Senate Bill No. 709
(By Senators Unger, Bailey, Stollings, Love, Kessler, Barnes,
Hunter and Jenkins)
[Introduced February 18, 2008; referred to the Committee on
Pensions; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §8-15B-1, §8-15B-2,
§8-15B-3 and §8-15B-4, all relating to establishing the West
Virginia Volunteer Firefighter Length of Service Act.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §8-15B-1, §8-15B-2,
§8-15B-3 and §8-15B-4, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15B. WEST VIRGINIA VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER LENGTH OF
§8-15B-1. Title and legislative intent.
(a) This article is known as the "West Virginia Volunteer
Firefighter Length of Service Act."
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide compensation to volunteer firefighters for length of service.
§8-15B-2. Compensation for length of service.
This article compensates volunteer firefighters for length of
service. In return for the required length of service commitment
as a volunteer firefighter, every eligible recipient will receive
a retirement pension of eight hundred dollars per month for the
rest of his or her life. The pension provided by this article
shall be in addition to any other pension for which the recipient
may be eligible to receive.
§8-15B-3. Funding for the program.
The West Virginia Volunteer Length Of Service Act Fund is
established. Proceeds from the fees on the sale of fireworks
collected by the Tax Commissioner pursuant to subsection (c),
section twenty-four, article three, chapter twenty-nine of this
code shall be deposited into the fund. The fund will be
administered by the Executive Director of the Consolidated Public
§8-15B-4. Requirements for recipients prior to any monthly
(a) Each recipient must be at least sixty years of age.
(b) Each recipient must have at least twenty years of active
service credit as a volunteer firefighter in a fire department
certified to meet the requirements of a fire department by the West
Virginia State Fire Commission.
(c) Service credit must include five years of service
beginning in the year the fund is formally established. Therefore,
no more than fifteen years of service credit can be awarded to
individuals prior to this article.
(d) Individual service credit reports must be certified by the
department chief and the department board of directors. Service
credit reports must be submitted annually to the Public Employees
(e) Each recipient must meet required point criteria to
receive one-year worth of service credit. The minimum point
criteria will be established by the West Virginia State Fireman's
Association in conjunction with the rules promulgated by the West
Virginia State Fire Commission pursuant to sections five and
nine-e, article three, chapter twenty-nine and article three,
chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Volunteer firefighters will
receive points for duties such as incident response, training at
local, county or state level, participation in department
fund-raising events, department, county or state meetings, and
service as a line or administrative department officer.
(f) Only points incurred acting as a volunteer firefighter
will be allowed toward annual service credit. No points will be
given during any duties for which a person was paid a salary,
hourly rate, or flat fee for the service performed. Paid
firefighters are only eligible to receive service credit from a volunteer department which is a different department from his or
her paid employment.
(g) After completion of twenty years of certified service
credit as a volunteer firefighter, the individual will become
vested into this benefit. The vested individual can at that point
retire from any additional service, but the individual is not
eligible to receive any benefit payments from this fund until the
individual reaches sixty years of age.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the "West
Virginia Volunteer Firefighter Length of Service Act"; and to
create a fund to be used for pensions for volunteer firefighters
with twenty years service.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.