WEST virginia legislature
2021 regular session
Senate Bill 245
By Senators Ihlenfeld, Stollings, Romano, Caputo, and Woelfel
[Introduced February 12, 2021;
to the Committee on Pensions; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §5-10-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to providing an 11-month window to permit members of the Public Employees Retirement System to purchase credited service that had been previously forfeited.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ACT.
§5-10-18. Termination of membership; reentry.
(a) When a member of the retirement system retires, withdraws his or her accumulated contributions, or dies, he or she ceases to be a member. When a member leaves the employ of a participating public employer for any reason other than retirement or death, and withdraws his or her accumulated contributions from the system, he or she ceases to be a member and forfeits service credited to him or her at that time. If he or she becomes reemployed by a participating public employer he or she shall be reinstated as a member of the retirement system and his or her credited service last forfeited by him or her shall be restored to his or her credit: Provided, That he or she must be reemployed for a period of one year or longer to have the service restored: Provided, however, That he or she returns to the members’ deposit fund the amount, if any, he or she withdrew from the fund, together with reinstatement interest as set forth in the Board’s Rule, Refund, Reinstatement, Retroactive Service, Loan and Employer Error Interest Factors, 162 C.S.R. 7, on the withdrawn amount from the date of withdrawal to the date of repayment, and that the repayment begins within two years of the return to employment and that the full amount is repaid within five years of the return to employment. Any failure to repay the full amount in accordance with this section shall be treated as an overpayment or excess contribution subject to §5-10-44 of this code.
(b) The Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Valley Comprehensive Mental Health Center, Westbrook Health Services, and Eastern Panhandle Mental Health Center, and their successors in interest, shall provide for their employees a pension plan in lieu of the Public Employees Retirement System during the existence of the named mental health centers and their successors in interest.
(c) The administrative bodies of the Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Valley Comprehensive Mental Health Center, Westbrook Health Services, and Eastern Panhandle Mental Health Center shall, on or before May 1, 1997, give written notice to each employee who is a member of the Public Employees Retirement System of the option to withdraw from or remain in the system. The notice shall include a copy of this section and a statement explaining the member’s options regarding membership. The notice shall include a statement in plain language giving a full explanation and actuarial projection figures in support of the explanation regarding the individual member’s current account balance, vested and nonvested, and his or her projected return upon remaining in the Public Employees Retirement System until retirement, disability, or death, in comparison with the projected return upon withdrawing from the Public Employees Retirement System and joining a private pension plan provided by the Community Mental Health Center and remaining in the private pension plan until retirement, disability, or death. The administrative bodies shall keep in their respective records a permanent record of each employee’s signature confirming receipt of the notice.
2003 July 1, 2021, and ending December 31, 2004 June 1,
2022, any member may purchase credited service previously forfeited by him
or her and the credited service shall be restored to his or her credit:
Provided, That he or she returns to the members’ deposit fund the amount,
if any, he or she withdrew from the fund, together with interest on the
withdrawn amount from the date of withdrawal to the date of repayment at a rate
to be determined by the board. The repayment under this section may be made by
lump sum or repaid over a period of time not to exceed 60 months. Where the
member elects to repay the required amount other than by lump sum, the member
is required to pay interest at the rate determined by the board until all sums
are fully repaid.
(e) Effective July 1, 2005, and ending December 31, 2006, any emergency services personnel may purchase service credit for the time period beginning January 1, 1990, and ending December 31, 1995: Provided, That the person was employed as an emergency service person in this state for that time period: Provided, however, That any person obtaining service credit under this subsection is required to pay the employee’s share and the employer’s share upon his or her actual salary for the years in question plus interest at the assumed actuarial rate of return for the plan year being repurchased.
(f) Jobs for West Virginia’s graduates and their successors in interest shall provide a pension plan in lieu of the Public Employees Retirement System for employees hired on or after July 1, 2005.
(g) Wetzel County Hospital and their successors in interest shall provide a pension plan in lieu of the Public Employees Retirement System for employees hired on or after July 1, 2005.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to open an enrollment period of 11 months in which certain members of the Public Employees Retirement System may purchase previously forfeited service credit.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.