Senate Bill No. 15

(By Senator Bowman)


[Introduced January 14, 1998;

referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty-six, article seven-a, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the state teachers retirement system; and revising the computation of annuities thereunder by revising the method by which a teacher's final average salary is computed.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-six, 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:

§18-7A-26. Computation of annuities.

(a) Annuitants whose annuities were approved by the retirement board effective before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty, shall be paid the annuities which were approved by the retirement board.
(b) Annuities approved by the board effective after June thirty, one thousand nine hundred eighty, shall be computed as provided herein.
(c) Upon establishment of eligibility for a retirement allowance, a member shall be granted an annuity which shall be is the sum of the following:
(a) (1) Two percent of the member's final average salary multiplied by his or her total service credit as a teacher. In this paragraph "final average salary" shall mean means the average of the highest annual salaries received by the member during any five years contained within his last fifteen years of total service credit: Provided, That the highest annual salary used in this calculation for certain members employed by the West Virginia board of regents at institutions of higher education under its control shall be four thousand eight hundred dollars, as provided by section fourteen-a of this article and chapter; either: (i) The average of the highest annual compensation received by a member during any period of three consecutive years of his or her credited service contained within his or her ten years of credited service immediately preceding the date his or her employment with a participating employer last terminated; or (ii) if he or she has less than five years of credited service, the average of the annual rate of compensation received by him or her during his or her total years of credited service.
(b) (2) The actuarial equivalent of the voluntary deposits of the member in his or her individual account up to the time of his or her retirement, with regular interest.
(d) The disability annuities of all teachers retired for disability shall be are based upon a disability table prepared by a competent actuary approved by the retirement board.
(e) Upon the death of an annuitant who qualified for an annuity as a surviving spouse or because of permanent disability, the estate of the deceased or beneficiary designated for such that purpose, shall be paid the difference, if any, between the member's contributions with regular interest thereon, and the sum of the annuity payments.
(f) All annuities shall be are paid in twelve monthly payments. In computing the monthly payments, fractions of a cent shall be deemed are considered a cent. The monthly payments shall cease with the payment for the month within which the beneficiary dies, and shall begin with the payment for the month succeeding the month within which the annuitant became eligible under this article for the annuity granted; in no case, however, shall may an annuitant receive more than four monthly payments which are retroactive after the board receives his or her application for annuity. Beginning with the first day of July one thousand nine hundred ninety-four, the monthly payments shall be are made on the twenty-fifth day of each month, except the month of December, when the payment shall be is made on the eighteenth day of December. If the date of payment falls on a holiday, Saturday or Sunday, then the payment shall be is made on the preceding workday.
(g) In case the retirement board receives data affecting the approved annuity of a retired teacher, the annuity shall be changed in accordance with the data, the change being effective with the payment for the month within which the board received the new data.
(h) Any person who has attained the age of sixty-five and who has served at least twenty-five years as a teacher prior to July one, one thousand nine hundred forty-one, shall be is eligible for prior service credit and for prior service pensions as prescribed in this section.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that final average salary for both public employees retirement and teachers retirement is computed using the same formula.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.