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Introduced Version Senate Bill 44 History

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Senate Bill No. 44

(By Senators Hunter, White, Dempsey and Weeks)

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[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Pensions; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18-7A-25 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to State Teachers Retirement System; and allowing eligibility for retirement, with full pension rights, when a member's age plus years of contributing service equals or exceeds eighty.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-7A-25 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-25. Eligibility for retirement allowance.
Any member who has attained the age of sixty years or who has had thirty-five years of total service as a teacher in West Virginia, regardless of age, shall be is eligible for an annuity. No new entrant nor present member shall be is eligible for an annuity, however, if either has less than five years of service to his or her credit.
Any member who has attained the age of fifty-five years and who has served thirty years as a teacher in West Virginia shall be eligible for an annuity.
Any member who has served at least thirty but less than thirty-five years as a teacher in West Virginia and is less than fifty-five years of age shall be eligible for an annuity, but the same shall be the reduced actuarial equivalent of the annuity the member would have received if such member were age fifty-five at the time such annuity was applied for.
Any member may retire with full pension rights, without reduction of benefits, when the sum of the member's age plus total years of service equals or exceeds eighty: Provided, That ten years of the member's total years of service may be out-of-state service or prior service or any combination thereof not exceeding an aggregate of ten years.
The request for any annuity shall be made by the member in writing to the retirement board, but in case of retirement for disability, the written request may be made by either the member or the employer.
A member shall be is eligible for annuity for disability if he or she satisfies the conditions in either subdivision (a) or subdivision (b) and meets the conditions of subdivision (c) as follows:
(a) His or her service as a teacher in West Virginia must total at least ten years, and service as a teacher must have been terminated because of disability, which disability must have caused absence from service for at least six months before his or her application for disability annuity is approved.
(b) His or her service as a teacher in West Virginia must total at least five years, and service as a teacher must have been terminated because of disability, which disability must have caused absence from service for at least six months before his or her application for disability annuity is approved and said disability is a direct and total result of an act of student violence directed toward the member.
(c) An examination by a physician or physicians selected by the retirement board must show that the member is at the time mentally or physically incapacitated for service as a teacher, that for such the service the disability is total and likely to be permanent, and that he or she should be retired in consequence thereof of the disability.
Continuance of the disability of the retired teacher shall be established by medical examination, as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, annually for five years after retirement, and thereafter after that at such times as the retirement board may require. Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, a member who has retired because of a disability may select an option of payment under the provisions of section twenty-eight of this article: Provided, That any option selected under the provisions of section twenty-eight of this article shall be in all respects the actuarial equivalent of the straight life annuity benefit the disability retiree receives or would receive if the options under section twenty-eight of this article were not available and that no beneficiary or beneficiaries of the disability annuitant may receive a greater benefit, nor receive any benefit for a greater length of time, than such the beneficiary or beneficiaries would have received had the disability retiree not made any election of the options available under said section twenty-eight. In determining the actuarial equivalence, the board shall take into account the life expectancies of the member and the beneficiary: Provided, however, That the life expectancies may at the discretion of the board be established by an underwriting medical director of a competent insurance company offering annuities. Payment of the disability annuity provided in this article shall cease immediately if the retirement board finds that the disability of the retired teacher no longer exists, or if the retired teacher refuses to submit to medical examination as required by this section.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide teacher retirement eligibility, with full pension rights, when a member's age plus years of total service equals or exceeds eighty.

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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