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H.238

AN ACT RELATING TO MINIMUM SERVICE RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE FOR STATE EMPLOYEES AND TEACHERS

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 459(f) is amended to read:

(f)  Beginning July 1, 1989, the normal retirement allowance for group A members shall be not less than the larger of $3,000.00 a year or 50 percent of his or her average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service, nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed less than 30 years of creditable service.  Beginning March 1, 1998, the service retirement allowance shall be not less than the larger of $4,200.00 a year or 50 percent of the member's average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service, nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed at least five years, but less than 30 years, of creditable service.  Beginning September 1, 2006, the service retirement allowance shall be not less than the larger of $6,600.00 per year or 50 percent of the member's average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service, nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed at least five years, but less than 30 years, of creditable service.  Beginning September 1, 2011, and on September 1 of every fifth year thereafter, the minimum service retirement allowance shall be increased by $1,000.00.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 477a(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any member who has rendered 15 years of creditable service and who has, prior to becoming a member of the system, served a minimum of one full year of full-time service in the military or one full year of full-time service as a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps in World War II, the Peace Corps, or VISTA for which the member has derived no military pension benefits, may elect to have included in the member’s creditable service all or any part of the member’s military, Cadet Nurse Corps, Peace Corps, or VISTA service not exceeding five years.  Any member who so elects shall deposit in the annuity savings fund by a single contribution the amount or amounts determined by the system’s actuary to be cost neutral to the system.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, any member shall, upon application, be granted up to three years of credit for military service during the periods June 25, 1950 through January 31, 1955, February 28, 1961 through August 4, 1964 if service was performed in what is now the Republic of Vietnam, and August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 and shall not be required to make a contribution, provided the member has rendered 15 years of creditable service and, prior to becoming a member, served a minimum of one full year of full-time service in the military for which he or she has derived no military pension benefits.  The provisions of this subsection shall also be available to state employees who are not members of the classified system and who elect to participate in the defined contribution retirement plan under chapter 16A of this title.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this subsection and the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 12736 concerning the counting of the same full-time military service toward both military and state pensions, the provisions of the United States Code shall control.

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 479(c) is added to read:

(c)  After January 1, 2007, the state treasurer may offer and administer a dental benefit plan for retired members, beneficiaries, eligible dependents, and eligible retirees of special affiliated groups and the dependents of members of those groups who are eligible for coverage in the state employee group medical benefit plan.  The plan shall be separate and apart from any dental benefit plan offered to Vermont state employees.  The original plan of benefits, and any changes thereto, shall be determined by the state treasurer with due consideration of recommendations from the retired employees’ committee on insurance established in section 636 of this title.

(1)  For purposes of dental benefits, “retired members” shall include retired employees of the state who are receiving a retirement allowance from the Vermont state retirement system.  In addition, “retired members” shall include retired employees who are receiving a retirement allowance based upon their employment with the Vermont state employees’ association, the Vermont state employees’ credit union, and the Vermont council on the arts, as long as they were covered under a group dental plan as active employees on their retirement date, and:

(A)  they have at least 20 years’ service with that employer; or

(B)  have attained 62 years of age, and have at least 15 years’ service with that employer.

(2)  One hundred percent of the premiums for providing dental benefit coverage to retired members, beneficiaries, and eligible dependents shall be paid in full by retired members and beneficiaries and shall be deducted from each member’s retirement allowance each month.  Nothing in this subdivision creates a legal obligation on the part of the state to pay any portion of the premiums required to provide dental benefit coverage to retired members, dependents, beneficiaries, or other eligible participants.

(3)  Dependent eligibility shall be determined in the manner applied to determinations for coverage in the state employee medical benefit plan. 

(4)  Each retired member shall have a one-time option at the time of retirement to elect dental benefit plan coverage.  Once a retired member, beneficiary, or any other covered member of the dental benefit plan elects not to take coverage or drops coverage, he or she may not subsequently join the dental benefit plan.  Retired members and beneficiaries of members retired prior to December 31, 2006 shall have a one-time option to elect dental benefit plan coverage for themselves and their eligible dependents.  This election shall be made no later than December 31, 2006.

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 500(f) is amended to read:

(f)  Upon retirement, employees who elect to participate in the defined contribution retirement plan shall be entitled to the same life, dental, and health insurance benefits available to members of the Vermont state retirement system.

Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A § 636(f) is added to read:

(f)  The committee shall recommend to the state treasurer the original plan of dental benefits for retired members and any subsequent changes to the plan.  The state treasurer shall be responsible for plan administration, including determining the plan administrator, determining plan benefits, determining eligibility, and setting premium rates.  The office of state treasurer shall be reimbursed from the premiums collected for the plan for any reasonable additional costs incurred for the administration and maintenance of the plan.

Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 1937(b)(4) is amended to read:

(4)  Beginning July 1, 1989, the service retirement allowance shall be not less than the larger of $4,550.00 a year or 50 percent of the member's average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service, nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed less than 30 years of creditable service.  Beginning March 1, 1998, the service retirement allowance shall be not less than the larger of $6,600.00 a year or 50 percent of the member's average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service, nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed at least five years, but less than 30 years, of creditable service.  For this purpose, any annuity derived from the member's contributions transferred from the existing system under section subsection 1934(c) of this title and from additional contributions made under section subdivisions 1944(b)(5) and (6) of this title shall not be included as part of the retirement allowance.  Beginning September 1, 2006, the service retirement allowance shall be not less than the larger of $9,000.00 per year or 50 percent of the member's average final compensation for any member or beneficiary who has completed 30 years or more of creditable service nor less than a proportionate amount thereof for any member or beneficiary who has completed at least five years but less than 30 years of creditable service.  Beginning September 1, 2011, and on September 1 of every fifth year thereafter, the minimum service retirement allowance shall be increased by $1,000.00.

Sec. 7.  16 V.S.A. § 1944(b)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  Any group A or group C member who has rendered 15 years of creditable teaching service and who has, prior to becoming a member of the system, served a minimum of one full year of full-time service in the military, one full year of full-time service as a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps in World War II, the Peace Corps, or VISTA for which the member has derived no military or other pension benefits, may elect to have included in the member’s creditable service all or any part of the member’s military or Cadet Nurse Corps or Peace Corps or VISTA service not exceeding five years.  Any group A member who elects credit under this subdivision shall deposit in the annuity savings fund by a single contribution an amount computed at regular interest to be sufficient to provide at age 60 an annuity equal to one-one hundred and twentieth of the member’s average final compensation multiplied by the number of years of he service rendered for which the member elects to receive credit.  Any group A member who elects credit for service in the Cadet Nurse Corps under this subdivision and any group C member who elects credit under this subdivision shall deposit in the annuity savings fund by a single contribution an amount computed at regular interest to be sufficient to provide at normal retirement an annuity equal to 1-2/3 percent of the member’s average final compensation multiplied by the number of years of the service for which the member elects to receive credit.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, any group C member who was a group B member and any group A member shall, upon application, be granted up to three years of credit for military service during the periods June 25, 1950 through January 31, 1955, February 28, 1961 through August 4, 1964 if service was performed while in what is now the Republic of Vietnam, and August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 and shall not be required to make a contribution, provided the member has rendered 15 years of creditable teaching service and prior to becoming a member served a minimum of one full year of full-time service in the military for which he or she has derived no military pension benefits.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this subsection and the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 12736 concerning the counting of the same full-time military service toward both military and state pensions, the provisions of the United States Code shall control.

Sec. 8.  MILITARY SERVICE CREDIT; ONE-TIME MILITARY STIPEND;

             STATE EMPLOYEES; TEACHERS

(a)  A beneficiary of the Vermont state retirement system who retired prior to July 1, 2006 and who, prior to retirement, would have been otherwise eligible for credit for military service in what is now the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and August 4, 1964 may apply to the retirement board for a one-time military stipend by December 31, 2006.  Upon a determination that the beneficiary was eligible prior to retirement for a grant of military service credit for service under this section, the beneficiary shall be entitled to a stipend of $500.00 for each year served, up to a maximum of $1,500.00.  The stipend shall be pro-rated for partial years of service.

(b)  A beneficiary of the state teachers’ retirement system of Vermont who retired prior to July 1, 2006 and who, prior to retirement, would have been otherwise eligible for credit for military service in what is now the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and August 4, 1964 may apply to the retirement board for a one-time military stipend by December 31, 2006.  Upon a determination that the beneficiary was eligible prior to retirement for a grant of military service credit for service under this section, the beneficiary shall be entitled to a stipend of $500.00 for each year served, up to a maximum of $1,500.00.  The stipend shall be pro-rated for partial years of service.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us