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Introduced Version House Bill 2755 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
H. B. 2755


(By Delegate Kuhn)
[Introduced March 26, 1997; referred to the
Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article seven-a, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the state teachers retirement system; computation of service; and providing for teachers who were absent from service while on education leave of absence to receive service credit.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article seven-a, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7A. STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§18-7A-17. Statement and computation of teachers' service.

Under such rules and regulations as the retirement board may adopt, each teacher shall file a detailed statement of his or her length of service as a teacher for which he or she claims credit. The retirement board shall determine what part of a year is the equivalent of a year of service. In computing such service, however, it shall credit no period of more than a month's duration during which a member was absent without pay, nor shall it credit for more than one year of service performed in any calendar year.
For the purpose of this article, the retirement board shall grant prior service credit to new entrants and other members of the retirement system for service in any of the armed forces of the United States in any period of national emergency within which a federal Selective Service Act was in effect. For purposes of this section, "armed forces" shall include Women's Army Corps, Women's Appointed Volunteers for Emergency Service, Army Nurse Corps, Spars, Women's Reserve and other similar units officially parts of the military service of the United States. Such military service shall be deemed considered equivalent to public school teaching, and the salary equivalent for each year of such service shall be the actual salary of the member as a teacher for his or her first year of teaching after discharge from military service. Prior service credit for military service shall may not exceed ten years for any one member, nor shall may it exceed twenty-five percent of total service at the time of retirement.
For service as a teacher in the employment of the federal government, or a state or territory of the United States, or a governmental subdivision of such state or territory, the retirement board shall grant credit to the member: Provided, That the member shall pay to the system double the amount he or she contributed during the first full year of current employment, times the number of years for which credit is granted, plus interest at a rate to be determined by the retirement board. Such interest shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service credit so granted at the time of retirement shall may not exceed the lesser of ten years or fifty percent of the member's total service as a teacher in West Virginia. Any transfer of out-of- state service, as provided in this article, shall may not be used to establish eligibility for a retirement allowance and the retirement board shall grant credit for such transferred service as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer of out-of-state service shall be prohibited if such service is used to obtain a retirement benefit from another retirement system: Provided further, That salaries paid to members for service prior to entrance into the retirement system shall may not be used to compute the average final salary of such member under the retirement system.
Service credit for members or retired members shall may not be denied on the basis of minimum income regulations promulgated by the teachers retirement board: Provided, That the member or retired member shall pay to the system the amount he or she would have contributed during the year or years of public school service for which credit was denied as a result of such minimum income regulations of the teachers retirement board.
No members shall be deemed considered absent from service while serving as a member or employee of the Legislature of the state of West Virginia during any duly constituted session of that body or while serving as an elected member of a county commission during any duly constituted session of that body: Provided, That the member makes contributions to the system equal to what would have been contributed during the period of absence had he or she performed his or her duties.
No member shall be deemed considered absent from service as a teacher while serving as an officer with a statewide professional teaching association, or who has served in such capacity, and no retired teacher, who served in such capacity while a member, shall be deemed considered to have been absent from service as a teacher by reason of such service, and no teacher who has been granted an educational leave of absence shall be considered to have been absent from service as a teacher by reason of such educational leave of absence: Provided, That the period of service credit granted for such service shall may not exceed six years: Provided, however, That a member or retired teacher who is serving or has served as an officer of a statewide professional teaching association or who was absent from service as a teacher by reason of an educational leave of absence shall make deposits to the teachers retirement board, for the time of any such absence, in an amount double the amount which he or she would have contributed in his or her regular assignment for a like period of time.
The teachers retirement board shall grant service credit to any former or present member of the West Virginia public employees retirement system who has been a contributing member for more than three years, for service previously credited by the public employees retirement system, and: (1) Shall require the transfer of the member's contributions to the teachers retirement system; or (2) shall require a repayment of the amount withdrawn any time prior to the member's retirement: Provided, That there shall be added by the member to the amounts transferred or repaid under this paragraph an amount which shall be sufficient to equal the contributions he or she would have made had the member been under the teachers retirement system during the period of his or her membership in the public employees retirement system plus interest at a rate of six percent compounded annually from the date of withdrawal to the date of payment. The interest paid shall be deposited in the reserve fund.
For service as a teacher in an elementary or secondary parochial school, located within this state and fully accredited by the West Virginia department of education, the retirement board shall grant credit to the member: Provided, That the member shall pay to the system double the amount contributed during the first full year of current employment, times the number of years for which credit is granted, plus interest at a rate to be determined by the retirement board. Such interest shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service so granted at the time of retirement shall may not exceed the lesser of ten years or fifty percent of the member's total service as a teacher in the West Virginia public school system. Any transfer of parochial school service, as provided in this section, may not be used to establish eligibility for a retirement allowance and the board shall grant credit for such transfer as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer of parochial school service is prohibited if such service is used to obtain a retirement benefit from another retirement system.
If a member is not eligible for prior service credit or pension as provided in this article, then his or her prior service shall may not be deemed considered a part of his or her total service.
A member who withdrew from membership shall be permitted to regain his or her former membership rights as specified in section thirteen of this article only in case he or she has served two years since his or her last withdrawal.
Subject to the above provisions, the board shall verify as soon as practicable the statements of service submitted. The retirement board shall issue prior service certificates to all persons eligible therefor under the provisions of this article. Such certificates shall state the length of such prior service credit, but in no case shall the prior service credit exceed forty years.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for teachers who were absent from service while on education leave of absence to receive service credit in the State Teachers Retirement System.


Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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