(a) The payment of benefits under the retirement system to any member shall be distributed to him or her not later than the required beginning date, or be distributed to him or her commencing not later than the required beginning date, in accordance with regulations prescribed under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, over the life of the member or over the lives of the member and his or her beneficiary or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the member and his or her beneficiary. Benefit payments under this section shall not be delayed pending, or contingent upon, receipt of an application for retirement from the member.
(b) If a member dies after distribution to him or her has commenced pursuant to this section but before his or her entire interest in the retirement system has been distributed, then the remaining portion of that interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution being used at the date of his or her death.
(c) If a member dies before distribution to him or her has commenced, then his or her entire interest in the retirement system shall be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the member's death, except as follows:
(1) If a member's interest is payable to a beneficiary, distributions may be made over the life of that beneficiary or over a period certain not greater than the life expectancy of the beneficiary commencing on or before December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died; or
(2) If the member's beneficiary is the surviving spouse, the date distributions are required to begin shall be no later than the later of:
(A) December 31 of the calendar year in which the member would have attained age seventy and one-half; or
(B) The earlier of: (i) December 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the member died; or (ii) December 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the spouse died.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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