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Introduced Version House Bill 2288 History

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hb2288 intr
H. B. 2288


(By Delegates Stemple and Boggs)

[Introduced February 14, 2005 ; referred to the

Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §7-14D-2, §7-14D-3, §7-14D-4, §7-14D-5, §7-14D-7, §7-14D-8, §7-14D-8a, §7-14D-13, §7-14D-15, §7-14D-16 and §7-14D-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §7-14E-1 of said code, all relating to including conservation officers into the Deputy Sheriff Retirement System Act.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §7-14D-2, §7-14D-3, §7-14D-4, §7-14D-5, §7-14D-7, §7-14D-8, §7-14D-8a, §7-14D-13, §7-14D-15, §7-14D-16 and §7-14D-18 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §7-14E-1 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 14D. DEPUTY SHERIFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM ACT.

§7-14D-2. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or
the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(a) "Accrued benefit" means on behalf of any member two and one-quarter percent of the member's final average salary multiplied by the member's years of credited service. A member's accrued benefit may not exceed the limits of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and is subject to the provisions of section nine-a of this article.

(b) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member, or paid on his or her behalf pursuant to article ten-c, chapter five of this code, either pursuant to section seven of this article or section twenty-nine, article ten, chapter five of this code as a result of covered employment together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.

(c) "Active military duty" means full-time active duty with any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, including service with the National Guard or reserve military forces when the member has been called to active full-time duty and has received no compensation during the period of that duty from any board or employer other than the armed forces.

(d) "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(e) "Annual compensation" means the wages paid to the member
during covered employment within the meaning of Section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based upon the nature or location of employment or services performed during the plan year plus amounts excluded under Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense allowances, cash or noncash fringe benefits or both, deferred compensation and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars as adjusted for cost of living in accordance with Section 401(a)(17)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(f) "Annual leave service" means accrued annual leave.

(g) "Annuity starting date" means the first day of the first period for which an amount is received as an annuity by reason of retirement. For purposes of this subsection, if retirement income payments commence after the normal retirement age, "retirement" means the later of the last day the member worked in covered employment and the normal retirement age.

(h) "Base salary" means a member's cash compensation exclusive of overtime from covered employment during the last twelve months of employment. Until a member has worked twelve months, annualized base salary is used as base salary.

(i) "Board" means the Consolidated Public Retirement Board
created pursuant to article ten-d, chapter five of this code.
(j) "Conservation officers" means persons employed as full-time salaried conservation officers by the Division of Natural Resources whose duties as conservation officers are outlined in section four, article seven, chapter twenty of this code. This definition may not be considered to include any person or persons appointed as special or emergency conservation officers under the authority of section one, article seven, chapter twenty of this code.

(j) (k) "County commission" has the meaning ascribed to it in section one, article one, chapter seven of this code.

(k) (l) "Covered employment" means either: (1) Employment as a deputy sheriff and the active performance of the duties required of a deputy sheriff; or (2) the period of time which active duties are not performed but disability benefits are received under section fourteen or fifteen of this article; or (3) concurrent employment by a deputy sheriff in a job or jobs in addition to his or her employment as a deputy sheriff where the secondary employment requires the deputy sheriff to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the consolidated public retirement board pursuant to article ten-d of chapter five of this code: Provided, That the deputy sheriff contribute to the fund created in section six of this article the amount specified as the deputy sheriff's contribution in section seven of this article.

(l) (m) "Credited service" means the sum of a member's years of service, active military duty, disability service and annual leave service.

(m) (n) "Deputy sheriff" means an individual employed as a county law-enforcement deputy sheriff in this state and as defined by section two, article fourteen, chapter seven of this code.

(n) (o) "Dependent child" means either:

(1) An unmarried person under age eighteen who is:

(A) A natural child of the member;

(B) A legally adopted child of the member;

(C) A child who at the time of the member's death was living with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any period of probation; or

(D) A stepchild of the member residing in the member's household at the time of the member's death; or

(2) Any unmarried child under age twenty-three:

(A) Who is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university;

(B) Who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal income tax purposes at the time of the member's death; and

(C) Whose relationship with the member is described in subparagraph (A), (B) or (C), paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(o) (p) "Dependent parent" means the father or mother of the member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal
income tax purposes at the time of the member's death.
(p) (q) "Disability service" means service received by a member, expressed in whole years, fractions thereof or both, equal to one half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which time a member receives disability benefits under section fourteen or fifteen of this article.

(q) (r) "Early retirement age" means age forty or over and completion of twenty years of service.

(r) (s) "Effective date" means the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight.

(s) (t) "Final average salary" means the average of the highest annual compensation received for covered employment by the member during any five consecutive plan years within the member's last ten years of service. If the member did not have annual compensation for the five full plan years preceding the member's attainment of normal retirement age and during that period the member received disability benefits under section fourteen or fifteen of this article then "final average salary" means the average of the monthly salary determined paid to the member during that period as determined under section seventeen of this article multiplied by twelve.

(t) (u) "Fund" means the West Virginia deputy sheriff retirement fund created pursuant to section six of this article.

(u) (v) "Hour of service" means:

(1) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during which time active duties are performed. These hours shall be credited to the member for the plan year in which the duties are performed; and

(2) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to payment for covered employment during a plan year but where no duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of absence, or any combination thereof, and without regard to whether the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this paragraph shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West Virginia division of labor rules. A member will not be credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she is receiving benefits under section fourteen or fifteen of this article; and

(3) Each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the employing county commission, irrespective of mitigation of damages. The same hours of service shall not be credited both under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision and under this paragraph. Hours under this paragraph shall be credited to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or agreement pertains, rather than the plan year in which the award, agreement or payment is made.

(v) (w) "Member" means a person first hired as a deputy
sheriff after the effective date of this article, as defined in subsection (r) of this section, or any conservation officer who was first hired after the effective date of this amendment, or a deputy sheriff first hired prior to the effective date of this section or a conservation officer who was first hired prior to the effective date of this amendment and who elects to become a member pursuant to section five or section seventeen of this article. A member shall remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid or forfeited.
(w) (x) "Monthly salary" means the portion of a member's annual compensation which is paid to him or her per month.

(x) (y) "Normal form" means a monthly annuity which is one twelfth of the amount of the member's accrued benefit which is payable for the member's life. If the member dies before the sum of the payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the total of the retirement income payments made to the member.

(y) (z) "Normal retirement age" means the first to occur of the following:

(1) Attainment of age fifty years and the completion of twenty or more years of service;

(2) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least
age fifty years and when the sum of current age plus years of service equals or exceeds seventy years;
(3) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least age sixty years and completion of five years of service; or

(4) Attainment of age sixty-two years and completion of five or more years of service.

(z) (aa) "Partially disabled" means a member's inability to engage in the duties of deputy sheriff by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. A member may be determined partially disabled for the purposes of this article and maintain the ability to engage in other gainful employment which exists within the State but which ability would not enable him or her to earn an amount at least equal to two thirds of the average annual compensation earned by all active members of this plan during the plan year ending as of the most recent thirtieth day of June, as of which plan data has been assembled and used for the actuarial valuation of the plan.

(aa) (bb) "Public Employees Retirement System" means the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System created by article ten, chapter five of this code.

(bb) (cc) "Plan" means the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Death, Disability and Retirement Plan established by this article.

(cc) (dd) "Plan year" means the twelve-month period commencing on the first day of July of any designated year and ending the following thirtieth day of June.

(dd) (ee) "Regular interest" means the rate or rates of interest per annum, compounded annually, as the Board adopts in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(ee) (ff) "Retirement income payments" means the annual retirement income payments payable under the plan.

(ff) (gg) "Spouse" means the person to whom the member is legally married on the annuity starting date.

(gg) (hh) "Surviving spouse" means the person to whom the member was legally married at the time of the member's death and who survived the member.

(hh) (ii) "Totally disabled" means a member's inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.

For purposes of this subdivision:

(1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical or mental impairment or impairments are so severe that he or she is not only unable to perform his or her previous work as a deputy sheriff but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful
employment which exists in the State regardless of whether: (A) The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives; (B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired if he or she applied for work.
(2) "Physical or mental impairment" is an impairment that results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.

A member's receipt of social security disability benefits creates a rebuttable presumption that the member is totally disabled for purposes of this plan. Substantial gainful employment rebuts the presumption of total disability.

(ii) (jj) "Year of service." A member shall, except in his or her first and last years of covered employment, be credited with year of service credit based upon the hours of service performed as covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year based upon the following schedule:

Hours of Service
Year of Service Credited

Less than 500 ........................ 0

500 to 999 ........................... 1/3

1,000 to 1,499 ....................... 2/3

1,500 or more ........................ 1

During a member's first and last years of covered employment, the member shall be credited with one twelfth of a year of service
for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited with an hour of service. A member is not entitled to credit for years of service for any time period during which he or she received disability payments under section fourteen or fifteen of this article. Except as specifically excluded, years of service include covered employment prior to the effective date.
Years of service which are credited to a member prior to his or her receipt of accumulated contributions upon termination of employment pursuant to section thirteen of this article or section thirty, article ten, chapter five of this code, shall be disregarded for all purposes under this plan unless the member repays the accumulated contributions with interest pursuant to section twelve of this article or had prior to the effective date made the repayment pursuant to section eighteen, article ten, chapter five of this code.

(jj) (kk) "Required beginning date" means the first day of April of the calendar year following the later of: (i) The calendar year in which the member attains age seventy and one-half; or (ii) the calendar year in which he or she retires or otherwise separates from covered employment.

§7-14D-3. Creation and administration of West Virginia Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System; specification of actuarial assumptions.

There is hereby created the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System. The purpose of this system is to provide for the orderly retirement of deputy sheriffs and conservation officers who become superannuated because of age or permanent disability and to provide certain survivor death benefits. The retirement system constitutes a body corporate. All business of the system shall be is transacted in the name of the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System. The Board shall specify and adopt all actuarial assumptions for the plan at its first meeting of every calendar year or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, which assumptions shall become part of the plan.
§7-14D-4. Article to be liberally construed; supplements federal social security; federal qualification requirements.

(a) The provisions of this article shall be liberally construed so as to provide a general retirement system for deputy sheriffs and conservation officers eligible to retire under the provisions of this plan. Nothing in this article may be construed to permit a county to substitute this plan for federal social security now in force in West Virginia.
(b) The Board shall administer the plan in accordance with its terms and may construe the terms and determine all questions arising in connection with the administration, interpretation and application of the plan. The Board may sue and be sued, contract and be contracted with and conduct all the business of the system in the name of the plan. The Board may employ those persons it considers necessary or desirable to administer the plan. The Board shall administer the plan for the exclusive benefit of the members and their beneficiaries subject to the specific provisions of the plan.
(c) The plan is intended to meet the federal qualification requirements of Section 401(a) and related sections of the Internal Revenue Code as applicable to governmental plans. Notwithstanding any other provision of State law, the board shall administer the plan to fulfill this intent for the exclusive benefit of the members and their beneficiaries. Any provision of this article referencing or relating to these federal qualification requirements shall be effective as of the date required by federal law. The Board may promulgate rules and amend or repeal conflicting rules in accordance with the authority granted to the Board pursuant to section one, article ten-d of chapter five to assure compliance with the requirements of this section.
§7-14D-5. Members.
(a) Any deputy sheriff first employed by a county in covered employment after the effective date of this article or any conservation officer first employed by the State in covered employment after the effective date of this amendment shall be a member of this retirement system and plan and does not qualify for membership in any other retirement system administered by the board, so long as he or she remains employed in covered employment.
(b) Any deputy sheriff employed in covered employment on the effective date of this article shall within six months of that effective date notify in writing both the county commission in the county in which he or she is employed and the board of his or her desire to become a member of the plan: Provided, That this time period is extended to the thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, in accordance with the decision of the
Supreme Court of Appeals in West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs' Association, et al v. James L. Sims, et al, No. 25212: Provided, however, That any deputy sheriff employed in covered employment on the effective date of this article has an additional time period consisting of the ten-day period following the day after which the
amended provisions of this section become law to notify in writing both the county commission in the county in which he or she is employed and the board of his or her desire to become a member of the plan. Any deputy sheriff who elects to become a member of the plan ceases to be a member or have any credit for covered employment in any other retirement system administered by the board and shall continue to be ineligible for membership in any other retirement system administered by the board so long as the deputy sheriff remains employed in covered employment in this plan: Provided further, That any deputy sheriff who elects during the time period from the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, to the thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, or who so elects during the ten-day time period occurring immediately following the day after the day the amendments made during the one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine legislative session become law, to transfer from the Public Employees Retirement System to the plan created in this article shall contribute to the plan created in this article at the rate set forth in section seven of this article retroactive to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight. Any deputy sheriff who does not affirmatively elect to become a member of the plan continues to be eligible for any other retirement system as is from time to time offered to other county employees but is ineligible for this plan regardless of any subsequent termination of employment and rehire.
(c) Any deputy sheriff who was employed as a deputy sheriff prior to the effective date, but was not employed as a deputy sheriff on the effective date of this article, shall become a member upon rehire as a deputy sheriff. For purposes of this section, the member's years of service and credited service prior to the effective date shall not be counted for any purposes under this plan unless: (1) The deputy sheriff has not received the return of his or her accumulated contributions in the Public Employees Retirement Fund System pursuant to section thirty, article ten, chapter five of this code; or (2) the accumulated contributions returned to the member from the public employees retirement system have been repaid pursuant to section thirteen of this article. If the conditions of subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection are met, all years of the deputy sheriff's covered employment shall be counted as years of service for the purposes of this article. Each transferring deputy sheriff shall be given credited service for the purposes of this article for all covered employment transferred from the public employees retirement system regardless of whether the credited service (as that term is defined in section two, article ten, chapter five of this code) was earned as a deputy sheriff. All service in the Public Employees Retirement System accrued by a transferring deputy sheriff shall be transferred into the plan created by this article and the transferring deputy sheriff shall be given the same credit for the purposes of this article for all covered service which is transferred from the Public Employees Retirement System as that transferring deputy sheriff would have received from the Public Employees Retirement System if the transfer had not occurred. In connection with each deputy sheriff receiving credit for prior employment provided in this subsection, a transfer from Public Employees Retirement System to this plan shall be made pursuant to the procedures described in section eight of this article.
(d) Once made, the election made under this section is irrevocable. All deputy sheriffs first employed after the effective date of this article or all conservation officers first employed after the effective date of this amendment and deputy sheriffs or conservation officers electing to become members as described in this section shall be members as a condition of employment and shall make the contributions required by section seven of this article.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, any individual who is a leased employee shall not be eligible to participate in the plan. For purposes of this plan, a "leased employee" means any individual who performs services as an independent contractor or pursuant to an agreement with an employee leasing organization or similar organization. If a question arises regarding the status of an individual as a leased employee, the board has final power to decide the question.
§7-14D-7. Members' contributions; employer contributions.
There shall be deducted from the monthly salary of each member and paid into the fund an amount equal to eight and one-half percent of his or her monthly salary. Any active member who has concurrent employment in an additional job or jobs and the additional employment requires the deputy sheriff to be a member of another retirement system which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to article ten-d, chapter five of this code shall contribute to the fund the sum of eight and one-half percent of his or her monthly salary earned as a deputy sheriff as well as the sum of eight and one-half percent of his or her monthly salary earned from any additional employment which additional employment requires the deputy sheriff to be a member of another retirement which is administered by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board pursuant to article ten-d, chapter five of this code. An additional amount shall be paid to the fund by the county commission of the county in which the member is employed in covered employment in an amount determined by the board. The employing agency shall pay the additional amount of the monthly salary for conservation officers employed in covered employment: Provided, That in no year may the total of the contributions provided for in this section, to be paid by the county commission, exceed ten and one-half percent of the total payroll for the members in the employ of the county commission for the preceding fiscal year. If the Board finds that the benefits provided by this article can be actually funded with a lesser contribution, then the Board shall reduce the required member or employer contributions or both. The sums withheld each calendar month shall be paid to the fund no later than ten days following the end of the calendar month.
§7-14D-8. Transfer from Public Employees Retirement System.
(a) The Consolidated Retirement Board shall, within ninety days of the effective date of the transfer of a deputy sheriff or a conservation officer from the Public Employees Retirement System to the plan, transfer assets from the Public Employees Retirement System Trust Fund into the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Trust Fund.
(b) The amount of assets to be transferred for each transferring deputy sheriff shall be computed as of the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, using the actuarial valuation assumptions in effect for the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, actuarial valuation of Public Employees Retirement System, and updated with seven and one-half percent annual interest to the date of the actual asset transfer. The amount of assets to be transferred for each transferring conservation officer shall be computed as of the first day of July, two thousand five, actuarial valuation of public employees retirement, and updated with seven and one-half percent annual interest to the date of the actual asset transfer. The market value of the assets of the transferring deputy sheriff or conservation officer in the Public Employees Retirement System shall be determined as of the end of the month preceding the actual transfer. To determine the computation of the asset share to be transferred the Board shall:
(1) Compute the market value of the Public Employees Retirement System assets;
(2) Compute the accrued liability for all Public Employees Retirement System retirees, beneficiaries, disabled retirees and terminated inactive members;
(3) Reduce the market value of Public Employees Retirement System assets by the accrued liability determined in subdivision (2) of this subsection;
(4) Compute the entry age method accrued liability for all active Public Employees Retirement System members;
(5) Compute the share of accrued liability as determined pursuant to subdivision (4) of this subsection, that is attributable to those deputy sheriffs or conservation officers in Public Employees Retirement System who have elected to transfer to the plan;
(6) Compute the percentage of active's accrued liability computed to the deputy sheriffs by dividing subdivision (5) by subdivision (4) of this subsection;
(7) Determine the asset share to be transferred from Public Employees Retirement System to the plan by multiplying subdivision (3) times subdivision(6) of this subsection.
(c) Once a deputy sheriff or conservation officer has elected to transfer from the Public Employees Retirement System, transfer of that amount as calculated in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section by the Public Employees Retirement System shall operate as a complete bar to any further liability to the transferring from the Public Employees Retirement System, and constitutes an agreement whereby the transferring deputy sheriff or conservation officer forever indemnifies and holds harmless the Public Employees Retirement System from providing him or her any form of retirement benefit whatsoever until such time as that deputy sheriff or conservation officer obtains other employment which would make him or her eligible to reenter the Public Employees Retirement System with no credit whatsoever for the amounts transferred to the Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System.
(d) The Board shall cause a judicial determination to be made regarding the transfer of assets from the Public Employees Retirement System to the Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System by causing a suit to be filed in the Supreme Court of this State seeking a writ of mandamus on or before the thirty-first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight.
(e) Any deputy sheriff who elected, on or before the thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, to transfer to the plan created by this article, has until the first day of January, two thousand, to pay any amounts required by section seven of this article as a result of the deputy sheriff's transfer to the Deputy Sheriff Retirement Fund. Any conservation officer who elects to transfer to the plan created by this article, has until the first day of January, two thousand seven, to pay any amounts required by section seven of this article as a result of the conservation officer's transfer to the Deputy Sheriff Retirement Fund.
§7-14D-8a. Notice requirements; test case.
(a) Each county or employing authority shall prepare a written notice to be delivered to each deputy sheriff or conservation officer employed prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight. This notice shall clearly and accurately explain the benefits, financial implications and consequences to a deputy sheriff or conservation officer of electing to participate in the retirement plan created in this article, including the consequences and financial implications in regard to the benefits under the Public Employees Insurance Plan as set forth in article sixteen, chapter five of this code for those deputy sheriffs employed by a county which participates in that insurance plan. This notice shall be distributed to each deputy sheriff or conservation officer and the county or employing authority shall obtain a signed receipt from each deputy sheriff acknowledging that the deputy sheriff or conservation officer was provided a copy of the notice required in this subsection. If a deputy sheriff or conservation officer makes the election provided for in section eight of this article, he or she shall be considered to have made a voluntary, informed decision in regard to the election to participate in the retirement system created in this article.
(b) The Consolidated Retirement Board shall cause to be included in the judicial determination required in section eight of this article the issue regarding the possible loss of any rights in regard to benefits accorded the electing deputy or conservation officer under the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Act, article sixteen, chapter five of this code, and whether a deputy sheriff or conservation officers', by electing to participate in the retirement plan created in this article, is being unlawfully discriminated against, or is being unlawfully deprived of a right or benefit to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to alter, affect or change any of the rights and benefits of any deputy sheriff or conservation officer who has insurance coverage under article sixteen, chapter five of this code as a result of being a spouse or dependant of a participant who is the primary insured under article sixteen, chapter five of this code.
(d) Nothing contained in this section may be construed to affect or pertain to any life insurance coverage under article sixteen, chapter five of this code.

§7-14D-13. Refunds to certain members upon discharge or resignation; deferred retirement; forfeitures.

(a) Any member who terminates covered employment and is not eligible to receive disability benefits under this article is, by written request filed with the board, entitled to receive from the fund the member's accumulated contributions. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon withdrawal the member shall forfeit his or her accrued benefit and cease to be a member.
(b) Any member who withdraws accumulated contributions from either this plan or the Public Employees Retirement System and thereafter becomes reemployed in covered employment shall not receive any credited service for the prior employment unless following his or her return to covered employment, the member redeposits in the fund the amount of the accumulated contributions submitted on salary earned while a deputy sheriff, together with interest on the accumulated contributions at the rate determined by the Board from the date of withdrawal to the date of redeposit. Upon repayment he or she shall receive the same credit on account of his or her former service as if no refund had been made. The repayment shall be made in a lump sum within sixty months of the deputy sheriff's or conservation officer's reemployment or if later, within sixty months of the effective date of this article.
(c) Every member who completes sixty months of covered employment is eligible, upon cessation of covered employment, to either withdraw his or her accumulated contributions in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, or to choose not to withdraw his or her accumulated contribution and to receive retirement income payments upon attaining normal retirement age.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, forfeitures under the plan shall not be applied to increase the benefits any member would otherwise receive under the plan.
(e) Nothing contained in this section may be construed to affect or pertain to any life insurance coverage under article sixteen, chapter five of this code.
§7-14D-15. Same -- Due to other causes.

(a) Any member who after the effective date of this article and during covered employment: (1) Has been or becomes totally or partially disabled from any cause other than those set forth in section fourteen of this article and not due to vicious habits, intemperance or willful misconduct on his or her part; and (2) in the opinion of the board, he or she is by reason of the disability unable to perform adequately the duties required of a deputy sheriff or conservation officer, is entitled to receive and shall be paid from the fund in monthly installments during the lifetime of the member, or if sooner, until the member attains normal retirement age or until the disability sooner terminates the compensation set forth in, either subsection (b) or (c) of this section.
(b) If the member is totally disabled, he or she shall receive sixty-six and two-thirds percent of his or her average full monthly compensation for the twelve-month contributory period preceding the disability award, or the shorter period, if the member has not worked twelve months.
(c) If the member is partially disabled, he or she shall receive thirty-three and one-third percent of his or her average full monthly compensation for the twelve-month contributory period preceding the disability award, or the shorter period, if the member has not worked twelve months.
(d) If the member remains disabled until attaining sixty years of age, then the member shall receive the retirement benefit provided for in sections eleven and twelve of this article.
(e) The board shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code concerning member disability payments so as to ensure that the payments do not exceed one hundred percent of the average current salary in any given county for the position last held by the member.
§7-14D-16. Same -- Physical examinations; termination of disability.

The Board may require any member who has applied for or is receiving disability benefits under this article to submit to a physical examination, mental examination or both, by a physician or physicians selected or approved by the Board and may cause all costs incident to the examination and approved by the Board to be paid from the Fund. The costs may include hospital, laboratory, X ray, medical and physicians' fees. A report of the findings of any physician shall be submitted in writing to the Board for its consideration. If, from the report, independent information, or from the report and any hearing on the report, the Board is of the opinion and finds that: (1) The member has become reemployed as a law-enforcement officer; (2) two physicians who have examined the member have found that considering the opportunities for law enforcement in West Virginia, the member could be so employed as a deputy sheriff or conservation officer; or (3) other facts exist to demonstrate that the member is no longer totally disabled or partially disabled as the case may be, then the disability benefits shall cease. If the member was totally disabled and is found to have recovered, the Board shall determine whether the member continues to be partially disabled. If the Board finds that the member is no longer totally disabled but is partially disabled, then the member shall continue to receive partial disability benefits in accordance with this article. Benefits shall cease once the member has been found to be no longer either totally or partially disabled: Provided, That the Board shall require recertification for each partial or total disability at regular intervals as specified by the guidelines adopted by the Public Employees Retirement System.
§7-14D-18. Awards and benefits to surviving spouse -- When member dies in performance of duty, etc.

(a) The surviving spouse of any member who, after the effective date of this article while in covered employment, has died or dies by reason of injury, illness or disease resulting from an occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the service required of members, while the member was or is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a deputy sheriff or conservation officer, or the survivor spouse of a member who dies from any cause while receiving benefits pursuant to section fourteen of this article, is entitled to receive and shall be paid from the Fund benefits as determined in subsection (b) of this section: To the surviving spouse annually, in equal monthly installments during his or her lifetime an amount equal to the greater of: (i) Two thirds of the annual compensation received in the preceding twelve-month period by the deceased member; or (ii) if the member dies after his or her early or normal retirement age, the monthly amount which the spouse would have received had the member retired the day before his or her death, elected a one hundred percent joint and survivor annuity with the spouse as the joint annuitant, and then died.
(b) Benefits for a surviving spouse received under this section, section twenty and section twenty-one of this article are in lieu of receipt of any other benefits under this article for the spouse or any other person or under the provisions of any other state retirement system based upon the member's covered employment.
ARTICLE 14E. ESTABLISHMENT OF CERTAIN FEES; DEDICATION OF FEE TO DEPUTY SHERIFF'S AND CONSERVATION OFFICER'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§7-14E-1. Legislative findings and purpose.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the preservation of peace is a necessary and important function and a requirement for an orderly society. This important function is carried on throughout the State of West Virginia at both the State and local level. Very important components of law-enforcement in this State are the county sheriffs, and their deputies and conservation officers.
(b) The Legislature, cognizant that it has enacted retirement legislation for municipal police officers and for the State Police, declares that deputy sheriffs and conservation officers are now in need of a retirement system. The Legislature further declares that the deputy sheriffs and conservation officers of this State are professional law-enforcement officers who keep the peace, help and protect the citizens of this State. The Legislature finds that, when it comes to retirement, the deputy sheriffs and conservation officers are treated differently than other law-enforcement officers in this State.
(c) For the foregoing reasons, and for other important reasons, the Legislature created the Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System under article fourteen-d of this chapter. The fees established in this article are to help ensure the actuarial soundness of the Deputy Sheriff's Retirement System.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to include conservation officers in the Deputy Sheriff 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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