The Legislature hereby finds and declares that an important state interest exists in providing a minimum retirement annuity for certain retirants (or their beneficiaries) who are credited with twenty or more years of credited service; that such program constitutes a public purpose; and that the exclusions of credited service while an elected public official or while a temporary legislative employee are reasonable and equitable exclusions for purposes of determining eligibility for such minimum benefits. For purposes of this section:
(1) "Elected public official" means any member of the Legislature or any member of the legislative body of any political subdivision; and
(2) "Temporary legislative employee" means any employee of the Clerk of the House of Delegates, the Clerk of the Senate, the Legislature or a committee thereof whose employment is classified as temporary and who is employed to perform services required by the Clerk of the House of Delegates, the Clerk of the Senate, the Legislature or a committee thereof, as the case may be, for regular sessions, extraordinary sessions and/or interim meetings of the Legislature.
If the retirement annuity of a retirant (or, if applicable, his or her beneficiary) with at least twenty years of credited service as of the effective date of this section is less than $500 per month (including any supplemental benefits or incentives provided by this article), then the monthly retirement benefit for any such retired member (or if applicable, his or her beneficiary) shall be increased to $500 per month: Provided, That any year of credited service while an elected public official or a temporary legislative employee shall not be taken into account for purposes of this section.
The payment of any minimum benefit under this section shall be in lieu of, and not in addition to, the payments of any retirement benefit or supplemental benefit or incentives otherwise provided by law: Provided, That the minimum benefit provided herein shall be subject to any limitations thereon under Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and section twenty-seven-a of this article.
Any minimum benefit conferred herein shall not be retroactive to the time of retirement and shall apply only to members who have retired prior to the effective date of this section, or, if applicable, to beneficiaries receiving benefits under the retirement system prior to the effective date.