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Introduced Version House Bill 4048 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
H. B. 4048


(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, (By Request))
[Introduced January 21, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article ten, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the West Virginia public employees retirement act; and providing that final average salary includes the last month of earnings for the calculation of retirement benefits.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article ten, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ACT.
§5-10-2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases as used in this article, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context, have the following meanings:
(1) "State" means the state of West Virginia;
(2) "Retirement system" or "system" means the West Virginia public employees retirement system created and established by this article;
(3) "Board of trustees" or "board" means the board of trustees of the West Virginia public employees retirement system;
(4) "Political subdivision" means the state of West Virginia, a county, city or town in the state; a school corporation or corporate unit; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns: Provided, That any mental health agency participating in the public employees retirement system before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety- seven, is considered a political subdivision solely for the purpose of permitting those employees who are members of the public employees retirement system to remain members and continue to participate in the retirement system at their option after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven;
(5) "Participating public employer" means the state of West Virginia, any board, commission, department, institution or spending unit, and includes any agency created by rule of the supreme court of appeals having full-time employees, which for the purposes of this article is considered a department of state government; and any political subdivision in the state which has elected to cover its employees, as defined in this article, under the West Virginia public employees retirement system;
(6) "Employee" means any person who serves regularly as an officer or employee, full time, on a salary basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of, and whose compensation is payable, in whole or in part, by any political subdivision, or an officer or employee whose compensation is calculated on a daily basis and paid monthly or on completion of assignment, including technicians and other personnel employed by the West Virginia national guard whose compensation, in whole or in part, is paid by the federal government: Provided, That members of the state Legislature, the clerk of the House of Delegates, the clerk of the state Senate, employees of the state Legislature whose term of employment is otherwise classified as temporary and who are employed to perform services required by the Legislature for its regular sessions or during the interim between regular sessions and who have been or are employed during regular sessions or during the interim between regular sessions in seven consecutive calendar years, as certified by the clerk of the house in which the employee served, members of the legislative body of any political subdivision and judges of the state court of claims are considered to be employees, anything contained in this article to the contrary notwithstanding. In any case of doubt as to who is an employee within the meaning of this article the board of trustees shall decide the question;
(7) "Member" means any person who is included in the membership of the retirement system;
(8) "Retirant" means any member who retires with an annuity payable by the retirement system;
(9) "Beneficiary" means any person, except a retirant, who is entitled to, or will be entitled to, an annuity or other benefit payable by the retirement system;
(10) "Service" means personal service rendered to a participating public employer by an employee, as defined in this article, of a participating public employer;
(11) "Prior service" means service rendered prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred sixty-one, to the extent credited a member as provided in this article;
(12) "Contributing service" means service rendered by a member within this state and for which the member made contributions to a public retirement system account of this state, to the extent credited him or her as provided by this article. This revised definition is retroactive and applicable to the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred eighty-eight, and thereafter;
(13) "Credited service" means the sum of a member's prior service credit and contributing service credit standing to his or her credit as provided in this article;
(14) "Compensation" means the remuneration paid a member by a participating public employer for personal services rendered by him or her to the participating public employer. In the event a member's remuneration is not all paid in money, his or her participating public employer shall fix the value of the portion of his or her remuneration which is not paid in money;
(15) "Final average salary" means either: (a) The average of the highest annual compensation received by a member (including a member of the Legislature who participates in the retirement system in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-one or thereafter) during any period of three consecutive years of his or her credited service contained within his or her ten years of credited service immediately preceding the date his or her employment with a participating public employer last terminated; or (b) if he or she has less than five years of credited service, the average of the annual rate of compensation received by him or her during his or her total years of credited service; and in determining the annual compensation, under either (a) or (b) of this subdivision, of a member of the Legislature who participates in the retirement system as a member of the Legislature in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-one or in any year thereafter, his or her actual legislative compensation (the total of all compensation paid under sections two, three, four and five, article two-a, chapter four of this code) in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-one or in any year thereafter, plus any other compensation he or she receives in any such year from any other participating public employer including the state of West Virginia, without any multiple in excess of one times his or her actual legislative compensation and other compensation, shall be used: Provided, That "final average salary" for any former member of the Legislature or for any member of the Legislature in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-one who, in either event, was a member of the Legislature on the thirtieth day of November, one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight, or the thirtieth day of November, one thousand nine hundred sixty-nine, or the thirtieth day of November, one thousand nine hundred seventy, or on the thirtieth day of November in any one or more of those three years, and who participated in the retirement system as a member of the Legislature in any one or more of those years means: (i) Either (notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision preceding this proviso) one thousand five hundred dollars multiplied by eight, plus the highest other compensation the former member or member received in any one of the three years from any other participating public employer including the state of West Virginia; or (ii) "final average salary" determined in accordance with (a) or (b) of this subdivision, whichever computation shall produce the higher final average salary (and in determining the annual compensation under (ii) of this proviso, the legislative compensation of the former member shall be computed on the basis of one thousand five hundred dollars multiplied by eight, and the legislative compensation of the member shall be computed on the basis set forth in the provisions of this subdivision immediately preceding this proviso or on the basis of one thousand five hundred dollars multiplied by eight, whichever computation as to the member produces the higher annual compensation); "final average salary" shall include the last month of earnings for the calculation of retirement benefits;
(16) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensations of a member and credited to his or her individual account in the members' deposit fund, together with regular interest thereon;
(17) "Regular interest" means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the board of trustees adopts from time to time;
(18) "Annuity" means an annual amount payable by the retirement system throughout the life of a person. All annuities shall be paid in equal monthly installments, using the upper cent for any fraction of a cent;
(19) "Annuity reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made to a retirant or beneficiary of a retirant on account of any annuity, computed upon the basis of such mortality and other tables of experience, and regular interest, as the board of trustees adopts from time to time;
(20) "Retirement" means a member's withdrawal from the employ of a participating public employer with an annuity payable by the retirement system; and
(21) "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of such mortality table and regular interest as the board of trustees adopts from time to time.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that the "final average salary" includes the last month of earnings for the calculation of retirement benefits for public employees.

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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