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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 5 - 10 - 27 A §5-10-27a. Federal law maximum benefit limitations.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article or state law, the board shall administer the retirement system in compliance with the limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations promulgated thereunder to the extent applicable to governmental plans (hereafter sometimes referred to as the "415 limitation(s)" or "415 dollar limitation(s)"), so that the annual benefit payable under this system to a member shall not exceed those limitations. Any annual benefit payable under this system shall be reduced or limited if necessary to an amount which does not exceed those limitations. The extent to which any annuity or other annual benefit payable under this retirement system shall be reduced, as compared to the extent to which an annuity, contributions or other benefits under any other defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans required to be taken into consideration under Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code shall be reduced, shall be proportional on a percentage basis to the reductions made in such other plans administered by the board and required to be so taken into consideration under Section 415, unless a disproportionate reduction is determined by the board to maximize the aggregate benefits payable to the member. If the reduction is under this retirement system, the board shall advise affected members of any additional limitation on the annuities or other annual benefit required by this section. For purposes of the 415 limitations, the "limitation year" shall be the calendar year. The 415 limitations are incorporated herein by reference, except to the extent the following provisions may modify the default provisions thereunder:
(a) The annual adjustment to the 415 dollar limitations made by Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder shall apply for each limitation year. The annual adjustments to the dollar limitations under Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code which become effective: (i) After a retirant's severance from employment with the employer; or (ii) after the annuity starting date in the case of a retirant who has already commenced receiving benefits, will apply with respect to a retirant's annual benefit in any limitation year. A retirant's annual benefit payable in any limitation year from this retirement system shall in no event be greater than the limit applicable at the annuity starting date, as increased in subsequent years pursuant to Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder.
(b) For purposes of this section, the "annual benefit" means a benefit that is payable annually in the form of a straight life annuity. Except as provided below, where a benefit is payable in a form other than a straight life annuity, the benefit shall be adjusted to an actuarially equivalent straight life annuity that begins at the same time as such other form of benefit, using factors prescribed in the 415 limitation regulations, before applying the 415 limitations. No actuarial adjustment to the benefit shall be made for: (1) Survivor benefits payable to a surviving spouse under a qualified joint and survivor annuity to the extent such benefits would not be payable if the member's benefit were paid in another form; (2) benefits that are not directly related to retirement benefits (such as a qualified disability benefit, preretirement incidental death benefits, and post-retirement medical benefits); or (3) the inclusion in the form of benefit of an automatic benefit increase feature, provided the form of benefit is not subject to Section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and would otherwise satisfy the limitations of this article, and the plan provides that the amount payable under the form of benefit in any limitation year shall not exceed the limits of this article applicable at the annuity starting date, as increased in subsequent years pursuant to Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. For this purpose an automatic benefit increase feature is included in a form of benefit if the form of benefit provides for automatic, periodic increases to the benefits paid in that form.
(c) Adjustment for benefit forms not subject to Section 417(e)(3). -- The straight life annuity that is actuarially equivalent to the member's form of benefit shall be determined under this subsection if the form of the member's benefit is either: (1) A nondecreasing annuity (other than a straight life annuity) payable for a period of not less than the life of the member (or, in the case of a qualified preretirement survivor annuity, the life of the surviving spouse); or (2) an annuity that decreases during the life of the member merely because of: (i) The death of the survivor annuitant (but only if the reduction is not below fifty percent of the benefit payable before the death of the survivor annuitant); or (ii) the cessation or reduction of Social Security supplements or qualified disability payments (as defined in Section 411(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code). The actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the greater of: (I) The annual amount of the straight life annuity (if any) payable to the member under the plan commencing at the same annuity starting date as the member's form of benefit; and (II) the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the member's form of benefit, computed using a five percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table defined in Treasury Regulation §1.417(e)-1(d)(2) (Revenue Ruling 2001-62 or any subsequent Revenue Ruling modifying the applicable provisions of Revenue Ruling 2001-62) for that annuity starting date.
(d) Adjustment for benefit forms subject to Section 417(e)(3). -- The straight life annuity that is actuarially equivalent to the member's form of benefit shall be determined under this subsection if the form of the member's benefit is other than a benefit form described in subsection (c) of this section. In this case, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity shall be determined as follows: The actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the greatest of: (1) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the member's form of benefit, computed using the interest rate specified in this retirement system and the mortality table (or other tabular factor) specified in this retirement system for adjusting benefits in the same form; (2) the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the member's form of benefit, computed using a five and a half percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table defined in Treasury Regulation §1.417(e)-1(d)(2) (Revenue Ruling 2001-62 or any subsequent Revenue Ruling modifying the applicable provisions of Revenue Ruling 2001-62) for that annuity starting date; and (3) the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the member's form of benefit, computed using the applicable interest rate defined in Treasury Regulation §1.417(e)-1(d)(3) and the applicable mortality table defined in Treasury Regulation §1.417(e)-1(d)(2) (the mortality table specified in Revenue Ruling 2001-62 or any subsequent Revenue Ruling modifying the applicable provisions of Revenue Ruling 2001-62), divided by 1.05.
(e) Benefits payable prior to age sixty-two. --
(1) Except as provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, if the member's retirement benefits become payable before age sixty-two, the 415 dollar limitation prescribed by this section shall be reduced in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to the provisions of Section 415(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, so that the limitation (as so reduced) equals an annual straight life benefit (when the retirement income benefit begins) which is equivalent to an annual benefit in the amount of the applicable dollar limitation of Section 415(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code (as adjusted pursuant to Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code) beginning at age sixty-two.
(2) The limitation reduction provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply if the member commencing retirement benefits before age sixty-two is a qualified participant. A qualified participant for this purpose is a participant in a defined benefit plan maintained by a state, or any political subdivision of a state, with respect to whom the service taken into account in determining the amount of the benefit under the defined benefit plan includes at least fifteen years of service: (i) As a full-time employee of any police or fire department organized and operated by the state or political subdivision maintaining the defined benefit plan to provide police protection, fire-fighting services or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of such state or political subdivision; or (ii) as a member of the armed forces of the United States.
(3) The limitation reduction provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not be applicable to preretirement disability benefits or preretirement death benefits.
(4) For purposes of adjusting the 415 dollar limitation for benefit commencement before age sixty-two or after age sixty-five (if the plan provides for such adjustment), no adjustment is made to reflect the probability of a member's death: (i) After the annuity starting date and before age sixty-two; or (ii) after age sixty-five and before the annuity starting date.
(f) Adjustment when member has less than ten years of participation. -- In the case of a member who has less than ten years of participation in the retirement system (within the meaning of Treasury Regulation §1.415(b)-1(g)(1)(ii)), the 415 dollar limitation (as adjusted pursuant to Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code and subsection (e) of this section) shall be reduced by multiplying the otherwise applicable limitation by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of years of participation in the plan (or one, if greater), and the denominator of which is ten. This adjustment shall not be applicable to preretirement disability benefits or preretirement death benefits.
(g) The application of the provisions of this section shall not cause the maximum annual benefit provided to a member to be less than the member's accrued benefit as of December 31, 2008, (the end of the limitation year that is immediately prior to the effective date of the final regulations for this retirement system as defined in Treasury Regulation §1.415(a)-1(g)(2)), under provisions of the retirement system that were both adopted and in effect before April 5, 2007, provided that such provisions satisfied the applicable requirements of statutory provisions, regulations, and other published guidance relating to Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code in effect as of the end of December 31, 2008, as described in Treasury Regulation §1.415(a)-1(g)(4). If additional benefits are accrued for a member under this retirement system after January 1, 2009, then the sum of the benefits described under the first sentence of this subsection and benefits accrued for a member after January 1, 2009, must satisfy the requirements of Section 415, taking into account all applicable requirements of the final 415 Treasury Regulations.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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