Senate Bill No. 210
(By Senators Plymale, Fanning, Walker,
Sprouse, Jackson, Edgell, McCabe, Snyder, Ross, Ball, Bowman and
[Introduced January 26, 2000; referred to the Committee
A BILL to amend and reenact sections two, twelve, thirteen and
twenty-one, article fourteen-d, chapter seven of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, all relating to the deputy sheriff retirement act;
definition of disability service; annuity options; changing
the method of refunds to certain members upon discharge or
resignation; and calculation of burial benefits.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two, twelve, thirteen and twenty-one, article
fourteen-d, chapter seven of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and
reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 14D. WEST VIRGINIA DEPUTY SHERIFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM ACT.
As used in this article, unless a federal law or regulation or
the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(a) "Accrued benefit" means on behalf of any member two and
one-quarter percent of the member's final average salary multiplied
by the member's years of credited service. A member's accrued
benefit may not exceed the limits of section 415 of the Internal
(b) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts
deducted from the compensation of a member, or paid on his or her
behalf pursuant to article ten-c, chapter five of this code, either
pursuant to section seven of this article or section twenty-nine,
article ten, chapter five of this code as a result of covered
employment together with regular interest on the deducted amounts.
(c) "Active military duty" means full-time active duty with
any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including
service with the national guard or reserve military forces when the
member has been called to active full-time duty and has received no
compensation during the period of that duty from any board
than the armed forces.
(d) "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value
computed upon the basis of the mortality table and interest rates
as the consolidated public retirement board may adopt from time to
(e) "Annual compensation" means the wages paid to the member
during covered employment within the meaning of section 3401(a) of
the Internal Revenue Code but determined without regard to any
rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based upon the
nature or location of employment or services performed during the
plan year plus amounts excluded under section 414(h)(2) of the
Internal Revenue Code and less reimbursements or other expense
allowances, cash or noncash fringe benefits or both, deferred
compensation and welfare benefits. Annual compensation for
determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed
one hundred fifty thousand dollars as adjusted for cost of living
in accordance with section 401(a)(17)(B) of the Internal Revenue
(f) "Annual leave service" means accrued annual leave.
(g) "Annuity starting date" means the first day of the first
period for which an amount is received as an annuity by reason of
(h) "Base salary" means a member's cash compensation exclusive
of overtime from covered employment during the last twelve months
of employment. Until a member has worked twelve months, annualized
base salary is used as base salary.
(i) "Board" means the consolidated public retirement board
created pursuant to article ten-d, chapter five of this code.
(j) "County commission" has the meaning ascribed to it in
section one, article one, chapter seven of this code.
(k) "Covered employment" means either: (1) Employment as a
deputy sheriff and the active performance of the duties required of
a deputy sheriff; (2) the period of time which active duties are
not performed but disability benefits are received under section
thirteen or fourteen of this article; or (3) concurrent employment
by a deputy sheriff in a job or jobs in addition to his or her
employment as a deputy sheriff where such secondary employment
requires the deputy sheriff to be a member of another retirement
system which is administered by the consolidated public retirement
board pursuant to article ten-d of chapter five of this code:
Provided, That the deputy sheriff contribute to the fund created in
section six of this article the amount specified as the deputy
sheriff's contribution in section seven of this article.
(l) "Credited service" means the sum of a member's years of
service, active military duty, disability service and annual leave
(m) "Deputy sheriff" means an individual employed as a county
law-enforcement deputy sheriff in this state and as defined by
section two, article fourteen, chapter seven of this code.
(n) "Dependent child" means:
(1) An unmarried person under age eighteen who is either:
(A) A natural child of the member;
(B) A legally adopted child of the member;
(C) A child who at the time of the member's death was living
with the member while the member was an adopting parent during any
period of probation; or
(D) A stepchild of the member residing in the member's
household at the time of the member's death.
(2) Any unmarried child under age twenty-three: (A) Who is
enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or
university; (B) who was claimed as a dependent by the member for
federal income tax purposes at the time of member's death; and (C)
whose relationship with the member is described in subparagraph
(A), (B) or (C), paragraph (1) of this subdivision.
(o) "Dependent parent" means the father or mother of the
member who was claimed as a dependent by the member for federal
income tax purposes at the time of the member's death.
(p) "Disability service" means service received by a member,
expressed in whole years, fractions thereof or both, equal to one
half of the whole years, fractions thereof, or both, during which
time a member receives disability benefits under
or fourteen section fourteen or fifteen of this article.
(q) "Early retirement age" means age forty or over and
completion of twenty years of service.
(r) "Effective date" means the first day of July, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-eight.
(s) "Final average salary" means the average of the highest
annual compensation received for covered employment by the member
during any five consecutive plan years within the member's last ten
years of service. If the member did not have annual compensation
for the five full plan years preceding the member's attainment of
normal retirement age and during that period the member received
disability benefits under section thirteen or fourteen of this
article then "final average salary" means the average of the
monthly salary determined paid to the member during that period as determined under section seventeen of this article multiplied by
(t) "Fund" means the West Virginia deputy sheriff retirement
fund created pursuant to section six of this article.
(u) "Hour of service" means:
(1) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to
payment for covered employment during which time active duties are
performed. These hours shall be credited to the member for the
plan year in which the duties are performed; and
(2) Each hour for which a member is paid or entitled to
payment for covered employment during a plan year but where no
duties are performed due to vacation, holiday, illness, incapacity
including disability, layoff, jury duty, military duty, leave of
absence or any combination thereof, and without regard to whether
the employment relationship has terminated. Hours under this
paragraph shall be calculated and credited pursuant to West
Virginia department of labor regulations. A member will not be
credited with any hours of service for any period of time he or she
is receiving benefits under section fourteen or fifteen of this
(3) Each hour for which back pay is either awarded or agreed to be paid by the employing county commission, irrespective of
mitigation of damages. The same hours of service shall not be
credited both under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision, and
under this paragraph. Hours under this paragraph shall be credited
to the member for the plan year or years to which the award or
agreement pertains, rather than the plan year in which the award,
agreement or payment is made.
(v) "Member" means a person first hired as a deputy sheriff
after the effective date of this article, as defined in subsection
(r) of this section, or a deputy sheriff first hired prior to the
effective date and who elects to become a member pursuant to
section five or section seventeen of this article. A member shall
remain a member until the benefits to which he or she is entitled
under this article are paid or forfeited.
(w) "Monthly salary" means the portion of a member's annual
compensation which is paid to him or her per month.
(x) "Normal form" means a monthly annuity which is one twelfth
of the amount of the member's accrued benefit which is payable for
the member's life. If the member dies before the sum of the
payments he or she receives equals his or her accumulated
contributions on the annuity starting date, the named beneficiary shall receive in one lump sum the difference between the
accumulated contributions at the annuity starting date and the
total of the retirement income payments made to the member.
(y) "Normal retirement age" means the first to occur of the
(1) Attainment of age fifty years and the completion of twenty
or more years of service;
(2) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least
age fifty years, and when the sum of current age plus years of
service equals or exceeds seventy years;
(3) While still in covered employment, attainment of at least
age sixty years, and completion of five years of service; or
(4) Attainment of age sixty-two years and completion of five
or more years of service.
(z) "Partially disabled" means a member's inability to engage
in the duties of deputy sheriff by reason of any medically
determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to
result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for
a continuous period of not less than twelve months. A member may
be determined partially disabled for the purposes of this article
and maintain the ability to engage in other gainful employment which exists within the state but which ability would not enable
him or her to earn an amount at least equal to two thirds of the
annual compensation earned by all active members of this plan
during the plan year ending as of the most recent thirtieth day of
June, as of which plan data has been assembled and used for the
actuarial valuation of the plan.
(aa) "Public employees retirement system" means the West
Virginia public employees' retirement system created by article
ten, chapter five of this code.
(bb) "Plan" means the West Virginia deputy sheriff death,
disability and retirement plan established by this article.
(cc) "Plan year" means the twelve-month period commencing on
the first day of July and ending the following thirtieth day of
June of any designated year.
(dd) "Regular interest" means the rate or rates of interest
per annum, compounded annually, as the board shall from time to
(ee) "Retirement income payments" means the annual retirement
income payments payable under the plan.
(ff) "Spouse" means the person to whom the member is legally
married on the annuity starting date.
(gg) "Surviving spouse" means the person to whom the member
was legally married at the time of the member's death and who
survived the member.
(hh) "Totally disabled" means a member's inability to engage
in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically
determined physical or mental impairment that can be expected to
result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for
a continuous period of not less than twelve months.
For purposes of this subdivision:
(1) A member is totally disabled only if his or her physical
or mental impairment or impairments is so severe that he or she is
not only unable to perform his or her previous work as a deputy
sheriff but also cannot, considering his or her age, education and
work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful
employment which exists in the state regardless of whether: (A)
The work exists in the immediate area in which the member lives;
(B) a specific job vacancy exists; or (C) the member would be hired
if he or she applied for work.
(2) "Physical or mental impairment" is an impairment that
results from an anatomical, physiological or psychological
abnormality that is demonstrated by medically accepted clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.
A member's receipt of social security disability benefits
creates a rebuttable presumption that the member is totally
disabled for purposes of this plan. Substantial gainful employment
rebuts the presumption of total disability.
(ii) "Year of service". A member shall, except in his or her
first and last years of covered employment, be credited with year
of service credit based upon the hours of service performed as
covered employment and credited to the member during the plan year
based upon the following schedule:
Hours of ServiceYear of Service Credited
Less than 500 ..................................0
500 to 999 ...................................1/3
1,000 to 1,499 ...............................2/3
1,500 or more ......... ........................1
During a member's first and last years of covered employment,
the member shall be credited with one twelfth of a year of service
for each month during the plan year in which the member is credited
with an hour of service. A member is not entitled to credit for
years of service for any time period during which he or she
received disability payments under section fourteen or fifteen of this article. Except as specifically excluded, years of service
include covered employment prior to the effective date.
Years of service which are credited to a member prior to his
or her receipt of accumulated contributions upon termination of
employment pursuant to section thirteen of this article or section
thirty, article ten, chapter five of this code, shall be
disregarded for all purposes under this plan unless the member
repays the accumulated contributions with interest pursuant to
section twelve of this article or had prior to the effective date
made the repayment pursuant to section eighteen, article ten,
chapter five of this code.
§7-14D-12. Annuity options.
Prior to the effective date of retirement, but not thereafter,
a member may elect to receive retirement income payments in the
normal form, or the actuarial equivalent of the normal form from
the following options:
(a) Option A -- Joint and Survivor Annuity. -- A life annuity
payable during the joint lifetime of the member and his or her
beneficiary who is a natural person with an insurable interest in
the member's life. Upon the death of either the member of his or
her beneficiary, the benefit shall continue as a life annuity to the survivor in an amount equal to fifty percent, sixty-six and
two-thirds percent, seventy-five percent or one hundred percent of
the amount paid while both were living as selected by the member.
If the retiring member is married, the spouse shall sign a waiver
of benefit rights if the beneficiary is to be other than the
(b) Option B -- Contingent Joint and Survivor Annuity. -- A
life annuity payable during the joint lifetime of the member and
his or her beneficiary who must be a natural person with an
insurable interest in the member's life. Upon the death of the
member, the benefit shall continue as a life annuity to the
beneficiary in an amount equal to fifty percent, sixty-six and
two-thirds percent, seventy-five percent or one hundred percent of
the amount paid while both were living as selected by the member.
If the beneficiary dies first, the monthly amount of benefits
may not be reduced, but shall be paid at the amount that was in
effect before the death of the beneficiary. If the retiring member
is married, the spouse shall sign a waiver of benefit rights if the
beneficiary is to be other than the spouse.
(c) Option C -- Ten Years Certain and Life Annuity. -- A life
annuity payable during the member's lifetime but in any event for a minimum of ten years. If the member dies before the expiration
of ten years, the remaining payments shall be made to a designated
beneficiary, if any, or otherwise to the member's estate.
(d) Option D -- Level Income Annuity. -- A life annuity
payable monthly in an increased amount "A" from the time of
retirement until the member is social security retirement age, and
then a lesser amount "B" payable for the member's lifetime
thereafter, with these amounts computed actuarially to satisfy the
following two conditions:
(1) Actuarial equivalence. -- The actuarial present value at
the date of retirement of the member's annuity if taken in the
normal form must equal the actuarial present value of the term life
annuity in amount "A" plus the actual present value of the deferred
life annuity in amount "B".
(2) Level income. -- The amount "A" equals the amount "B" plus
the amount of the member's estimated monthly social security
primary insurance amount that would commence at the date amount "B"
becomes payable. For this calculation, the primary insurance
amount is estimated when the member applies for retirement, using
social security law then in effect, using assumptions established
by the board.
(e) Option E -- Level Income Joint and Survivor Annuity. --
An annuity structured under the same methodology as in subdivision
(d) of this section, with the term annuity amount "A" payable until
the member's social security retirement age and the amount "B"
payable as a fifty percent, sixty-six and two-thirds percent,
seventy-five percent or one hundred percent joint and survivor
annuity upon the member's attaining social security retirement age
with the members selecting the applicable percentage rate, if the
retiring member is married, the spouse shall sign a waiver of
benefit rights if the beneficiary is to be other than the spouse.
(f) Option F -- Increasing Annuity. -- A life annuity payable
in any of the forms described in this section, and subject to the
corresponding conditions, with the amount of monthly payment
increasing at one and one-half percent, two percent or two and
one-half percent compounded annually throughout the life of the
annuity. Annuities taken in this form shall be adjusted the first
day of April of each year following the member's annuity starting
date with a prorated increase given on the first day of April to
retirees who have not yet been retired a full year on that date.
In the case of a member who has elected the options set forth
in subdivisions (b) and (e) of this section, respectively, and whose beneficiary dies prior to the member's death, the member may
name an alternative beneficiary. If an alternative beneficiary is
named within eighteen months following the death of the prior
beneficiary, the benefit shall be adjusted to be the actuarial
equivalent of the
member's normal form of benefit the member is
receiving just after the death of the member's named beneficiary.
If the election is not made until eighteen months after the death
of the prior beneficiary, the amount shall be reduced so that it is
only ninety percent of the actuarial equivalent of the member's
normal form of benefit the member is receiving just after the death
of the member's named beneficiary.
§7-14D-13. Refunds to certain members upon discharge or
resignation; deferred retirement.
(a) Any member who terminates covered employment and is not
eligible to receive disability benefits under this article is, by
written request filed with the board, entitled to receive from the
fund the member's accumulated contributions. Except as provided in
subsection (b) of this section, upon withdrawal the member shall
forfeit his or her accrued benefit and cease to be a member.
(b) Any member who withdraws accumulated contributions from
either this plan or the public employees retirement system and thereafter becomes reemployed in covered employment shall not
receive any credited service for the prior employment unless
following his or her return to covered employment, the member
redeposits in the fund the amount of the accumulated contributions,
together with interest on the accumulate contributions at the rate
determined by the board from the date of withdrawal to the date of
redeposit. Upon repayment he or she shall receive the same credit
on account of his or her former service as if no refund had been
made. The repayment shall be made in a lump sum within sixty
months of the deputy sheriff's reemployment
sum or if later, within
sixty months of the effective date of this article.
(c) Every member who completes sixty months of covered
employment is eligible, upon cessation of covered employment, to
either withdraw his or her accumulated contributions in accordance
with subsection (a) of this section, or to choose not to withdraw
his or her accumulated contribution and to receive retirement
income payments upon attaining early or normal retirement age.
§7-14D-21. Burial benefit.
Any member who dies as a result of any service related
illness or injury after the effective date is entitled to a lump
sum burial benefit of five thousand dollars. If the member is married, the burial benefit will be paid to the member's spouse.
If the member is not married, the burial benefit will be paid to
the member's estate for the purposes of paying burial expenses,
settling the member's final affairs, or both. Any unspent balance
shall be distributed as a part of the member's estate. If the
member is not entitled to a death benefit under sections eighteen
and nineteen of this article, then if greater than five thousand
dollars, the amount payable to the member's estate shall be his or
her accumulated contributions.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make certain changes in
The Deputy Sheriff Retirement Act. It amends the definition of
disability service; changes annuity options; changes the method of
refunds to certain members upon discharge or resignation; and
changes the calculation of burial benefits.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would