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NO. 57. AN ACT RELATING TO APPROPRIATE PLACEMENT IN PLANS OF THE VERMONT STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

(H.53)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 3 V.S.A. § 455(9) is amended to read:

(9) "Employee" shall mean (A) any regular officer or employee of the Vermont historical society or in a department other than a person included under (B) of this subdivision, who is employed for not less than 40 calendar weeks in a year, and (B) any regular officer or employee of the department of public safety assigned to police and law enforcement duties, including the commissioner of public safety appointed before July 1, 2000; but, irrespective of the member’s classification, shall not include any member of the general assembly as such, any person who is covered by the Vermont teachers’ retirement system, any person engaged under retainer or special agreement or C beneficiary employed by the department of public safety for not more than 208 hours per year, or any person whose principal source of income is other than state employment. In all cases of doubt, the retirement board shall determine whether any person is an employee as defined in this subchapter. Also included under (B) of this subdivision are employees of the department of liquor control who exercise law enforcement powers, employees of the department of fish and wildlife assigned to law enforcement duties, and motor vehicle inspectors *[including the commissioner of motor vehicles, sheriffs]*,

full-time deputy sheriffs employed by the state of Vermont, investigators employed by the office of the attorney general, department of state’s attorneys *[and]* or office of the secretary of state, who have attained full-time certification from the Vermont criminal justice training council, who are required to perform law enforcement duties as the primary function of their employment, and who may be subject to mandatory retirement permissible under 29 U.S.C. section 623(j), and full-time firefighters employed by the state of Vermont, who are first included in membership of the system on or after July 1, 2000.

Sec. 2. 3 V.S.A. § 459(a)(2) is amended to read:

(2) Group C members. Any group C member who is an officer or employee of the department of public safety assigned to police and law enforcement duties, including the commissioner of public safety appointed before July 1, 2000, and who has reached his or her normal retirement date may retire on a normal retirement allowance, on the first day of any month after he or she may have separated from service, by filing an application in the manner outlined in subdivision (3) of this subsection. Any group C member in service shall be retired on a normal retirement allowance on the first day of the calendar month next following *[his]* attainment of age *[fifty-five]* 55. Notwithstanding, it is provided that any such member who is an official appointed for a term of years may remain in service until the end of his or her term of office or any extension thereto, resulting from reappointment.

Sec. 3. LEGISLATIVE STUDY COMMITTEE ON ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR PLANS OF THE VERMONT STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM

(a) A legislative study committee is created to perform a comprehensive study of the eligibility criteria for plans within the Vermont State Retirement System. The committee shall review all positions in state government and recommend which members of the system are most appropriately included in each plan. Specifically, the committee shall:

(1) determine which state employees should be required to retire at age 55;

(2) determine the need to combine, eliminate, or create a new retirement plan or plans to include those employees which warrant early retirement considerations;

(3) conduct a study of the feasibility of transferring state law enforcement officers and state firefighters hired before July 1, 2000, into the group C plan.

(b) The committee shall be comprised of the following members: two members of the house committee on government operations and one member of the house committee on appropriations appointed by the speaker of the house, three members of the senate committee on government operations appointed by the committee on committees, the commissioner of personnel, the state treasurer or designee, two representatives of the Vermont State Employees’ Association, the director of retirement services, the chair of the Vermont State Retirement System Board of Trustees, and the commissioner of finance and management or designee.

(c) Legislative members shall be entitled to compensation and reimbursement of expenses under section 406 of Title 2.

(d) The committee may meet up to three times and file a report of its recommendations with the General Assembly by January 1, 2002.

Approved: June 16, 2001