H. B. 2433
(By Delegates McGraw, Tillis, Fragale and Dempsey)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article seven-a,
chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to education;
state teachers retirement system; computation of teachers'
service; and providing that maternity leave is not absence
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article seven-a, chapter eighteen of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
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.
Under such rules
and regulations as the retirement board may adopt, 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 such 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
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" shall include 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.
Such military service shall be deemed equivalent to public school
teaching, and the salary equivalent for each year of such service
shall be 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.
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 such 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.
Such interest shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service
credit so 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 such transferred service
as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer
of out-of-state service shall be prohibited if such 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 such member under the
Service credit for members or retired members shall not be
denied on the basis of minimum income regulations 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 such minimum
income regulations of the teachers retirement board.
No members shall be deemed 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: Provided, That the
member makes contributions to the system equal to what would have
been contributed during the period of absence had he or she
performed his or her duties.
No members shall be deemed absent from service while on
maternity leave. Further, any member that has lost retirement
credit in past years while being off on maternity leave shall
immediately be given one year credit for each occasion that they
were off on forced maternity leave.
No member shall be deemed absent from service as a teacher
while serving as an officer with a statewide professional
teaching association, or who has served in such capacity, and no
retired teacher, who served in such capacity while a member,
shall be deemed to have been absent from service as a teacher by
reason of such service: Provided, That the period of service
credit granted for such service shall not exceed six 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 such 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.
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 paragraph 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 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.
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. Such interest
shall be deposited in the reserve fund and service so 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 such transfer as additional service only: Provided, however, That a transfer of parochial school
service is prohibited if such service is used to obtain a
retirement benefit from another retirement system.
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 deemed a part of his or her total service.
A member who withdrew from membership shall be permitted to
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.
Subject to the above provisions, 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 therefor under the provisions of this article.
Such certificates shall state the length of such prior service
credit, but in no case shall the prior service credit exceed
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to give teachers credit
towards retirement for maternity leave up to one year following
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.