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Introduced Version House Bill 2513 History

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hb2513 intr
H. B. 2513


(By Delegate Williams)

[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the

Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §8-22-26 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing a surviving spouse's death benefit under a municipal police officer's or firefighter's pension from sixty percent to eighty percent of the member's pension.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §8-22-26 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 22. RETIREMENT BENEFITS GENERALLY; POLICEMEN'S PENSION AND RELIEF FUND; FIREMEN'S PENSION AND RELIEF FUND; PENSION PLANS FOR EMPLOYEES OF WATERWORKS SYSTEM, SEWERAGE SYSTEM OR COMBINED WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM.

§8-22-26. Death benefits.
(a) In case:
(1) Any member of a paid police or fire department who has been in continuous service for more than five years dies from any cause other than as specified in subsection (b) of this section before retirement on a disability pension under the provisions of, prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, section twenty-four of this article, or after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, sections twenty-three-a and twenty-four of this article or a retirement pension under the provisions of subsection (a) or both subsections (a) and (b), section twenty-five of this article, leaving in either case surviving, a spouse, or any dependent child or children under the age of eighteen years, or dependent father or mother, or both, or any dependent brothers or sisters, or both, under the age of eighteen years, or any dependent child over the age of eighteen years of age who is totally physically or mentally disabled so long as such condition exists; or
(2) Any former member of any such department who is on a disability pension prior to the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, under section twenty-four of this article, or after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred eighty-one, under sections twenty-three-a and twenty-four of this article, or is receiving or is entitled to receive retirement pension benefits under the provisions of subsection (a) or both subsections (a) and (b), section twenty-five of this article, dies from any cause other than as specified in subsection (b) of this section leaving in either case surviving, a spouse or any dependent child or children under the age of eighteen years or dependent father or mother, or both, or any dependent brothers or sisters, or both, under the age of eighteen years, or any dependent child over the age of eighteen years of age who is totally physically or mentally disabled so long as such the condition exists; then, in any of the cases set forth above in (1) and (2) the board of trustees of such the pension and relief fund shall, immediately following the death of such the member, pay to or for each of such the entitled surviving dependents the following pension benefits: To such the spouse, until death or remarriage, a sum per month equal to sixty eighty percent of such the member's pension or, in the event such the member was not receiving a pension at the time of his or her death, a sum per month equal to sixty percent of the monthly retirement pension such the member would have been entitled to receive pursuant to section twenty-five of this article on the date of his or her death, if such the member had then been eligible for a retirement pension thereunder, or the sum of three hundred dollars per month, whichever is greater; to each such the dependent child, a sum per month equal to twenty percent of such the member's pension or, in the event such the member was not receiving a pension on the date of his or her death, a sum per month equal to twenty percent of the monthly retirement pension such the member would have been entitled to receive pursuant to section twenty-five of this article on the date of his or her death if such the member had then been eligible for a retirement pension thereunder, or until such the child attains the age of eighteen years or marries, whichever first occurs; to each such dependent orphaned child, a sum per month equal to twenty-five percent of such the member's pension or, in the event such the member was not receiving a pension at the time of his or her death, a sum per month equal to twenty-five percent of the monthly retirement pension such the member would have been entitled to receive pursuant to section twenty-five of this article on the date of his or her death if such the member had then been eligible for a retirement pension thereunder, until such the child attains the age of eighteen years or marries, whichever first occurs; to each such dependent orphaned child, a sum per month equal to twenty-five percent of such the member's pension or, in the event such the member was not receiving a pension on the date of his or her death, a sum per month equal to twenty-five percent of the monthly retirement pension such the member would have been entitled to receive pursuant to section twenty-five of this article, on the date of his or her death if such the member had then been eligible for a retirement pension thereunder, until such the child attains the age of eighteen years or marries, whichever first occurs; to each such dependent father or mother, a sum per month for each equal to ten percent of such the member's pension or, in the event such the member was not receiving a pension on the date of his or her death, a sum per month equal to ten percent of the monthly retirement pension such the member would have been entitled to receive pursuant to section twenty-five of this article on the date of his or her death if such the member had then been eligible for a retirement pension thereunder; to each such dependent brother or sister, the sum of fifty dollars per month until such the individual attains the age of eighteen years or marries, whichever first occurs, but in no event shall the aggregate amount paid to such the brothers and sisters exceed one hundred dollars per month. If, at any time, because of the number of dependents, all such the dependents cannot be paid in full as herein provided, then each dependent shall receive his or her pro rata share of such the payments. In no case shall the payments to the surviving spouse and children be cut below sixty-five percent of the total amount paid to all dependents.
(b) The surviving spouse, child or children, or dependent father or mother, or dependent brothers or sisters, of any such member who dies by reason of service rendered in the performance of such the member's duties shall, regardless of the length of such the member's service and irrespective of whether such the member was or was not entitled to receive, or was or was not receiving, disability pension or temporary disability payments at the time of his or her death, receive the death benefits provided for in subsection (a) of this section. If such the member had less than three years' service at the time of his or her death, the member's pension shall be computed on the basis of the actual number of years of service.
(c) If a member dies without leaving a spouse, dependent child or children, or dependent father or mother, or dependent brothers or sisters, his or her contributions to the fund plus six percent interest shall be refunded to his or her named beneficiary or, if no beneficiary has been named, to his or her estate to the extent that such the contributions plus interest exceed any disability or retirement benefits that he or she may have received before his or her death.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not be construed as creating or establishing any contractual or vested rights in favor of any individual who may be or become qualified as a beneficiary of the death benefits herein authorized to be made, all the provisions hereof and benefits provided for hereunder being expressly subject to such the subsequent legislative enactments as may provide for any change, modification or elimination of the beneficiaries or benefits specified herein.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-four of this article the benefit provided for in this section shall be calculated as if the member had remained unemployed throughout any period of disability.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase a surviving spouse's death benefit under a municipal police officer's or firefighter's pension from sixty percent to eighty percent of the member's pension.

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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