employment, together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.

(c) “Active military duty” means full-time active duty with any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including service with the National Guard or reserve military forces when the member has been called to active full-time duty and has received no compensation during the period of that duty from any board or employer other than the armed forces.

(d) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the board in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(e) “Annual compensation” means the wages paid to the member during covered employment within the meaning of section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based upon the nature or location of employment or services performed during the plan year plus amounts excluded under section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense allowances, cash or noncash fringe benefits or both, deferred compensation and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(f) “Annual leave service” means accrued annual leave.

(g) “Annuity starting date” means the first day of the month for which an annuity is payable after submission of a retirement application. For purposes of this subsection, if retirement income payments commence after the normal retirement age, “retirement” means the first day of the month following or coincident with the latter of the last day the member worked in covered employment or the member’s normal retirement age and after completing proper written application for retirement on an application supplied by the board.

(h) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

(i) “Contributing service” or “contributory service” means service rendered by a member while employed by a participating public employer for which the member made contributions to the plan.

(j) “County commission or political subdivision” has the meaning ascribed to it in this code.

(k) “Covered employment” means either: (1) Employment as a full-time emergency medical technician, emergency medical technician/paramedic or emergency medical services/registered nurse and the active performance of the duties required of emergency medical services officers; or (2) the period of time during which active duties are not performed but disability benefits are received under this article; or (3) concurrent employment by an emergency medical services officer in a job or jobs in addition to his or her employment as an emergency medical services officer where the secondary employment requires the emergency medical services officer to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to this code: Provided, That the emergency medical services officer contributes to the fund created in this article the amount specified as the member’s contribution in §16-5V-8 of this code.

(l) “Credited service” means the sum of a member’s years of service, active military duty, disability service and accrued annual and sick leave service.

(m) “Dependent child” means either:

(1) An unmarried person under age 18 who is:

(A) A natural child of the member;

(B) A legally adopted child of the member;

(C) A child who at the time of the member’s death was living with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any period of probation; or

(D) A stepchild of the member residing in the member’s household at the time of the member’s death; or

(2) Any unmarried child under age 23:

(A) Who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university;

(B) Who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death; and

(C) Whose relationship with the member is described in paragraph (A), (B) or (C), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(n) “Dependent parent” means the father or mother of the member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death.

(o) “Disability service” means service received by a member, expressed in whole years, fractions thereof or both, equal to one half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which time a member receives disability benefits under this article.

(p) “Early retirement age” means age 45 or over and completion of 20 years of contributory service.

(q) “Effective date” means January 1, 2008.

(r) “Emergency medical services officer” means an individual employed by the state, county or other political subdivision as a medical professional who is qualified to respond to medical emergencies, aids the sick and injured and arranges or transports to medical facilities, as defined by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services. This definition is construed to include employed ambulance providers and other services such as law enforcement, rescue or fire department personnel who primarily perform these functions and are not provided any other credited service benefits or retirement plans. These persons may hold the rank of emergency medical technician/basic, emergency medical technician/paramedic, emergency medical services/registered nurse, or others as defined by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services and the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

(s) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Rules or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Rules by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required. A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this article by a participating public employer does not constitute employer error.

(t) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest annual compensation received for covered employment by the member during any five consecutive plan years within the member’s last 10 years of service while employed, prior to any disability payment. If the member did not have annual compensation for the five full plan years preceding the member’s attainment of normal retirement age and during that period the member received disability benefits under this article, then “final average salary” means the average of the monthly salary determined paid to the member during that period as determined under §16-5V-19 of this code multiplied by 12. Final average salary does not include any lump sum payment for unused, accrued leave of any kind or character.

(u) “Full-time employment” means permanent employment of an employee by a participating public employer in a position which normally requires 12 months per year service and requires at least 1040 hours per year service in that position.

(v) “Fund” means the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services Retirement Fund created by this article.

(w) “Hour of service” means:

(1) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during which time active duties are performed. These hours shall be credited to the member for the plan year in which the duties are performed; and

(2) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during a plan year but where no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of absence or any combination thereof and without regard to whether the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this subdivision shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West Virginia Division of Labor rules. A member will not be credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she is receiving benefits under §16-5V-19 or §16-5V-20 of this code; and

(3) Each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the employing county commission or political subdivision, irrespective of mitigation of damages. The same hours of service shall not be credited both under subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection and under this subdivision. Hours under this paragraph shall be credited to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or agreement pertains, rather than the plan year in which the award, agreement or payment is made.

(x) “Member” means a person first hired as an emergency medical services officer by an employer which is a participating public employer of the Public Employees Retirement System or the Emergency Medical Services Retirement System after the effective date of this article, as defined in subsection (q) of this section, or an emergency medical services officer of an employer which is a participating public employer of the Public Employees Retirement System first hired prior to the effective date and who elects to become a member pursuant to this article. A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited.

(y) “Monthly salary” means the W-2 reportable compensation received by a member during the month.

(z) “Normal form” means a monthly annuity which is one twelfth of the amount of the member’s accrued benefit which is payable for the member’s life. If the member dies before the sum of the payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the total of the retirement income payments made to the member.

(aa) “Normal retirement age” means the first to occur of the following:

(1) Attainment of age 50 years and the completion of 20 or more years of regular contributory service, excluding active military duty, disability service and accrued annual and sick leave service;

(2) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 50 years and when the sum of current age plus regular contributory years of service equals or exceeds 70 years;

(3) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 60 years and completion of 10 years of regular contributory service; or

(4) Attainment of age 62 years and completion of five or more years of regular contributory service.

(bb) “Participating public employer” means any county commission or political subdivision in the state which has elected to cover its emergency medical services officers, as defined in this article, under the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services Retirement System.

(cc) “Political subdivision” means a county, city or town in the state; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; and any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns: Provided, That any public corporation established under section four, article fifteen, chapter seven of this code is considered a political subdivision solely for the purposes of this article

(dd) “Plan” means the West Virginia Emergency Medical Services Retirement System established by this article.

(ee) (dd) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on January 1 of any designated year and ending the following December 31.

(ee) “Political subdivision” means a county, city or town in the state; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; and any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns: Provided, That any public corporation established under §7-15-4 of this code is considered a political subdivision solely for the purposes of this article.

(ff) “Public Employees Retirement System” means the West Virginia Public Employee’s Retirement System created by West Virginia Code.

(gg) “Regular interest” means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board adopts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(hh) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (1) The calendar year in which the member attains age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (2) the calendar year in which he or she retires or otherwise separates from covered employment.

(ii) “Retirant” means any member who commences an annuity payable by the plan.

(jj) “Retire” or “retirement” means a member’s withdrawal from the employ of a participating public employer and the commencement of an annuity by the plan.

(kk) “Retirement income payments” means the monthly retirement income payments payable under the plan.

(ll) “Spouse” means the person to whom the member is legally married on the annuity starting date.

(mm) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member’s death and who survived the member.

(nn) “Totally disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

For purposes of this subsection:

(1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairment or impairments is so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as an emergency medical services officer but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired if he or she applied for work. For purposes of this article, substantial gainful employment is the same definition as used by the United States Social Security Administration.

(2) “Physical or mental impairment” is an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. The board may require submission of a member’s annual tax return for purposes of monitoring the earnings limitation.

(oo) “Year of service” means a member shall, except in his or her first and last years of covered employment, be credited with years of service credit based upon the hours of service performed as covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year based upon the following schedule:

Hours of Service                                                                     Year of Service Credited.

Less than 500 ...................................................................................................  0

500 to 999 .....................................................................................................  1/3

1,000 to 1,499 ................................................................................................ 2/3

1,500 or more ...................................................................................................  1

During a member’s first and last years of covered employment, the member shall be credited with one twelfth of a year of service for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited with an hour of service for which contributions were received by the fund. A member is not entitled to credit for years of service for any time period during which he or she received disability payments under §16-5V-19 or §16-5V-20 of this code. Except as specifically excluded, years of service include covered employment prior to the effective date.

Years of service which are credited to a member prior to his or her receipt of accumulated contributions upon termination of employment pursuant to §16-5V-18 of this code or §5-10-30 of this code, shall be disregarded for all purposes under this plan unless the member repays the accumulated contributions with interest pursuant to section §16-5V-18 of this code or has prior to the effective date made the repayment pursuant to §5-10-18 of this code.

§16-5V-8a. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule: Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the plan: Any error resulting in an underpayment to the retirement plan, may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the participating public employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the retirement system will result in the plan paying the retirant an additional amount, this additional payment shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the plan by an employer: When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the plan, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the plan by an employee: When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the plan, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the participating public employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the plan: If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board upon learning of the error shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the plan shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the plan in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the retirement system: If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the plan less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors: If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer, participating in the plan is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination and terminate participation in the plan. Any erroneous payments to the plan shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the plan to such individual shall be returned to the plan in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the plan, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the plan, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the plan as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the plan shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

§16-5V-13. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this plan. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the plan to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article. The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the plan to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this plan which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the plan has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the plan is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

CHAPTER 18. EDUCATION.

ARTICLE 7A. STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§18-7A-3. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

“Accumulated contributions” means all deposits and all deductions from the gross salary of a contributor plus regular interest.

“Accumulated net benefit” means the aggregate amount of all benefits paid to or on behalf of a retired member.

“Actuarially equivalent” or “of equal actuarial value” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarially equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

“Annuities” means the annual retirement payments for life granted beneficiaries in accordance with this article.

“Average final salary” means the average of the five highest fiscal year salaries earned as a member within the last 15 fiscal years of total service credit, including military service as provided in this article, or if total service is less than 15 years, the average annual salary for the period on which contributions were made: Provided, That salaries for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

“Beneficiary” means the recipient of annuity payments made under the retirement system.

“Contributor” means a member of the retirement system who has an account in the Teachers Accumulation Fund.

“Deposit” means a voluntary payment to his or her account by a member.

“Employer” means the agency of and within the state which has employed or employs a member.

“Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation, or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code, or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations, or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required. A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this section by a participating public employer does not constitute employer error

“Employment term” means employment for at least 10 months, a month being defined as 20 employment days.

“Gross salary” means the fixed annual or periodic cash wages paid by a participating public employer to a member for performing duties for the participating public employer for which the member was hired. Gross salary shall be allocated and reported in the fiscal year in which the work was done. Gross salary also includes retroactive payments made to a member to correct a clerical error, or made pursuant to a court order or final order of an administrative agency charged with enforcing federal or state law pertaining to the member’s rights to employment or wages, with all retroactive salary payments to be allocated to and considered paid in the periods in which the work was or would have been done. Gross salary does not include lump sum payments for bonuses, early retirement incentives, severance pay, or any other fringe benefit of any kind including, but not limited to, transportation allowances, automobiles or automobile allowances, or lump sum payments for unused, accrued leave of any type or character.

“Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it has been amended.

“Member” means any person who has accumulated contributions standing to his or her credit in the State Teachers Retirement System. A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited, or until cessation of membership pursuant to §18-7A-13 of this code.

“Members of the administrative staff of the public schools” means deans of instruction, deans of men, deans of women, and financial and administrative secretaries.

“Members of the extension staff of the public schools” means every agricultural agent, boys and girls club agent, and every member of the agricultural extension staff whose work is not primarily stenographic, clerical, or secretarial.

“New entrant” means a teacher who is not a present teacher.

“Nonteaching member” means any person, except a teacher member, who is regularly employed for full-time service by: (A) Any county board of education or educational services cooperative; (B) the State Board of Education; (C) the Higher Education Policy Commission; (D) the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education; (E) a governing board, as defined in §18B-1-2 of this code; or (F) a public charter school established pursuant to §18-5G-1 et seq. of this code if the charter school includes in its charter contract entered into pursuant to §18-5G-7 of this code a determination to participate in the retirement systems under this article and §18-7B-1 et seq. of this code, subject to §18-7B-7a: Provided, That any person whose employment with the Higher Education Policy Commission, the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education, or a governing board commences on or after July 1, 1991, is not considered a nonteaching member.

“Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 and ending the following June 30 of any designated year.

“Present member” means a present teacher or nonteacher who is a member of the retirement system.

“Present teacher” means any person who was a teacher within the 35 years beginning July 1, 1934, and whose membership in the retirement system is currently active.

“Prior service” means all service as a teacher completed prior to July 1, 1941, and all service of a present member who was employed as a teacher and did not contribute to a retirement account because he or she was legally ineligible for membership during the service.

“Public schools” means all publicly supported schools, including colleges and universities in this state.

“Refund beneficiary” means the estate of a deceased contributor or a person he or she has nominated as beneficiary of his or her contributions by written designation duly executed and filed with the retirement board.

“Regular interest” means interest at four percent compounded annually, or a higher earnable rate if set forth in the formula established in legislative rules, series seven of the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, 162 CSR 7.

“Regularly employed for full-time service” means employment in a regular position or job throughout the employment term regardless of the number of hours worked or the method of pay.

“Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (A) The calendar year in which the member attains age 70 and one-half years 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (B) the calendar year in which the member retires or ceases covered employment under the retirement system. after having attained the age of 70 and one-half years

“Retirant” means any member who commences an annuity payable by the retirement system.

“Retirement board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

“Retirement system” means the State Teachers Retirement System established by this article.

“Teacher member” means the following persons, if regularly employed for full-time service: (A) Any person employed for instructional service in the public schools of West Virginia; (B) principals; (C) public school librarians; (D) superintendents of schools and assistant county superintendents of schools; (E) any county school attendance director holding a West Virginia teacher’s certificate; (F) members of the research, extension, administrative, or library staffs of the public schools; (G) the State Superintendent of Schools, heads and assistant heads of the divisions under his or her supervision, or any other employee under the state superintendent performing services of an educational nature; (H) employees of the State Board of Education who are performing services of an educational nature; (I) any person employed in a nonteaching capacity by the State Board of Education, any county board of education, the State Department of Education, or the State Teachers Retirement Board, if that person was formerly employed as a teacher in the public schools; (J) all classroom teachers, principals, and educational administrators in schools under the supervision of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Division of Health, or the Division of Human Services; (K) an employee of the State Board of School Finance, if that person was formerly employed as a teacher in the public schools; (L) employees of an educational services cooperative who are performing services of an educational nature; (M) any person designated as a 21st Century Learner Fellow pursuant to §18A-3-11 of this code who elects to remain a member of the State Teachers Retirement System provided in this article; and (N) any person employed by a public charter school established pursuant to §18-5G-1 et seq. of this code if the charter school includes in its charter contract entered into pursuant to §18-5G-7 of this code a determination to participate in the retirement systems under this article and §18-7B-1 et seq. of this code.

“Total service” means all service as a teacher or nonteacher while a member of the retirement system since last becoming a member and, in addition thereto, credit for prior service, if any.

Age in excess of 70 years shall be considered to be 70 years.

§18-7A-14c. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the retirement system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the retirement system, may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the participating public employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the retirement system will result in the plan paying the retirant an additional amount, this additional payment shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board shall credit the employer with an amount equal to the erroneous overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the retirement board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the retirement board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments, have been made to the retirement system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the retirement board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the retirement board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the retirement board for returning member overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the retirement system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the retirement system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the remaining overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the retirement board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the retirement system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer currently or formerly participating in the retirement system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and terminate participation in the retirement system. Any erroneous payments to the retirement system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the retirement system to such individual shall be returned to the retirement system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the retirement system, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the retirement system, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the retirement system as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the retirement system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

§18-7A-28b. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this retirement system. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the retirement system to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the retirement system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this retirement system which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

ARTICLE 7B. TEACHERS’ DEFINED CONTRIBUTION RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§18-7B-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

“Annual addition” means, for purposes of the limitations under section 415(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, the sum credited to a member’s account for any limitation year of: (A) Employer contributions; (B) employee contributions; and (C) forfeitures. Repayment of cash-outs or contributions as described in section 415(k)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, rollover contributions and picked-up employee contributions to a defined benefit plan may not be treated as annual additions, consistent with the requirements of Treasury Regulation §1.415(c)-1.

“Annuity account” or “annuity” means an account established for each member to record the deposit of member contributions and employer contributions and interest, dividends, or other accumulations credited on behalf of the member.

“Compensation” means the full compensation actually received by members for service whether or not a part of the compensation is received from other funds, federal or otherwise, than those provided by the state or its subdivisions: Provided, That annual compensation for determining contributions during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code: Provided, however, That solely for purposes of applying the limitations of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code to any annual addition, “compensation” has the meaning given it in §18-7B-13(d) of this code.

“Consolidated board” or “board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created and established pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

“Defined contribution system” or “system” means the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Retirement System created and established by this article.

“Employer” means the agency of and within the State of West Virginia which has employed or employs a member.

“Employer contribution” means an amount deposited into the member’s individual annuity account on a periodic basis coinciding with the employee’s regular pay period by an employer from its own funds.

“Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required.

“Employment term” means employment for at least 10 months in any plan year with a month being defined as 20 employment days.

“Existing employer” means any employer who employed or employs a member of the system.

“Existing retirement system” means the State Teachers Retirement System established in §18-7A-1 et seq. of this code.

“Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it has been amended.

“Member” or “employee” means the following persons, if regularly employed for full-time service: (A) Any person employed for instructional service in the public schools of West Virginia; (B) principals; (C) public school librarians; (D) superintendents of schools and assistant county superintendents of schools; (E) any county school attendance director holding a West Virginia teacher’s certificate; (F) members of the research, extension, administrative, or library staffs of the public schools; (G) the State Superintendent of Schools, heads and assistant heads of the divisions under his or her supervision, or any other employee under the state superintendent performing services of an educational nature; (H) employees of the State Board of Education who are performing services of an educational nature; (I) any person employed in a nonteaching capacity by the State Board of Education, any county board of education, or the State Department of Education, if that person was formerly employed as a teacher in the public schools; (J) all classroom teachers, principals, and educational administrators in schools under the supervision of the Division of Corrections and the Department of Health and Human Resources; (K) any person who is regularly employed for full-time service by any county board of education, educational services cooperative, or the State Board of Education; (L) the administrative staff of the public schools including deans of instruction, deans of men and deans of women, and financial and administrative secretaries; (M) any person designated as a 21st Century Learner Fellow pursuant to §18A-3-11 of this code who elects to remain a member of the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Retirement System established by this article; and (N) any person employed by a public charter school established pursuant to §18-5G-1 et seq. of this code if the charter school includes in its  charter contract entered into pursuant to §18-5G-7 of this code a determination to participate in the retirement systems under this article, subject to §18-7B-7a, and §18-7A-1 et seq. of this code.

“Member contribution” means an amount reduced from the employee’s regular pay periods, and deposited into the member’s individual annuity account within the Teachers’ Defined Contribution Retirement System.

“Permanent, total disability” means a mental or physical incapacity requiring absence from employment service for at least six months: Provided, That the incapacity is shown by an examination by a physician or physicians selected by the board: Provided, however, That for employees hired on or after July 1, 2005, “permanent, total disability” means an inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months and the incapacity is so severe that the member is likely to be permanently unable to perform the duties of the position the member occupied immediately prior to his or her disabling injury or illness.

“Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending on the following June 30.

“Public schools” means all publicly supported schools, including normal schools, colleges, and universities in this state.

“Regularly employed for full-time service” means employment in a regular position or job throughout the employment term regardless of the number of hours worked or the method of pay.

“Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (A) The calendar year in which the member attains age 70 and one-half years 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (B) the calendar year in which the member retires or otherwise ceases employment with a participating employer. after having attained the age of 70 and one-half years.

“Retirement” means a member’s withdrawal from the active employment of a participating employer and completion of all conditions precedent to retirement.

“Year of employment service” means employment for at least 10 months, with a month being defined as 20 employment days: Provided, That no more than one year of service may be accumulated in any 12-month period.

§18-7B-12a. Federal minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this defined contribution system. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in this system to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the incidental death benefit provisions of section 401(a)(9)(G) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the defined contribution system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary (subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which are is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this retirement system which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death (subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section).

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary (subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section), commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution (subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, if applicable): Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

(f) For purposes of this section, any amount paid to a child of a member will be treated as if it had been paid to the surviving spouse of the member if the remaining amount becomes payable to the surviving spouse when the child reaches the age of majority.

(g) The provisions of this subsection will apply to distributions with respect to members who die on or after January 1, 2022, and to the designated beneficiaries of members who die prior to January 1, 2022, as described in subdivision (2) of this subsection. This subsection will not apply to qualified annuities described in SECURE Act section 401(b)(4)(B)[P.L. 116-94, Div. O].

(1) 10-Year Rule. — If the distributee of a deceased member’s account is a designated beneficiary who is not an “Eligible Designated Beneficiary,” then the system will distribute the member’s vested account in full no later than December 31 of the 10th year following the year of the member’s death.

(2) Beneficiary Death. — If an Eligible Designated Beneficiary dies before receiving distribution of the beneficiary’s entire interest in the member’s account, the system will distribute the remaining interest in full no later than December 31 of the 10th year following the year of the Eligible Designated Beneficiary’s death. Similarly, if a member died before January 1, 2022, the limitations of this subsection (g) shall apply to distributions to the beneficiary of the member’s designated beneficiary.

(3) Eligible Designated Beneficiary. — An individual is an “Eligible Designated Beneficiary” of a member if the individual qualifies as a designated beneficiary under section 401(a)(9)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code and is (1) the member’s spouse, (2) the member’s child who has not reached the age of majority (as defined for purposes of section 401(a)(9)(F) of the Internal Revenue Code, (3) an individual not more than 10 years younger than the member, (4) a disabled individual, as defined in section 72(m)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code, or (5) an individual who has been certified to be chronically ill, as defined in section 7702B(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, for a reasonably lengthy period, or indefinitely. Certain trusts may be treated as Eligible Designated Beneficiaries pursuant to sections 401(a)(9)(H)(iv) and (v) of the Internal Revenue Code. When a child of the member reaches the age of majority, the system will distribute the child’s account in full no later than 10 years after that date.

§18-7B-21. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the system, may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the existing employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board Refund, Reinstatement, Retroactive Service, Loan and Correction of Error Interest Factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the system will result in the system paying the retirant an additional amount, this additional payment shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the system by an employer. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the system, the board shall credit the employer with an amount computed by the board, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer.

(d) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments, have been made to the retirement system, the board shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the existing employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual are not considered compensation for any purposes of this article.

(e) Overpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board upon learning of the error shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the retirement system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the retirement system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the retirement system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer currently or formerly participating in the retirement system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and terminate participation in the retirement system. Any erroneous payments to the retirement system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the retirement system to such individual shall be returned to the retirement system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the retirement system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.

ARTICLE 18. WEST VIRGINIA DIVISION OF NATURAL RESOURCES POLICE OFFICER RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§20-18-2. Definitions.


As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or the context clearly requires a different meaning:

(a) “Accrued benefit” means on behalf of any member two and one-quarter percent of the member’s final average salary multiplied by the member’s years of credited service: Provided, That members who retire after July 1, 2025, shall have an accrued benefit of two and one-half percent of the member’s final average salary multiplied by the member’s years of credited service. A member’s accrued benefit may not exceed the limits of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to the provisions of §20-18-13 of this code.

(b) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from the annual compensation of a member or paid on his or her behalf pursuant to §5-10C-1 et seq. of this code, either pursuant to §20-18-8(a) or §5-10-29 of this code as a result of covered employment together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.

(c) “Active member” means a member who is active and contributing to the plan.

(d) “Active military duty” means full-time active duty with any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including service with the National Guard or reserve military forces when the member has been called to active full-time duty and has received no compensation during the period of that duty from any board or employer other than the armed forces.

(e) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarial equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(f) “Annual compensation” means the wages paid to the member during covered employment within the meaning of section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based upon the nature or location of employment or services performed during the plan year plus amounts excluded under section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense allowances, cash or noncash fringe benefits or both, deferred compensation, and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with §5-10D-7 of this code and section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(g) “Annual leave service” means accrued annual leave.

(h) “Annuity starting date” means the first day of the first calendar month following receipt of the retirement application by the board or the required beginning date, if earlier: Provided, That the member has ceased covered employment and reached normal retirement age.

(i) “Beneficiary” means a natural person who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the plan.

(j) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

(k) “Covered employment” means either: (1) Employment as a Natural Resources Police Officer and the active performance of the duties required of a Natural Resources Police Officer; (2) the period of time which active duties are not performed but disability benefits are received under §20-18-21 or §20-18-22 of this code; or (3) concurrent employment by a Natural Resources Police Officer in a job or jobs in addition to his or her employment as a Natural Resources Police Officer where the secondary employment requires the Natural Resources Police Officer to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code: Provided, That the Natural Resources Police Officer contributes to the fund created in §20-18-7 of this code the amount specified as the Natural Resource Police Officer’s contribution in §20-18-8 of this code.

(l) “Credited service” means the sum of a member’s years of service, active military duty, disability service, eligible annual and sick leave service.

(m) “Dependent child” means either:

(1) An unmarried person under age 18 who is:

(A) A natural child of the member;

(B) A legally adopted child of the member;

(C) A child who at the time of the member’s death was living with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any period of probation; or

(D) A stepchild of the member residing in the member’s household at the time of the member’s death; or

(2) Any unmarried child under age 23:

(A) Who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university;

(B) Who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member’s death; and

(C) Whose relationship with the member is described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C), paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(n) “Dependent parent” means the father or mother of the member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for Federal Income Tax purposes at the time of the member’s death.

(o) “Director” means Director of the Division of Natural Resources.

(p) “Disability service” means service credit received by a member, expressed in whole years, fractions thereof or both, equal to one half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which time a member receives disability benefits under §20-18-21 or §20-18-22 of this code.

(q) “Division of Natural Resources” or “division” means the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

(r) “Effective date” means January 2, 2021.

(s) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation, or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Rules or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Rules by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required. A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this section by a participating public employer does not constitute employer error.

(t) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest annual compensation received for covered employment by the member during any five consecutive plan years within the member’s last 10 years of service. If the member did not have annual compensation for the five full plan years preceding the member’s attainment of normal retirement age and during that period the member received disability benefits under §20-18-21 or §20-18-22 of this code then “final average salary” means the average of the monthly salary determined paid to the member during that period determined as if the disability first commenced after the effective date of this article with monthly compensation equal to that average monthly compensation which the member was receiving in the plan year prior to the initial disability multiplied by 12.

(u) “Fund” means the West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officer Retirement Fund created pursuant to §20-18-7 of this code.

(v) “Hour of service” means:

(1) Each hour for which a member is paid;

(2) Each hour for which a member is paid but where no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of absence, or any combination thereof, and without regard to whether the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this paragraph shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West Virginia Division of Labor rules. A member will not be credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she is receiving benefits under §20-18-21 or §20-18-22 of this code; and

(3) Each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the Division of Natural Resources, irrespective of mitigation of damages. The same hours of service may not be credited both under this subdivision and subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection. Hours under this paragraph shall be credited to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or agreement pertains rather than the plan year in which the award, agreement, or payment is made.

(w) “Member” means a person first hired as a Natural Resources Police Officer, as defined in subsection (y) of this section, on or after January 2, 2021, or a Natural Resources Police Officer first hired prior to the effective date and who elects to become a member pursuant to §20-18-6 of this code. A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited or until cessation of membership pursuant to §20-18-6 of this code.

(x) “Monthly salary” means the portion of a member’s gross annual compensation which is paid to him or her per month.

(y) “Natural Resources Police Officer” means any person regularly employed in the service of the division as a law-enforcement officer on or after the effective date of this article, and who is eligible to participate in the fund. The term shall not include Emergency Natural Resources Police Officers as defined in §20-7-1(c) of this code, Special Natural Resources Police Officers as defined in §20-7-1(d) of this code, Forestry Special Natural Resources Police Officers as defined in §20-7-1(e) of this code, or Federal Law Enforcement Officer as defined in §20-7-1b of this code.

(z) “Normal form” means a monthly annuity which is 1/12 of the amount of the member’s accrued benefit which is payable for the member’s life. If the member dies before the sum of the payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary or beneficiaries shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the total of the retirement income payments made to the member.

(aa) “Normal retirement age” means the first to occur of the following: (1) Attainment of age 55 years and the completion of 15 or more years of service; (2) while still in covered employment, attainment of at least age 55 years, and when the sum of current age plus years of service equals or exceeds 70 years; or (3) attainment of at least age 62 years, and completion of 10 years of service: Provided, That any member shall in qualifying for retirement pursuant to this article have 10 or more years of service, all of which years shall be actual, contributory ones.

(bb) “Partially disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in the duties of a Natural Resources Police Officer by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. A member may be determined partially disabled for the purposes of this article and maintain the ability to engage in other gainful employment which exists within the state but which ability would not enable him or her to earn an amount at least equal to two thirds of the average annual compensation earned by all active members of this plan during the plan year ending as of the most recent June 30, as of which plan data has been assembled and used for the actuarial valuation of the plan.

(cc) “Plan” means the West Virginia Natural Resources Police Officers Retirement System established by this article.

(dd) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending the following June 30.

(ee) “Public Employees Retirement System” means the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System created by §5-10-1 et seq. of this code.

(ff) “Qualified public safety employee” means any employee of the division who provides police protection, fire-fighting services, or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of the state or political subdivision, or such other meaning given to the term by section 72(t)(10)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code or by Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1(b)(2)(v) as they may be amended from time to time.

(gg) “Regular interest” means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board adopts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(hh) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (i) The calendar year in which the member attains age 72; or (ii) the calendar year in which he or she the member retires or otherwise separates from covered employment.

(ii) “Retirant” means any member who commences an annuity payable by the retirement system.

(jj) “Retire” or “retirement” means a member’s termination from the employ of a participating public employer and the commencement of an annuity by the plan.

(kk) “Retirement income payments” means the annual retirement income payments payable under the plan.

(ll) “Spouse” means the person to whom the member is legally married on the annuity starting date.

(mm) “Substantial gainful employment” or “gainful employment” means employment in which an individual may earn up to an amount that is determined by the United States Social Security Administration as substantial gainful activity and still receive total disability benefits.

(nn) “Surviving spouse” means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member’s death and who survived the member.

(oo) “Totally disabled” means a member’s inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. For purposes of this subdivision:

(1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairment or impairments are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as a Natural Resources Police Officer but also cannot, considering his or her age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired if he or she applied for work.

(2) “Physical or mental impairment” is an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. A member’s receipt of Social Security disability benefits creates a rebuttable presumption that the member is totally disabled for purposes of this plan. Substantial gainful employment rebuts the presumption of total disability.

(pp) “Year of service.” A member shall, except in his or her first and last years of covered employment, or within the plan year of the effective date, be credited with year of service credit, based upon the hours of service performed as covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year based upon the following schedule:

Hours of Service                                                         Years of Service Credited

Less than 500                                                                         0

500 to 999                                                                               1/3

1,000 to 1,499                                                                         2/3

1,500 or more                                                                            1

During a member’s first and last years of covered employment or within the plan year of the effective date, the member shall be credited with 1/12 of a year of service for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited with an hour of service. A member is not entitled to credit for years of service for any time period during which he or she received disability payments under §20-18-21 or §20-18-22 of this code. Except as specifically excluded, years of service include covered employment prior to the effective date. Years of service which are credited to a member prior to his or her receipt of accumulated contributions upon termination of employment pursuant to §20-18-20 or §5-10-30 of this code, shall be disregarded for all purposes under this plan unless the member repays the accumulated contributions with interest pursuant to §20-18-20 of this code or had prior to the effective date made the repayment pursuant to §5-10-18 of this code.

§20-18-9. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement plan in a timely manner whether the individual, division or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, division and board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the plan. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the plan may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the division remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error is the responsibility of the division. The division may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the division through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the plan will result in the plan paying a retirant an additional amount, this additional payment may be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the plan by the division. — When mistaken or excess employer contributions or other employer overpayments have been made to the plan, the board shall credit the division with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the plan. If the division has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the division. Earnings or interest may not be returned, offset or credited to the division under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments made to the plan.

(d) Overpayments to the plan by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board has sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, the board may require the division to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the division with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the division has no future liability for employer contributions to the plan, the board shall refund said amount directly to the division: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the plan. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, the division or other individual receiving from the system more than he or she would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, the division or other person who received the overpayment from the plan shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the plan in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the plan. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, the division or other individual receiving from the plan less than he or she would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the plan pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and the division of the determination and terminate his or her participation in the plan. Any erroneous payments to the retirement system shall be returned to the division and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the plan to such individual shall be returned to the plan in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual has not been participating in the plan, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the plan, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and the division of the determination, and the individual shall prospectively commence participation in the plan as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the plan shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

(h) Correction of errors occurring prior to transfer from Public Employee Retirement System. — If any errors requiring correction occurred prior to establishment of the plan created pursuant to this article or prior to the transfer of funds from the Public Employee Retirement System, into the plan, or both, the employer and member contributions, if any, required to be calculated in order to effect correction shall be based on the rates in effect for the retirement system under which such employer or member contributions would have been made had the error not occurred.  For purposes of this subsection, “retirement system” means either the Public Employees Retirement System or the plan. The board shall have full discretion when applying this subsection (h), consistent with the general principles of subsection (a) of this section.  The intent of any correction is to place the affected individual, division and board in the position in which each would have been had the error not occurred.

§20-18-14. Federal law minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiary’s interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this plan. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the plan to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article. The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the plan to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system: Provided, however, That if the member elects an annuity option which provides survivor benefits to a beneficiary who is not the member’s spouse, and the annuity option elected would provide survivor payments that exceed the applicable percentage permitted by the MDIB regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member’s annuity election shall be changed to the highest survivor annuity option offered under this retirement plan which satisfies the MDIB regulations. Benefit payments under this section may not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the plan has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age 72; or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election may not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age 72; or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

CHAPTER 51. COURTS AND THEIR OFFICERS.

ARTICLE 9. RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES OF COURTS OF RECORD.

§51-9-1a. Definitions.


(a) As used in this article, the term “judge”, “judge of any court of record”, or “judge of any court of record of this state” means, refers to, and includes judges of the several circuit courts, judges of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals. For purposes of this article, the terms do not mean, refer to, or include family court judges.

(b) “Actuarially equivalent” or “of equal actuarial value” means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article: Provided, That when used in the context of compliance with the federal maximum benefit requirements of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, “actuarially equivalent” shall be computed using the mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those requirements.

(c) “Beneficiary” means any person, except a member, who is entitled to an annuity or other benefit payable by the retirement system.

(d) “Board” means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board created pursuant to §5-10D-1 et seq. of this code.

(e) “Employer error” means an omission, misrepresentation or deliberate act in violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions required.

(f) “Final average salary” means the average of the highest 36 consecutive months’ compensation received by the member as a judge of any court of record of this state.

(f) (g) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it has been amended.

(g) (h) “Member” means a judge participating in this system.

(h) (i) “Plan year” means the 12-month period commencing on July 1 of any designated year and ending the following June 30.

(i) (j) “Required beginning date” means April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (1) The calendar year in which the member attains age 70 and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or (2) the calendar year in which the member retires or otherwise separates from covered employment under this retirement system.

(j) (k) “Retirement system” or “system” means the Judges’ Retirement System created and established by this article. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the provisions of this article are applicable only to circuit judges, judges of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, and justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals in the manner specified in this article. No service as a family court judge may be construed to qualify a person to participate in the Judges’ Retirement System or used in any manner as credit toward eligibility for retirement benefits under the Judges’ Retirement System.

§51-9-12b. Federal minimum required distributions.


The requirements of this section apply to any distribution of a member’s or beneficiaries’ interest and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this retirement system. This section applies to plan years beginning after December 31, 1986. Notwithstanding anything in the retirement system to the contrary, the payment of benefits under this article shall be determined and made in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder as applicable to governmental plans, including without limitation the minimum distribution incidental benefit (MDIB) requirement of section 401(a)(9)(G) and the regulations thereunder, and the incidental benefit rule of section 1.401-1(b)(1)(i) of the regulations. Any term used in this article has the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the federal regulations promulgated thereunder unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context or definition in this article.  The following provisions apply to payments of benefits required under this article:

(a) The payment of benefits under the retirement system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary: Provided, That the requirements of this section may not be construed to grant a right to a form of benefit which is not otherwise available to a particular member under this retirement system. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.

(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.

(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system is to be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death, unless the provisions of subsection (d) of this section apply.

(d) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, and the member’s interest is eligible to be paid in the form of a survivor annuity to a designated beneficiary, distributions are to be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of that beneficiary, commencing on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, distributions are to commence on or before the later of:

(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.

(e) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced and the survivor annuity provisions of subsection (d) of this section are not applicable, any designated beneficiary who is eligible to receive a distribution pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section may elect to have life expectancy treatment apply to the distribution for purposes of determining whether any portion of the distribution is an eligible rollover distribution: Provided, That any such election shall not delay the required distribution of the deceased member’s entire interest in the retirement system beyond December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death as required by subsection (c) of this section: Provided, however, That the election is timely made in a form acceptable to the board on or before the following:

(1) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or

(2) If the member’s sole designated beneficiary is either the surviving spouse or a former spouse who, as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is receiving 100 percent of the survivor benefit, election of life expectancy treatment must be made on or before the earlier of (A) or (B) below:

(A) The later of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half 70.5 (if born before July 1, 1949) or age 72 (if born after June 30, 1949); or

(B) October 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member’s death.

§51-9-18. Correction of errors; underpayments; overpayments.


(a) General rule. — Upon learning of any errors, the board shall correct errors in the retirement system in a timely manner whether the individual, entity or board was at fault for the error with the intent of placing the affected individual, entity and retirement board in the position each would have been in had the error not occurred.

(b) Underpayments to the system. — Any error resulting in an underpayment to the system, may be corrected by the member or retirant remitting the required employee contribution or underpayment and the participating public employer remitting the required employer contribution or underpayment. Interest shall accumulate in accordance with the legislative rule 162 CSR 7 concerning retirement board refund, reinstatement, retroactive service, loan and correction of error interest factors and any accumulating interest owed on the employee and employer contributions or underpayments resulting from an employer error shall be the responsibility of the participating public employer. The participating public employer may remit total payment and the employee reimburse the participating public employer through payroll deduction over a period equivalent to the time period during which the employer error occurred. If the correction of an error involving an underpayment to the system will result in the system correcting an erroneous underpayment from the system, the correction of the underpayment from the system shall be made only after the board receives full payment of all required employee and employer contributions or underpayments, including interest.

(c) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employer. — : When mistaken or excess employer contributions, including any overpayments have been made to the retirement system by a participating public employer, the board, upon learning of the error, shall credit the participating public employer with an amount equal to the overpayment, to be offset against the employer’s future liability for employer contributions to the system. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund the erroneous contributions directly to the employer. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset or credited to the employer under any of the means used by the board for returning employer overpayments to the retirement system.

(d) Overpayments to the retirement system by an employee. — When mistaken or excess employee contributions or overpayments have been made to the retirement system, the board, upon learning of the error, shall have sole authority for determining the means of return, offset or credit to or for the benefit of the individual making the mistaken or excess employee contribution of the amounts, and may use any means authorized or permitted under the provisions of section 401(a), et seq. of the Internal Revenue Code and guidance issued thereunder applicable to governmental plans. Alternatively, in its full and complete discretion, the board may require the participating public employer employing the individual to pay the individual the amounts as wages, with the board crediting the participating public employer with a corresponding amount to offset against its future contributions to the plan. If the employer has no future liability for employer contributions to the retirement system, the board shall refund said amount directly to the employer: Provided, That the wages paid to the individual shall not be considered compensation for any purposes of this article. Earnings or interest shall not be returned, offset, or credited under any of the means used by the board for returning employee overpayments.

(e) Overpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the system more than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other person who received the overpayment from the retirement system shall repay the amount of any overpayment to the retirement system in any manner permitted by the board. If the member, retirant, beneficiary or other person who received the overpayment is deceased and an annuity or lump sum benefit is still payable, the amount of the overpayment shall be offset against the benefit payment owed in a manner consistent with the board’s error correction policy. Interest shall not accumulate on any corrective payment made to the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(f) Underpayments from the retirement system. — If any error results in any member, retirant, beneficiary, entity or other individual receiving from the retirement system less than he would have been entitled to receive had the error not occurred, the board, upon learning of the error, shall correct the error in a timely manner. If correction of the error occurs after annuity payments to a retirant or beneficiary have commenced, the board shall prospectively adjust the payment of the benefit to the correct amount. In addition, the board shall pay the amount of such underpayment to the member, retirant, beneficiary or other individual in a lump sum. Interest shall not be paid on any corrective payment made by the retirement system pursuant to this subsection.

(g) Eligibility errors. — If the board finds that an individual, employer, or both individual and employer, participating in the system is not eligible to participate, the board shall notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and terminate participation in the system. Any erroneous payments to the system shall be returned to the employer and individual in accordance with the methods described in subsections (c) and (d) of this section and any erroneous payments from the system to such individual shall be returned to the system in accordance with the methods described in subsection (e) of this section. Any erroneous service credited to the individual shall be removed. If the board determines that an individual or employer, or both, has not been participating in the system, but was eligible to and required to be participating in the system, the board shall as soon as practicable notify the individual and his or her employer of the determination, and the individual and his or her employer shall prospectively commence participation in the retirement system as soon as practicable. Service credit for service prior to the date on which the individual prospectively commences participation in the system shall be granted only if the board receives the required employer and employee contributions for such service, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, including interest.

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