Senate Bill No. 96
(By Senators Cann and Williams)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on
Pensions; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §5-10-15 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to adding veterans of the conflicts
in Granada, El Salvador, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and the
Panama Canal to those veterans who are eligible for military
service credit for public employees retirement benefit
purposes; defining terms; and modifying the definition of a
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §5-10-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. WEST VIRGINIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ACT.
§5-10-15. Military service credit; qualified military service.
(a) (1) The Legislature recognizes the men and women of this
state who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States during times of war, conflict and danger. It is the intent of this
section to confer military service credit upon persons who are
eligible at any time for public employees retirement benefits for
any time served in active duty in the Armed Forces of the United
States when the duty was during any period of compulsory military
service or during a period of armed conflict, as defined in this
(2) In addition to any benefit provided by federal law, any
member of the retirement system who has previously served in or
enters the active service of the Armed Forces of the United States
during any period of compulsory military service or during a period
of armed conflict shall receive credited service for the time spent
in the Armed Forces of the United States, not to exceed five years
if the member:
(A) Has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces; and
(B) Substantiates by appropriate documentation or evidence his
or her active military service and entry into military service
during any period of compulsory military service or during periods
of armed conflict.
(3) Any member of the retirement system who enters the active
service of the Armed Forces of the United States during any period
of compulsory military service or during a period of armed conflict
shall receive the credit provided by this section regardless of
whether he or she was a public employee at the time of entering the military service.
(4) If a member of the Public Employees Retirement System
enters the active service of the United States and serves during
any period of compulsory military service or during any period of
armed conflict, during the period of the armed service and until
the member's return to the employ of a participating public
employer, the member's contributions to the retirement system is
suspended and any credit balance remaining in the member's deposit
fund shall be accumulated at regular interest: Provided, That
notwithstanding any provision in this article to the contrary, if
an employee of a participating political subdivision serving in the
military service during any period of compulsory military service
or armed conflict has accumulated credited service prior to the
last entry into military service, in an amount that, added to the
time in active military service while an employee equals nine or
more years, and the member is unable to resume employment with a
participating employer upon completion of duty due to death during
or as a result of active service, all time spent in active military
service, up to and including a total of five years, is considered
to be credited service and death benefits are vested in the member:
Provided, however, That the active service during the time the
member is an employee must be as a result of an order or call to
duty, and not as a result of volunteering for assignment or
volunteering to extend the time in service beyond the time required by order or call.
(5) No member may receive duplicate credit for service for a
period of compulsory military service which falls under a period of
(6) In any case of doubt as to the period of service to be
credited a member under the provisions of this section, the Board
of Trustees have final power to determine the period.
(7) The board may consider a petition by any member whose tour
of duty, in a territory that would reasonably be considered hostile
and dangerous, was extended beyond the period in which an armed
conflict was officially recognized, if that tour of duty commenced
during a period of armed conflict, and the member was assigned to
duty stations within the hostile territory throughout the period
for which service credit is being sought. The board has the
authority to evaluate the facts and circumstances peculiar to the
petition, and rule on whether granting service credit for the
extended tour of duty is consistent with the objectives of this
article. In that determination, the board may grant full credit
for the period under petition subject to the limitations otherwise
applicable, or to grant credit for any part of the period as the
board considers appropriate, or to deny credit altogether.
(8) The Board of Trustees may propose legislative rules for
promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three,
chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to administer the provisions of this section.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions
(1) "Period of armed conflict" means the Spanish-American War,
the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, the Korean
conflict, the Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, the Granada
conflict, the Panama conflict, the El Salvador conflict, the
Somalia conflict, the Afghanistan conflict, the Iraq conflict and
any other period of armed conflict by the United States, including,
but not limited to, those periods sanctioned by a declaration of
war by the United States Congress or by executive or other order of
(2) "Spanish-American War" means the period beginning on April
21, 1898, and ending on July 4, 1902, and includes the Philippine
Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and in the case of a veteran who
served with the United States Military Forces engaged in
hostilities in the Moro Province, means the period beginning on
April 21, 1898, and ending on July 15, 1903.
(3) "The Mexican border period" means the period beginning on
May 9, 1916, and ending on April 5, 1917, in the case of a veteran
who during the period served in Mexico, on its borders or in the
waters adjacent to it.
(4) "World War I" means the period beginning on April 6, 1917,
and ending on November 11, 1918, and in the case of a veteran who served with the United States Military forces in Russia, means the
period beginning on April 6, 1917, and ending on April 1, 1920.
(5) "World War II" means the period beginning on December 7,
1941, and ending on December 31, 1946.
(6) "Korean conflict" means the period beginning on June 27,
1950, and ending on January 31, 1955.
(7) "The Vietnam era" means the period beginning on February
28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, in the case of a veteran who
served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; and August 5,
1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.
(8) "Persian Gulf War" means the period beginning on August 2,
1990, and ending on
April 11, 1991 January 2, 1992.
____(9) "Granada conflict" means the period beginning on October
23, 1983 and ending on November 21, 1983.
____(10) "Panama conflict" means the period beginning on December
20, 1989 and ending on January 31, 1990.
____(11) "El Salvador conflict" means the period beginning on
January 1, 1981 and ending on February 1, 1992.
____(12) "Somalia conflict" means the period beginning June 5,
1992 and ending on March 31, 1994.
____(13) "Afghanistan conflict" means the period beginning on
December 5, 2001 and ending on a date yet to be determined.
____(14) "Iraq conflict" means a period beginning on March 19,
2003 and ending on a date yet to be determined.
(c) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section,
contributions, benefits and service credit with respect to
qualified military service shall be provided in accordance with
Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. For purposes of this
section, "qualified military service" has the same meaning as in
Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. No military service
credit may be used in more than one retirement system administered
by the Consolidated Public Retirement Board and once used in any
system, may not be used again in any other system. The board is
authorized to determine all questions and make all decisions
relating to this section and, pursuant to the authority granted to
the board in section one, article ten-d of this chapter, may
promulgate rules relating to contributions, benefits and service
credit to comply with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the period of
service by veterans of the conflicts in Granada, El Salvador,
Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Panama Canal be allowed as
military service credit for persons who are eligible for public
employees retirement benefits. The bill defines those conflicts and
modifies the dates of another conflict.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would