WVC 18 - 7 A- 3
As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires
a different meaning:
(1) "Accumulated contributions" means all deposits and all
deductions from the gross salary of a contributor plus regular
(2) "Accumulated net benefit" means the aggregate amount of
all benefits paid to or on behalf of a retired member.
(3) "Actuarially equivalent" or "of equal actuarial value"
means a benefit of equal value computed upon the basis of the
mortality table and interest rates as set and adopted by the
retirement board in accordance with the provisions of this article:
That when used in the context of compliance with the
federal maximum benefit requirements of Section 415 of the Internal
Revenue Code, "actuarially equivalent" shall be computed using the
mortality tables and interest rates required to comply with those
(4) "Annuities" means the annual retirement payments for life
granted beneficiaries in accordance with this article.
(5) "Average final salary" means the average of the five
highest fiscal year salaries earned as a member within the last
fifteen fiscal years of total service credit, including military
service as provided in this article, or if total service is less
than fifteen years, the average annual salary for the period on
which contributions were made: Provided,
That salaries for determining benefits during any determination period may not exceed
the maximum compensation allowed as adjusted for cost of living in
accordance with section seven, article ten-d, chapter five of this
code and Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(6) "Beneficiary" means the recipient of annuity payments made
under the retirement system.
(7) "Contributor" means a member of the retirement system who
has an account in the teachers accumulation fund.
(8) "Deposit" means a voluntary payment to his or her account
by a member.
(9) "Employer" means the agency of and within the state which
has employed or employs a member.
(10) "Employer error" means an omission, misrepresentation or
violation of relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code or of
the West Virginia Code of State Regulations or the relevant
provisions of both the West Virginia Code and of the West Virginia
Code of State Regulations by the participating public employer that
has resulted in an underpayment or overpayment of contributions
required. A deliberate act contrary to the provisions of this
section by a participating public employer does not constitute
(11) "Employment term" means employment for at least ten
months, a month being defined as twenty employment days.
(12) "Gross salary" means the fixed annual or periodic cash
wages paid by a participating public employer to a member for performing duties for the participating public employer for which
the member was hired. Gross salary also includes retroactive
payments made to a member to correct a clerical error, or made
pursuant to a court order or final order of an administrative
agency charged with enforcing federal or state law pertaining to
the member's rights to employment or wages, with all retroactive
salary payments to be allocated to and considered paid in the
periods in which the work was or would have been done. Gross
salary does not include lump sum payments for bonuses, early
retirement incentives, severance pay or any other fringe benefit of
any kind including, but not limited to, transportation allowances,
automobiles or automobile allowances, or lump sum payments for
unused, accrued leave of any type or character.
(13) "Internal Revenue Code" means the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986, as it has been amended.
(14) "Member" means any person who has accumulated
contributions standing to his or her credit in the State Teachers
Retirement System. A member shall remain a member until the
benefits to which he or she is entitled under this article are paid
or forfeited, or until cessation of membership pursuant to section
thirteen of this article.
(15) "Members of the administrative staff of the public
schools" means deans of instruction, deans of men, deans of women,
and financial and administrative secretaries.
(16) "Members of the extension staff of the public schools" means every agricultural agent, boys' and girls' club agent and
every member of the agricultural extension staff whose work is not
primarily stenographic, clerical or secretarial.
(17) "New entrant" means a teacher who is not a present
(18) "Nonteaching member" means any person, except a teacher
member, who is regularly employed for full-time service by: (A)
Any county board of education; (B) the State Board of Education;
(C) the Higher Education Policy Commission; (D) the West Virginia
Council for Community and Technical College Education; or (E) a
governing board, as defined in section two, article one, chapter
eighteen-b of this code: Provided,
That any person whose
employment with the Higher Education Policy Commission, the West
Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education or
a governing board commences on or after July 1, 1991, is not
considered a nonteaching member.
(19) "Plan year" means the twelve-month period commencing on
July 1 and ending the following June 30 of any designated year.
(20) "Present member" means a present teacher who is a member
of the retirement system.
(21) "Present teacher" means any person who was a teacher
within the thirty-five years beginning July 1, 1934, and whose
membership in the retirement system is currently active.
(22) "Prior service" means all service as a teacher completed
prior to July 1, 1941, and all service of a present member who was employed as a teacher, and did not contribute to a retirement
account because he or she was legally ineligible for membership
during the service.
(23) "Public schools" means all publicly supported schools,
including colleges and universities in this state.
(24) "Refund beneficiary" means the estate of a deceased
contributor or a person he or she has nominated as beneficiary of
his or her contributions by written designation duly executed and
filed with the retirement board.
(25) "Refund interest" means interest compounded, according to
the formula established in legislative rules, series seven of the
Consolidated Public Retirement Board, 162 CSR 7.
(26) "Regular interest" means interest at four percent
compounded annually, or a higher earnable rate if set forth in the
formula established in legislative rules, series seven of the
Consolidated Public Retirement Board, 162 CSR 7.
(27) "Regularly employed for full-time service" means
employment in a regular position or job throughout the employment
term regardless of the number of hours worked or the method of pay.
(28) "Required beginning date" means April 1 of the calendar
year following the later of: (A) The calendar year in which the
member attains age seventy and one-half years; or (B) the calendar
year in which the member retires or ceases covered employment under
the system after having attained the age of seventy and one-half
(29) "Retirement system" means the State Teachers Retirement
System established by this article.
(30) "Teacher member" means the following persons, if
regularly employed for full-time service: (A) Any person employed
for instructional service in the public schools of West Virginia;
(B) principals; (C) public school librarians; (D) superintendents
of schools and assistant county superintendents of schools; (E) any
county school attendance director holding a West Virginia teacher's
certificate; (F) the executive director of the retirement board;
(G) members of the research, extension, administrative or library
staffs of the public schools; (H) the State Superintendent of
Schools, heads and assistant heads of the divisions under his or
her supervision, or any other employee under the state
superintendent performing services of an educational nature; (I)
employees of the State Board of Education who are performing
services of an educational nature; (J) any person employed in a
nonteaching capacity by the State Board of Education, any county
board of education, the State Department of Education or the State
Teachers Retirement Board, if that person was formerly employed as
a teacher in the public schools; (K) all classroom teachers,
principals and educational administrators in schools under the
supervision of the Division of Corrections, the Division of Health
or the Division of Human Services; (L) an employee of the State
Board of School Finance, if that person was formerly employed as a
teacher in the public schools; and (M) any person designated as a 21st Century Learner Fellow pursuant to section eleven, article
three, chapter eighteen-a of this code who elects to remain a
member of the State Teachers Retirement System provided in this
(31) "Total service" means all service as a teacher while a
member of the retirement system since last becoming a member and,
in addition thereto, credit for prior service, if any.
Age in excess of seventy years shall be considered to be
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session