WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
House Bill 4776
By Delegates Miley, Barrett, Swartzmiller, Caputo, Sponaugle, Campbell, Pyles, Zukoff, Lavender-Bowe, Staggers and Miller
[Introduced February 10, 2020; Referred to the Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance]
A BILL to amend and reenact §15-2-33 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the pension awards to immediate family members of a deceased trooper that was disabled in the course of duty.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE.
§15-2-33. Awards and benefits to dependents of member when the member dies in performance of duty; to dependents of a duty disability retirant; dependent child scholarship and amount.
(a) The surviving spouse or the dependent child or children or dependent parent or parents of any member who has lost or loses his or her life by reason of injury, illness or disease resulting from an occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the service required of employees while the member was or is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as an employee of the agency, or if a retirant dies from any cause after having been retired pursuant to the provisions of §15-2-29 of this code, the surviving spouse or other dependent is entitled to receive and shall be paid from the fund benefits as follows: To the surviving spouse annually, in equal monthly installments during his or her lifetime the greater of one or the other of two amounts:
(1) An amount equal to
five and one-half percent of the
total salary 50 percent of the
award which was or would have been earned by awarded to the
deceased member or duty disability retirant during 25
years of service based on the average earnings of the member or duty
disability retirant while employed by the agency; or
(2) The sum of
(b) In addition, the surviving spouse is entitled to
receive and shall be paid
$100 $500 monthly for each dependent
child or children. If the surviving spouse dies or if there is no surviving
spouse, there shall be paid monthly to each dependent child or children from
the fund a sum equal to 25 percent of the
surviving spouse’s entitlement. If there is
no surviving spouse and no dependent child or children, there shall be paid
annually in equal monthly installments from the fund to the dependent parents
of the deceased member or retirant during their joint lifetimes a sum equal to
the amount which a surviving spouse, without children, would have received: Provided,
That when there is one dependent parent surviving, that parent is entitled to
receive during his or her lifetime one-half the amount which both parents, if
living, would have been entitled to receive.
(c) Any person qualified as a surviving dependent child under this section, in addition to any other benefits due under this or other sections of this article, is entitled to receive a scholarship to be applied to the career development education of that person. This sum, up to but not exceeding $7,500 per year, shall be paid from the fund to any higher education institution in this state, career-technical education provider in this state or other entity in this state approved by the board, to offset the expenses of tuition, room and board, books, fees or other costs incurred in a course of study at any of those institutions so long as the recipient makes application to the board on an approved form and under rules as provided by the board and maintains scholastic eligibility as defined by the institution or the board. The board may, by appropriate rules, define age requirements, physical and mental requirements, scholastic eligibility, disbursement methods, institutional qualifications and other requirements as necessary and not inconsistent with this section. Scholarship benefits awarded pursuant to this subsection are not subject to division or payable to an alternate payee by any Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
(d) A surviving spouse or dependent of an employee meeting the requirements of this section is entitled to receive beneficiary payments on the first day following the date the deceased employee is removed from payroll by the agency. A surviving spouse or dependent of a member who is not currently an employee meeting the requirements of this section is entitled to receive beneficiary payments on the first day following the date of the deceased member’s death. A surviving spouse or dependent of a retirant meeting the requirements of this section is entitled to receive beneficiary payments on the first day of the month following the date of the deceased retirant’s death. Upon receipt of properly executed forms from the agency and the surviving spouse or dependent, the board shall process the surviving spouse or dependent benefit as soon as administratively feasible.
(e) For the purposes of this section, the term “salary” does not include any compensation paid for overtime service.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the pension award to family members of deceased troopers that were disabled in the course of their duties.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.