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Introduced Version Senate Bill 93 History

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Senate Bill No. 93

(By Senators Oliverio, Dempsey, Barnes, Yoder and Sharpe)

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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 §15-2A-9 and §15-2A-12 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to the State Police Retirement System; and enhancing benefits for service-related disability or death of members.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §15-2A-9 and §15-2A-12
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2A. WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

§15-2A-9. Awards and benefits for disability -- Incurred in performance of duty.

(a) Any member of the Division who has been or shall become physically or mentally permanently disabled by injury, illness or disease resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the services required of members of the Division and incurred pursuant to or while the member was or shall be is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the Division shall, if, in the opinion of the retirement board, he or she is by reason of such cause unable to perform adequately the duties required of him or her as a member of the Division, but is able to engage in other gainful employment be retired from active service by the board. The member shall thereafter be entitled to receive annually and there shall be paid to the member from the fund in equal monthly installments during the lifetime of the member or until the member attains the age of fifty-five or until such the disability shall sooner terminate, one or the other of two amounts, whichever is greater:
(1) An amount equal to six tenths of the base salary received in the preceding twelve-month employment period: Provided, That if the member had not been employed with the Division for twelve months prior to the disability, the amount of monthly salary shall be annualized for the purpose of determining the benefit; or
(2) The sum of six thousand dollars.
Upon attaining age fifty-five, the member shall receive the benefit provided for in section six of this article as it would apply to his or her final average salary based on earnings from the division through the day immediately preceding his or her disability. The recalculation of benefit upon a member attaining age fifty-five shall be deemed to be a retirement under the provisions of section six of this article, for purposes of determining the amount of annual annuity adjustment and for all other purposes of this article.
(b) If any member shall become permanently physically or mentally disabled by injury, illness or disease resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the services required of members of the Division and incurred pursuant to or while such the member was or shall be is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of the Division to the extent that the member is or shall be incapacitated ever to engage in any gainful employment, the member shall be is entitled to receive annually, and there shall be paid to such the member from the fund in equal monthly installments during the lifetime of the member or until such the disability shall sooner terminate, an amount equal to the amount of the base salary received by the member in the preceding twelve-month employment period.
(c) For any service-related disability under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, there shall be provided annually during the lifetime of the member a cost-of-living adjustment equal to three percent of the member's base salary in the twelve-month employment period preceding his or her disability. Provision of this cost-of-living adjustment is made retroactive to the effective date of this article.
(d) The Superintendent of the Division is authorized to expend moneys from funds appropriated for the Division in payment of medical, surgical, laboratory, X ray, hospital, ambulance and dental expenses and fees, and reasonable costs and expenses incurred in the purchase of artificial limbs and other approved appliances which may be reasonably necessary for any member of the Division who has or shall become temporarily, permanently or totally disabled by injury, illness or disease resulting from any occupational risk or hazard inherent in or peculiar to the service required of members of the Division and incurred pursuant to or while the member was or shall be is engaged in the performance of duties as a member of the Division. Whenever the Superintendent shall determine that any disabled member is ineligible to receive any of the aforesaid benefits at public expense, the superintendent shall, at the request of the disabled member, refer such the matter to the board for hearing and final decision.
§15-2A-12. Awards and benefits to dependents of member - When member dies in performance of duty, etc.; dependent child scholarship and amount.

The surviving spouse, the dependent child or children or dependent parent or parents of any member who has lost or loses his or her life 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 member of the Division, or the survivor of a member who dies from any cause after having been retired pursuant to the provisions of section nine of this article, shall be is entitled to receive and shall be is paid from the fund benefits as follows: To the surviving spouse annually, in equal monthly installments during his or her lifetime, one or the other of two amounts, which shall become immediately available and which shall be the greater of:
(1) An amount equal to nine tenths of ten times the base salary received in the preceding twelve-month employment period by the deceased member: Provided, That if the member had not been employed with the Division for twelve months prior to his or her death, the amount of monthly salary shall be is annualized for the purpose of determining the benefit; or
(2) The sum of ten thousand dollars.
In addition thereto, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive and there shall be paid to that person one hundred fifty dollars monthly for each dependent child or children. If the surviving spouse dies or if there is no surviving spouse, there shall be paid monthly to each dependent child or children from the fund a sum equal to one third of the surviving spouse's entitlement. If there is no surviving spouse and no dependent child or children, there shall be paid annually in equal monthly installments from the fund to the dependent parents of the deceased member during their joint lifetimes a sum equal to the amount which a surviving spouse, without children, would have received: Provided, That when there is but one dependent parent surviving, that parent is entitled to receive during his or her lifetime one- half the amount which both parents, if living, would have been entitled to receive.
Any person qualifying as a surviving dependent child under this section is, in addition to any other benefits due under this or other sections of this article, entitled to receive a scholarship to be applied to the career development education of that person. This sum, up to but not exceeding seven thousand five hundred dollars, shall be paid from the fund to any university or college in this State or to any trade or vocational school or other entity in this State approved by the board, to offset the expenses of tuition, room and board, books, fees or other costs incurred in a course of study at any of these institutions so long as the recipient makes application to the board on an approved form and under any rules the board provides and maintains scholastic eligibility as defined by the institution or the board. The board may by appropriate rules define age requirements, physical and mental requirements, scholastic eligibility, disbursement methods, institutional qualifications and other requirements as necessary and not inconsistent with this section.
Awards and benefits for a surviving spouse or dependents of a member received under any section or any of the provisions of this retirement system shall be in lieu of receipt of any benefits for these persons under the provisions of any other state retirement system. Receipt of benefits under any other state retirement system shall be in lieu of any right to receive any benefits under this retirement system, so that only a single receipt of state retirement benefits shall occur.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a 3% COLA under the State Police Retirement System (Plan B), eliminate the provision that disabled members convert to regular retirement upon attaining age 55 and to increase the benefit for service related death.

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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