2013 Legislative Session

The 2013 regular session of the Legislature concluded April 28. A special legislative session will convene May 13. Below is a list of current pension-related bills for 2013. For more information on proposed bills, visit the Washington State Legislature's website.

Pension-Related Bills for the 2013 Session

Last updated 04-25-2013

Click on the bill number for more detailed information about the legislation. Please note that legislative proposals do not become law until they are passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed by the governor. Bills signed by the governor are indicated by an asterisk (*).

* Passed by the Legislature and Signed by the Governor

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

Pension-Related Bills for the 2013 Session

House Bill Number Senate Bill Number Title
HB 1226 SB 5633

Modifying PERS Retiree Return to Work Requirements
ESHB 1981 of the 2011 session modified the return to work rules for PERS retirees. This bill would correct some unintended consequences of those statute changes to ensure that:

  • PERS retirees who return to work in ineligible positions would not be subject to the 867 hour limitation.
  • PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 retirees who return to work in eligible positions covered by other DRS administered systems would be eligible to work up to 867 hours before their benefit is suspended.
HB 1266 * SB 5046

Modifying the Mandatory Retirement Age for District Court Judges
This bill would change the mandatory retirement criteria for District Court Judges to require retirement after the end of the term of office in which they turn age 75, instead of at the end of the calendar year in which they turn age 75.

HB 1399

Natural Resource Investigators As General Authority Enforcement Officers
This bill would make the Department of Natural Resources a general authority enforcement agency, and make Natural Resource Investigators general authority enforcement officers. However, the bill explicitly provides that these changes would not provide prospective membership into LEOFF Plan 2 for these Investigators.

HB 1610 SB 5512

Retirement Eligibility for Plan 2/3 Public School Administrators
This bill would allow Plan 2/3 administrators in School Districts to retire using the Alternate Early Retirement Reduction factors if:

  • They have been employed for 30 school years; and
  • Have at least 29 years and 10 months of retirement service credit;
  • And are at least age 55.
HB 1665

Alternate Retirement Provisions for PERS, TRS and SERS (Rule of 85)
This bill provides unreduced retirement benefits to any vested Plan 2 and Plan 3 member of PERS, TRS, and SERS, who is at least age 55 and for whom the sum of the member's age and the number of years of the member's service credit equals 85 or more

HB 1666 SB 5652

Five year vesting in Plan 3
This bill modifies age and service credit requirements for receiving an unreduced retirement benefit to require at least five years of service credit at age 65 for Plan 3 members of PERS, TRS, and SERS. Currently, members can be required to work up to 10 years before qualifying for a retirement benefit at age 65.

HB 1667 SB 5651

Modifying Retiree Return to Work Restrictions
This bill would remove certain restrictions for Plan 2/3 retirees in PERS, TRS or SERS who retired using the 2008 early retirement factors. Currently, the pension is suspended immediately if a retiree returns to any public employment. This bill would allow these retirees up to 867 hours of public employment prior to their pension being suspended.

HB 1820

Extending Furlough Protection of AFC for 2013-2015 Biennium
This bill would extend the modifications to salary averaging periods for retirees in the DRS administered systems to include forgone salary due to employer approved budget reduction strategies, such as furloughs and salary decreases.

HB 1849

DNR Enforcement Officers Transferred to Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
This bill would transfer all enforcement officers and the enforcement authority of the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. DNR enforcement officers would become commissioned Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers upon transfer to their new agency. This transfer would also make them eligible for membership in LEOFF Plan 2 for their service as a Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officer.

* HB 1868 SB 5698

Health Insurance for Catastrophically Disabled L2 Members
This bill allows catastrophically disabled LEOFF Plan 2 members to be reimbursed for premiums of medical insurance other than that which is provided by the employer, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), or Medicare A and/or B. The reimbursement would only be allowed for payments made after June 30, 2013 and would not exceed the amount reimbursed for premiums authorized by COBRA.

HB 1875

Park Rangers As General Authority Enforcement Officers
This bill would make the State Parks and Recreation Commission a general authority enforcement agency, and make Park Rangers general authority enforcement officers. However, the bill explicitly provides that these changes would not provide prospective membership into LEOFF Plan 2 for Park Rangers.

HB 1876

Liquor Control Enforcement Officers As General Authority Enforcement Officers
This bill would make the Liquor Control Board a general authority enforcement agency, and make Peace or Enforcement Officers of the LCB general authority enforcement officers. However, the bill explicitly provides that these changes would not provide prospective membership into LEOFF Plan 2 for these officers.

HB 1904 SB 5832

Overtime as Salary In the WSPRS
This bill would allow all overtime paid through the Washington State Patrol to be reported as salary to the Department for purposes of retirement benefits. Currently, only mandatory overtime is reported as salary. Voluntary overtime is excluded.

HB 1913 SB 5827

Increased Multiplier for Service Workers in SERS
This bill would increase the retirement benefit multiplier from 2% to 2.1% and from 1% to 1.05% for Plan 2 or Plan 3 members, respectively, who retire as a "service worker" in the School Employees' Retirement System.

HB 1914 SB 5830

Alternate Early Retirement Provisions for Service Workers in SERS
This bill would allow a SERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 member who is a service worker at the time of retirement to be exempt from the early retirement reduction of 5% per year before age 65, regardless of when the service worker started public employment.

HB 1923 SB 5781

Expand PSERS Membership to Include DSHS and additional Corrections Employees
This bill expands eligibility for the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) by:

  • Adding employees (essentially in DSHS) who have direct care/custody/safety responsibilities, who are required to complete specific training and who work in specific institutions, and
  • Adding employees who have direct care/custody/safety responsibilities for offender/patient populations in state/local corrections departments.
HB 1929

PSERS Eligibility for Certain Public Utility District Employees
This bill would expand eligibility to PSERS to certain qualified trades persons who are employees of Public Utility Districts that provide electrical service.

HB 1933

Remove Retiree Return to Work Restrictions
This bill would remove all pension restrictions for PERS and TRS retirees who return to public employment at least 30 days after retiring.

HB 2018  

Regarding Additional Employer Contribution Rates
This bill would require the Pension Funding Council to assess an additional employer specific contribution rate sufficient to pay for lost investment earnings and interest when retirement contributions are made after the service was provided by the employees. This additional rate would only be assessed if the resulting liabilities from the late reporting would require additional contribution rates to be charged to all members and employers if not paid for by the late reporting employer.

SB 5383

Modifying PERS Retiree Return to Work Requirements for Certain Retirees
This bill would allow a PERS Plan 2 retiree who retired under the alternate early retirement factors to work up to sixty days before their pension is suspended if:

  • They return to work in the elections division of a county auditor; and
  • They return to work no sooner than 30 days after their retirement accrual date; and
  • They are compensated at a rate less than or equal to their former salary prior to retirement.
SB 5392

Limiting the Impact of Excess Compensation on Retirement Contribution Rates
This bill would charge the employer the actuarial cost of the increase to a retirement pension when the total salary in the salary averaging period used to calculate the benefit is 1-1/2 times greater than the salary in the previous salary period of equal length. The employer is charged when the salary increase is due to the use of overtime, bonuses, cash outs of leave, or other lump sum payments.

SB 5851

Optional Defined Contribution Plan for Public Employees
This bill would provide an additional retirement plan choice for employees hired into PERS, TRS, SERS, and PSERS eligible positions. In lieu of participating in a Plan 2 or Plan 3, new employees hired after 7/1/2014 would also be able to choose to participate in the Public Employees' Savings Plan. PESP is a defined contribution plan, where member and employer contributions are invested at the discretion of the member in investment options provided by the Department. Additionally, all existing employees could choose to transfer their retirement benefits into the PESP between January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.

SB 5853

PSERS Eligibility for Certain Public Utility District Employees
This bill would expand eligibility to PSERS to certain qualified trades persons who are employees of Public Utility Districts that provide electrical service and currently are PERS employers.

SB 5856

Mandatory Defined Contribution Plan for Public Employees
This bill provides that effective 7/1/2014, all new employees that would otherwise be eligible for PERS, TRS, SERS or PSERS would be required to join the Public Employees' Savings Plan (PESP). This plan is a defined contribution plan only, where members would invest their contributions and the employer contributions in investment options provided by the Department. This bill would also transfer into the PESP any existing employees in those retirement plans who were less than age 45 on July 1, 2014.

SB 5916

Addressing the Administration of the Public Retirement Plans
This bill does three things:

  • It would charge the employer the actuarial cost of the increase to a retirement pension when the total salary in the salary averaging period used to calculate the benefit is 1-1/4 times greater than the salary in the previous salary period of equal length. The employer is charged when the salary increase is due to the use of overtime, bonuses, cash outs of leave, or other lump sum payments.
  • It would require the Department of Enterprise Services to support employers of law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system plan 1 retirees to develop a voluntarily risk pool to share the noninsured retiree medical costs of long-term care and major medical services.
  • It would allow any member or employer feeling aggrieved by any order or determination of a disability board granting or denying coverage for any service or item requested as a medical service to appeal the order or determination to the director of DRS.

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