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Introduced Version House Bill 3209 History

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hb3209 intr
H. B. 3209


(By Delegates Boggs, Butcher, DeLong, Beach and Wakim)
[Introduced March 24, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §18-7A-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to permitting certain members of the State Teachers Retirement System who have been called to active duty in the areas of conflict of Iraq or Afghanistan to repurchase the time served on active duty by making payments thereon.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-7A-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, 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; qualified military service.

(a) Under rules adopted by the Retirement Board, 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 the 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.
(b) 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" includes 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. The military service is considered equivalent to public school teaching, and the salary equivalent for each year of that service is 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 not exceed ten years for any one member, nor shall it exceed twenty-five percent of total service at the time of retirement: Provided, That those members who were called to active duty from covered service after the eleventh day of September, two thousand one, to serve in the conflict in Afghanistan or in Iraq may, upon their return to covered service, repurchase the time he or she was absent from covered service while on active duty over a period of time not to exceed five consecutive years from the date the repayment is commenced: Provided, however, That any member called to active duty from covered service after the eleventh day of September, two thousand one, to serve in the conflict in Afghanistan or Iraq shall automatically receive one year service credit if the member served in either of these countries for a period in excess of twelve months. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this subsection, contributions, benefits and service credit with respect to qualified military service shall be provided in accordance with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. For purposes of this section, "qualified military service" has the same meaning as in Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Retirement Board is authorized to determine all questions and make all decisions relating to this section and, pursuant to the authority granted to the Retirement Board in section one, article ten-d, chapter five of this code, may promulgate rules relating to contributions, benefits and service credit to comply with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(c) 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 that 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. The interest shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service credit granted at the time of retirement shall 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 not be used to establish eligibility for a retirement allowance and the Retirement Board shall grant credit for the transferred service as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer of out-of-state service is prohibited if the 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 not be used to compute the average final salary of the member under the Retirement System.
(d) Service credit for members or retired members shall not be denied on the basis of minimum income rules 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 the minimum income rules of the Teachers Retirement Board.
(e) No members shall be 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.
(f) No member shall be considered absent from service as a teacher while serving as an officer with a statewide professional teaching association, or who has served in that capacity, and no retired teacher, who served in that capacity while a member, shall be considered to have been absent from service as a teacher by reason of that service: Provided, That the period of service credit granted for that service shall not exceed ten years: Provided, however, That a member or retired teacher who is serving or has served as an officer of a statewide professional teaching association shall make deposits to the Teachers Retirement Board, for the time of any 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.
(g) 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 subsection 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 to be determined by the Board compounded annually from the date of withdrawal to the date of payment. The interest paid shall be deposited in the reserve fund.
(h) 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. The interest shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service granted at the time of retirement shall 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 the transfer as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer of parochial school service is prohibited if the service is used to obtain a retirement benefit from another retirement system.
(i) Active members who previously worked in CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) may receive service credit for time served in that capacity: Provided, That in order to receive service credit under the provisions of this subsection the following conditions must be met: (1) The member must have moved from temporary employment with the participating employer to permanent full-time employment with the participating employer within one hundred twenty days following the termination of the member's CETA employment; (2) the Board must receive evidence that establishes to a reasonable degree of certainty as determined by the Board that the member previously worked in CETA; and (3) the member shall pay to the Board an amount equal to the employer and employee contribution plus interest at the amount set by the Board for the amount of service credit sought pursuant to this subsection: Provided, however, That the maximum service credit that may be obtained under the provisions of this subsection is two years: Provided further, That a member must apply and pay for the service credit allowed under this subsection and provide all necessary documentation by the thirty-first day of March, two thousand three: And provided further, That the Board shall exercise due diligence to notify affected employees of the provisions of this subsection.
(j) If a member is not eligible for prior service credit or pension as provided in this article, then his or her prior service shall not be considered a part of his or her total service.
(k) A member who withdrew from membership may 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.
(l) Subject to the provisions of subsections (a) through (l), inclusive, of this section, 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 for the certificates under the provisions of this article. The certificates shall state the length of the prior service credit, but in no case shall the prior service credit exceed forty years.
(m) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, when a member is or has been elected to serve as a member of the Legislature, and the proper discharge of his or her duties of public office require that member to be absent from his or her teaching or administrative duties, the time served in discharge of his or her duties of the legislative office are credited as time served for purposes of computing service credit: Provided, That the Board may not require any additional contributions from that member in order for the Board to credit him or her with the contributing service credit earned while discharging official legislative duties: Provided, however, That nothing herein may be construed to relieve the employer from making the employer contribution at the member's regular salary rate or rate of pay from that employer on the contributing service credit earned while the member is discharging his or her official legislative duties. These employer payments shall commence as of the first day of June, two thousand: Provided further, That any member to which the provisions of this subsection apply may elect to pay to the Board an amount equal to what his or her contribution would have been for those periods of time he or she was serving in the Legislature. The periods of time upon which the member paid his or her contribution shall then be included for purposes of determining his or her final average salary as well as for determining years of service: And provided further, That a member utilizing the provisions of this subsection is not required to pay interest on any contributions he or she may decide to make.
(n) The Teachers Retirement Board shall grant service credit to any former member of the State Police Death, Disability and Retirement System who has been a contributing member for more than three years, for service previously credited by the State Police Death, Disability and 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 the member shall add to the amounts transferred or repaid under this paragraph an amount which is 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 State Police Death, Disability and 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.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow those members of the Teachers Retirement System who have been called to active duty since September 11, 2001, to repurchase the time by making payments.

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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