Speaker Kiss, Delegates Jenkins, Heck, Ashley, Varner, Petit and Staton
Committee Reference:
Pensions then Finance
Bill Title: OK
Attorney: Richard J. Lindroth
Code Sections:WVC §5-10D-1 (amend & reenact); §7-14D-1 through §17-14D-30 (new); §17-4E-1 & 2 (new) & 17A-3-17 (amend & reenact)
The purpose of this bill is to enact a retirement program for Deputy Sheriffs. All other law enforcement officers of this state, except conservation officers, have a separate retirement plan which allows retirement benefits to be exempted from the West Virginia Personal Income Tax.

5-10D West Virginia Public Employees Retirement Act.

This section is amended to include the Deputy Sheriff Death, Disability and Retirement Fund as an additional fund managed by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board. This section is further amended to include a member, retirement or annuitant of the Deputy Sheriff's Plan on the Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

7-14D Deputy Sheriff Retirement Act.

7-14D-1Short title.
7-14D-2. Definitions.
Accrued Benefit = 2.25% of Final Average Salary multiplied by Years of Service.

Accumulated Contributions = All sums paid in by members.

Active Military Duty = Full time active duty with any branch of U.S. Armed Forces, including National Guard, where member has no other compensation from any other sources.

Actuarial Equivalent = Benefit of equal value computed using Mortality table and interest rates.

Annual Compensation = Wages paid a member during covered employment. Does not include reimbursements, fringe benefits, deferred compensation or welfare benefits.

Other Definitions include Base Salary; Board; County Commission; Covered Employment; Credited Service; Conservation Officer; Deputy Sheriff; Dependent Child, Dependent Parent; Disability Service.
Early Retirement Age is 40 years of age and 20 years of service.

Final Average Salary is average of highest 5 consecutive years of member's last 10 years of service. Other definitions: Effective Date; Fund; Hour of Service; Member Monthly Salary.

Normal Form - monthly annuity equal to 1/12 of accrued benefit which is payable for life. If members dies before the sum of payments equals his or her accumulated contributions and total of retirement benefits paid member.

Normal Retirement Age - Age 50 plus 20 or more years of service. Any combination where age plus service equal 70 if member is at least 50 years of age; Age 60 plus 5 or more years of service; age 62 plus 5 or more years of service.

Partially Disabled - Inability to engage in duties of active deputy sheriff or conservation officer.

Other definitions include Public Employees Retirement System; Plan; Plan Year; Regular Interest; Retirement Income Payments; Spouse; Surviving Spouse;
Totally Disabled - Members inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of medically determined physical or mental impairment expected to result in death or last for continuous period of at least 12 months.

Other definitions include Physical or Mental Impairment, Years of Service;

Meaning of Terms - Provides references to Internal Revenue Code same as in West Virginia Personal Income Tax or CNIT.

Creates plan. "Superannuated" means rated no longer fully or passably efficient in one's job because of age; incapacitated or disqualified for duty due to advanced age.

Article to be liberally construed and supplements Social Security.

Members include deputies who are hired or rehired after effective date of plan; current deputies who elect into the plan and transfer from PERS. Once made, the election is irrevocable. There is a 6 month time period for the deputy to make the election.

Retirement Fund creation and permissible investment.

Members contribute 81/2% of salary employers contribute 91/2% of salary.

Governs transfer from PERS. All assets are transferred; contributions by both member and employer, plus aggregate actuarially determined with interest at 7.5% between the date the amount is determined until the date of transfer. Provides that once a deputy transfers from PERS, that the deputy holds PERS harmless from ever paying retirement benefits to that deputy. The Consolidated Board is required to bring a test case in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals regarding transfer of the assets.

Commencement of Retirement Benefits - member to file a written petition with the Consolidated Board. In any event, retirement shall begin on later than April 1 following members 70 + ½ year birthday.

Allows member to obtain additional credited service by using accrued annual or sick leave. Same provisions as in PERS.

Retirement benefits include early retirement - Age 40 - with 20 years of service. Provides for reduced benefits if early retirement option chosen.

Annuity options - Various annuity options all must be actuarially equivalent. If married, members spouse must sign written waiver if benefits received in form other than a joint and survivor annuity.

Refunds - Returns contributions of members only, all else is forfeited.

Duty Related Disability Retirement - 90% for total disability, 45% for partial disability, percentage is if members last 12 months salary prior to disability. Duty related total disability is paid to age 65 and duty related partial disability is paid to age 60.

Non-Duty Related Disability - 66 2/3% for total disability and 33 1/3% for partial disability of members salary prior to disability. Non-duty disability is paid until age 60.

Requires physical examination, mental examination or both by physician or physicians selected or approved by the Board of any member seeking or receiving disability retirement.

This section permits those deputy sheriffs who become totally disabled as a result of illness or injury incurred in the line of duty prior to the effective date of the Deputy Sheriff's retirement plan to elect into the plan.

This section provides awards and benefits to a surviving spouse when a member dies in performance of his or her duties. The plan provides the surviving spouse with an annual benefit equal paid in equal monthly installments during his or her lifetime an amount which is 2/3 of the member's base salary received in the 12 months prior to death or the amount the spouse would have received had the member retired the day before his or her death and elected a 100% joint and survivor annuity, whichever is greater.

Where a member dies from non-service connected causes the surviving spouse gets ½ of the base salary or the amount the spouse would have received had the member retired the day before his or her death and elected a 100% joint and survivor annuity, whichever is greater.

This section provides additional death benefits of $100 per month for each dependent child. The section allows a $6000 scholarships to the children of the deceased member.

This section provides a $5000 burial benefit where a deputy sheriff dies as a result of any services related injury or illness.

This section permits members who are elected as sheriffs after the effective date of the plan to continue as a member in the plan.

Exempts the fund and the rights of a member, spouse, or other beneficiary from state or municipal taxes, execution, garnishment, or attachment except for Qualified Domestic Relation Orders.

This section provides criminal penalties for false statements or defrauding the system. The penalty is a fine up to $1000, one year in county jail, or both fine and imprisonment.

Provides up to 5 years credit for active duty military service.

Provides for pro-rated reduction in benefits if more than 10% of the retirement fund is paid out in the previous year.

Makes the effective date of the plan July 1, 1998. Provides that no one may draw benefits under the pan until January 1, 2000 except those persons who retired or disability may begin drawing benefits on July 1, 1998 at the PERS rate and on July 1, 1999 at the rate specified in this plan.

Limits county liability to contributions required of the employer.

7-14E Establishment of certain fees.

Sets forth findings and purpose.

Establishes 3 sets of fees. Effective July 1, 1998 (a) minimum of $10 to maximum of $20 for Traffic Accident Reports, criminal investigation reports, incident reports and property reports - $10 must go to deputy sheriff's fund, (b) sets $5 fee for fingerprinting, motor vehicle identification reports and identification cards. All $5 goes to deputy sheriff's fund, (c) sets $5 fee for non-governmental background reports with all fee revenue to plan, (d) exempts governmental agencies from the fee.

Requires all sheriffs to issue license renewals for Class A (passenger vehicles) or G (motorcycles) motor vehicles with 50 cents of the $1.00 fee to go to Deputy Sheriff's fund.

Effective Date: Regular.
Fiscal Note: 98% to 99% funded, depending upon assumptions without taking into account the fee revenue.