Legislation

The 2016 regular session of the 64th Legislature convened Jan. 11. Under the state constitution, regular sessions are limited to no more than 60 days.

Pension-Related Bills — 2016 Session

As of 2-12-2016

This list is updated as pension-related bills are introduced or carried over for the 2016 session. Please note that legislative proposals do not become law unless they are passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed by the governor. For more information on legislation and the legislative process, visit the Washington State Legislature's website.

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Pension-Related Bills for the 2016 Session

Click on the bill number for more detailed information about the legislation.

House Bill Number Senate Bill Number Title
HB 1322  -- HB 1322 – Amending estoppel criteria to only apply to those eligible for “normal” retirement
Currently, members eligible for retirement in certain plans are prevented (estopped) from joining a different retirement system. If enacted, this bill would amend the estoppel criteria to state that a member would be estopped from membership in a retirement system if the retirement eligibility for another system is a “normal” retirement. Those who are not eligible for a full retirement, but only a retirement benefit calculated under alternate retirement criteria, such as early retirement, would no longer be estopped from membership in another system based on this section, and would therefore be mandated into membership unless excluded by other criteria.
HB 1718  -- HB 1718 – Adding additional employers and job types to membership in PSERS
If enacted, this bill would add the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Social and Health Services as PSERS employers. Additionally, the bill would modify eligibility for the plan to add employees at state institutions or centers, and local government PSERS employers, who provide regular nursing care or who ensure the custody and safety of offender, probationary, or patient populations.
HB 1737  -- HB 1737 - Allowing 2008 ERF TRS retirees to return to work as substitute teachers
If enacted, this bill would allow Teachers’ Retirement System members who retired using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERFs) to return to work as substitute teachers. They would be able to work 630 hours per school year while still receiving their retirement benefits. This provision would be in effect until Aug. 1, 2019.
HB 2298  -- HB 2298 - Addressing survivor benefits from the Public Employees' Retirement System for survivors of members in registered domestic partnerships prior to December 2012
If enacted, this bill would provide survivor benefits to the spouses of deceased members of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) who were registered domestic partners, later married, but the member died prior to being eligible to add the spouse as a survivor.
HB 2333  -- HB 2333 - Providing a choice between membership in PERS 2 and 3 for employees age twenty-five or less in subsequent terms of employment.
If enacted, this bill would allow Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) members to change between Plan 2 and Plan 3 as long as they are age 25 or younger, have a valid separation from employment and have a different employer.
HB 2487 SB 6264 HB 2487/SB 6264 - LEOFF 2 retiree purchase of annuity
If enacted, this bill would allow LEOFF Plan 2 retirees who retired before June 1, 2014, a six-month window to purchase an annuity through LEOFF. The annuity would be offered under the same terms as the current option, including a built-in COLA and a survivor option.
HB 2495   HB 2495 - Military service credit for Washington State Patrol Retirement System
If enacted, this bill would impact which Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS) members receive service credit for interruptive military service. Currently, members receive service credit for interruptive military service only if it occurs between being employed at the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and returning to the WSP. This bill would extend service credit for interruptive military service to those who don’t begin at the WSP but do become employed with the WSP after their military service ends as well as those who do begin at the WSP but don’t return to it.
HB 2573 SB 6332 HB 2573/SB 6332 - Concerning the shortage of public school teachers and substitute teachers
If enacted, this bill would allow Teachers’ Retirement System members who retired using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERFs) to return to work as substitute teachers.
HB 2592 SB 6263 HB 2592/SB 6263 - LEOFF 2 disaster coverage
If enacted, this bill would impact LEOFF Plan 2 members who are called into eligible federal service to respond to natural disasters or other federal emergencies. It would provide them with benefit protections similar to the ones provided to members of the National Guard or Military Reserves who are called during a time of war.
HB 2646   HB 2646 - Plan 2 default for PERS, SERS and TRS
If enacted, Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) members who fail to choose between Plan 2 and Plan 3 within 90 days of initial employment would default into Plan 2. Currently, such members default into Plan 3.
HB 2855   HB 2855 - Service credit for prior military service in Teachers’ Retirement System
If enacted, this bill would allow Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) members to receive service credit for military service served prior to becoming a TRS member. Currently, members can receive service credit for interruptive military service when they stop working for a TRS employer to enter military service and return to TRS employment after their military duty ends. Under this bill, the total service credit provided for both prior and interruptive military service cannot exceed five years.
  SB 5435 SB 5435 -

Expanding participation in the Washington state deferred compensation program

 If enacted, this bill would automatically enroll new state employees in the Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) with a default contribution rate of 3 percent. Employees would have the opportunity to opt out or set their own contribution rates. This bill would also allow DRS to offer state employees a 401(a) money-purchase retirement savings option in addition to DCP. (Note: This proposal was originally posted as SB 6435. The content of SB 6435 has been substituted in SB 5435. This list has been updated to reflect the change.)
  SB 5873 SB 5873 - Creating another opportunity for LEOFF Plan 1 retirees to designate a spouse as a survivor beneficiary
If enacted, this bill would allow a LEOFF Plan 1 retiree a chance to name as survivor a spouse he or she married after retiring. To qualify, the marriage would need to have spanned at least two years before Sept. 1, 2015.
  SB 6433 SB 6433 - Pension forfeiture
If enacted, a public employee convicted of a felony for misconduct associated with his or her position would forfeit his or her pension. The employee’s contributions, without interest, would be returned to the employee. The court would have the discretion to award a portion of the forfeited pension to a spouse or dependent(s) depending on the circumstances of the situation. This bill would apply to misconduct committed once the bill becomes law.
  SB 6434 SB 6434 - Pension garnishment
If enacted, the pension of a public employee convicted of a felony for misconduct that was associated with his or her position could be garnished through a court order to pay for incarceration, probation, parole and/or restitution. This bill would apply to misconduct committed after July 1, 2016.
  SB 6439 SB 6439 - Addressing volunteer fire fighters and reserve officers assisting with multiregional state emergencies
If enacted, the hours volunteer fire fighters and reserve officers work battling state wildfires or assisting with other large-scale multiregional state emergencies wouldn’t be used in determining Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) eligibility.
  SB 6455 SB 6455 - Expanding the professional educator workforce by increasing career opportunities in education, creating more robust enrollment forecasting and enhancing recruitment efforts
If enacted, this bill would allow Teachers’ Retirement System members who retired using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERFs) to return to work as substitute teachers. This provision would be in effect from July 1, 2016, until June 30, 2018.
  SB 6622 SB 6622 - Prohibiting the assignment of retirement benefits
If enacted, this bill would prohibit the assignment of retirement benefits through a loan, advance, transfer or other scheme. A pension assignee found to be in violation of this prohibition would be liable for full repayment of the assigned benefits.

Voice your opinion on any bill by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Watch or listen to hearings on TVW.