Subject: Notice E07-020 New Legislation - Temporary Duty Disability

  • Notice No.: E07-020
  • Date: October 8, 2007
  • Applies to: All Employers
  • Subject: DRSN Notice E07-020 New Legislation - Temporary Duty Disability

The Legislature passed Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1261 which standardizes the Temporary Duty Disability (TDD) provisions for members of most retirement systems administered by DRS.

Members now have the option to purchase up to 24 months of service credit for each period of TDD. To be eligible, they must be disabled in the line of duty and be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits under Title 51 RCW or a similar federal workers’ compensation program.

The following information applies to members of:
  • Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (PERS)
  • School Employees’ Retirement Systems (SERS)
  • Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Systems (PSERS)
  • Teachers’ Retirement Systems (TRS)
  • Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Systems, (LEOFF) Plan 2

This is a new option for members of TRS and this legislation does not affect Washington State Patrol members.

Service Credit Limitation

Service credit will be granted for a TDD period for no more than 24 consecutive months. If a member returns to work, he or she may be eligible for another 24 months of service credit, regardless of whether a subsequent duty disability period is due to a flare-up of the original injury.

This bill became effective on July 22, 2007 however different dates apply for each system affected by this legislation.

Refer to each system listed below for specific dates that apply:
  • PERS/SERS on or after March 27, 1984
  • LEOFF Plan 2 on or after July 1, 2002
  • PSERS on or after July 1, 2006
  • TRS on or after July 22, 2007

LEOFF Plan 2 members that receive disability leave supplement or similar benefits can still purchase up to six months interest free. The 2007 legislation allows LEOFF Plan 2 members to purchase an additional 18 months if they received a disability leave supplement or up to 24 consecutive months if they do not receive this type of benefit. For additional information on the six month interest free period, see notice 89-004

How Service Credit May Be Purchased

There is no deadline for members to purchase lost service credit via TDD optional bills. However, interest is added to both members’ bills and employers’ invoices. For these reasons, you should inform employees who become disabled of their options as soon after their accident as possible.

As the employer, your options are:
  • Report only paid leave – then the member has the option to purchase lost service credit after they return to work. If the member does so, the employer invoice will include interest or;
  • Continue reporting their regular compensation on the transmittal report. Refer to 1994 notice below for details regarding this option.

Employers including non-PERS employers have the option to report uninterrupted payments of regular compensation and associated contributions on the monthly Transmittal report. For additional information and criteria associated with this option see notice 94-006.

Plan 2 members can also purchase up to 24 months of lost service credit for any type of official leave of absence. Members should contact DRS directly for more information.

Resources for Employers and Members

We have updated the following Retirement Reporting Reminders - Temporary Duty Disability publication for your reference.

The following links provide members with information on disability benefits and new legislation:
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.

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