DRS Email 05-002, Summary of 2005 Legislation

Subject: DRS Email 05-002, Summary of 2005 Legislation

  • Notice No.: 05-002
  • Date: July 12, 2005
  • Applies to: All Employers
  • Subject: Summary of 2005 Legislation


Summary of 2005 Legislation

This Notice provides a summary of pension legislation passed during the 2005 legislative session that may affect you or your employees. This information does not offer legal interpretations or detailed instructions for implementation. All legislative changes take effect July 24, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

Legislative Summary

HB 1270— LEOFF Plan 2 Career Change

Allows LEOFF Plan 2 retirees who are currently employed or who return to work in a non-LEOFF covered eligible position the option to become a member and suspend their pension benefits, or to not make retirement contributions and continue receiving LEOFF pension benefits without interruption.

DRS is in the process of developing a form for retirees and employers that will document a retiree's choice and facilitate an employer knowing how to report the new employee either as a member or as a retiree returning to work.

SB 5522—Service Credit for Injury

Extends PERS provisions to allow the purchase of up to 24 months of service credit lost due to an on the job injury. Please refer to DRS Notice 94-006 for background.

SHB 1936— PERS EMTs into LEOFF

The definition of fire fighter in LEOFF is amended to include any person who is employed on a full-time, fully compensated basis as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). LEOFF employers will be given additional instructions on how to report affected members in LEOFF Plan 2.

Current PERS members employed as EMTs will have the option to begin membership in LEOFF Plan 2 and become a dual member, or to continue membership in PERS. Current PERS Plan 1 or 2 members who opt into LEOFF Plan 2 will also have the option to transfer past PERS service credit earned as an EMT into LEOFF Plan 2. Members and employers will be sent specific information regarding this optional transfer of service credit and the associated cost for the member and the employer.

HB 1325—Interrupted Military Service Credit

Allows credit for military service that interrupted employment if the member is disabled on active duty and cannot return to employment, or killed while on active duty.

HB 1269—Purchase of Additional Service Credit

Takes effect July 1, 2006, and allows a member who applies for retirement in LEOFF Plan 2 to purchase up to five years of additional service credit. The member pays the full actuarial cost of the resulting increase to their monthly benefit. A member may pay all or part of the cost of the additional service credit with an eligible transfer from a qualified retirement plan.

HB 1327—Purchase of Additional Service Credit

Takes effect July 1, 2006, and allows a member who applies for early retirement in TRS Plan 2 or 3 to purchase up to five years of additional service credit. The member pays the full actuarial cost of the resulting increase to their monthly benefit. A member may pay all or part of the cost of the additional service credit with an eligible transfer from a qualified retirement plan.

SSB 5497—Opt Out of Membership If Terminally Ill

This bill was effective April 21, 2005, and allows PERS, SERS, and TRS Plan 2 or Plan 3 members to opt out of membership if they are deemed terminally ill with less than five years to live.

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding this DRS Notice, please contact Employer Support Services at (360) 664-7200, option 2, or 1-800-547-6657, option 6, option 2; or email us. This Notice can also be accessed on the DRS Web site.

Dave Nelsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Services

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