Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 3. GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES [23000 - 33205]

  ( Title 3 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

DIVISION 4. EMPLOYEES [31000 - 33017]

  ( Division 4 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

PART 3. RETIREMENT SYSTEMS [31200 - 33017]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

CHAPTER 3. County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 [31450 - 31898]

  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1947, Ch. 424. )

ARTICLE 1.4. Alternative Plan for Counties of the 16th Class [31486 - 31486.12]
  ( Article 1.4 added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. )

31486.
  

(a) The retirement plan created by this article shall be known as Retirement Plan 2.

(b) This article shall be applicable in the retirement system of any county of the 16th class as described by Sections 28020 and 28037, if the board of supervisors executes a memorandum of understanding with employee representatives and adopts, by majority vote, a resolution providing that the article shall be applicable.

(c) The purpose of this article is to provide an optional, noncontributory retirement plan for general members as an alternative to the provisions and benefits otherwise contained in this chapter.

(d) The retirement benefits of (1) all general members employed after the date this article is made operative and who elect the plan created by this article and (2) existing general members who transfer to the plan herein created, shall be governed by this article.

(e) In the event of a conflict, this article shall supersede and prevail over other provisions or application of provisions otherwise contained in this chapter.

(f) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the provisions contained in this chapter shall apply:

(1) Article 9 (commencing with Section 31700) shall not apply.

(2) Article 10 (commencing with Section 31720) shall not apply.

(3) Article 11 (commencing with Section 31760) shall not apply.

(4) Article 12 (commencing with Section 31780) shall not apply.

(5) Article 16.5 (commencing with Section 31870) shall not apply.

(g) Article 15 (commencing with Section 31830) shall only be applicable for service retirement. Those provisions of Article 15 dealing with disability retirement, death benefits, and the requirement relating to the deposit of accumulated member contributions shall not be applicable.

(h) Except as otherwise provided, any member who upon retirement receives a retirement pension calculated in accordance with sections or provisions added to this article subsequent to the effective date of this article shall have his or her pension calculated under each section or provision only for the period of time that those sections or provisions were in effect, unless otherwise mutually agreed between the employer and its employee representatives.

(i) Unless specifically otherwise provided therein, no amendment to this article enacted subsequent to the effective date of this article shall apply to any county or to the employees of any county unless and until mutually agreed to by the employer and employee representatives and adopted by majority resolution of the board of supervisors.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.1.
  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions contained in this section govern the construction of this article.

(a) “Board” means the board of retirement.

(b) “Employer” means the county or district or agency whose employees are members of the retirement system of the county.

(c) “Federal system” means the Old Age and Survivors Insurance provisions of the Social Security Act.

(d) “Final compensation” means the average annual compensation earnable by a general member during any three years, whether or not consecutive, elected by the member at or before the time an application for retirement is filed or, if no election is made, during the three years in which the member or former member last earned compensation preceding retirement. If a member or former member has less than three years of service, final compensation shall be determined by dividing total compensation by the number of months of service credited to the member or former member and multiplying by 12. In no event shall final compensation include any disability benefits received by the member or former member under a disability plan provided by the employer.

(e) “Member” or “general member” means an employee hired on a permanent basis, as defined by the employer, and eligible for membership as defined by the board in accordance with subdivision (h) of Section 31527, except an employee eligible for or employed in a position eligible for safety membership as defined in Sections 31470.2 and 31470.4.

(f) “Primary insurance amount” means the monthly retirement benefit payable under the federal system at the age of 65.

(g) “Service” means the period of uninterrupted employment of a member. Except as otherwise provided, a member shall not be credited with service for any period of time in which the member is absent from work without pay.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.2.
  

(a) (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 31486.3 or 31486.35, there shall be no general members’ contributions under the plan created by this article.

(2) A member who transfers to the retirement plan created by this article shall have refunded, within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed nine months from the date of receipt of election to transfer by the board, the member’s accumulated contributions, together with interest thereon, which are credited to the member’s account. Interest shall be credited to the June 30 or December 31 date, whichever is later, immediately preceding the date of the refund warrant. A refund under this section shall be payable to the member.

(3) A member who has five or more years of county service as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 31486.1 may elect to leave his or her contributions on deposit for service retirement benefits only.

(b) (1) Except as provided in Sections 31486.3 and 31486.9 and under reciprocal provisions of this article, a member who was in public service prior to becoming a member may not elect to receive credit in this retirement plan for that public service time, and may not receive credit for that prior public service.

(2) Absence from work without pay may not be considered as breaking the continuity of service.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 117, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2007.)

31486.3.
  

(a) An active member governed by the provisions of this article may elect, by written notice filed with the board, to make contributions and receive credit under this plan for service for which he or she would not otherwise be entitled to receive credit pursuant to this article.

(b) A member who elects to receive service credit pursuant to this section shall have the same purchase rights and shall contribute to the retirement fund the amount that a member in the contributory plan wishing to purchase the same service would have to contribute, based on the rates applicable to a member of the contributory plan with the same date of entry into membership. Payment shall be made by lump-sum payment or by installment payments over a period not to exceed 10 years, prior to the effective date of his or her retirement or, if applicable, prior to the date provided in Section 31485.7.

(c) No member may receive any service credit under this section for which he or she has not completed payment pursuant to subdivision (b) before the effective date of his or her retirement or, if applicable, before the date provided in Section 31485.7. Subject to the limitations of federal law, a member who has elected to make payments in installments may complete payment by lump sum at any time prior to the effective date of his or her retirement.

(d) Any sums paid by a member pursuant to this section shall be considered to be and administered as contributions by the member.

(e) As used in this section, the “contributory plan” means that contributory plan otherwise available to new members of the system on the election date.

(f) This section is not operative until the board of supervisors elects, by resolution adopted by a majority vote, to make this section operative in the county.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 369, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

31486.35.
  

(a) An active member may elect, by written notice filed with the board, to make contributions pursuant to this section and to receive up to five years of service credit in the retirement system for additional retirement credit, if the member has completed at least five years of credited service with that retirement system.

(b) As used in this section, “additional retirement credit” means time that does not otherwise qualify as county service, public service, military service, medical leave of absence, or any other time recognized for service credit by the retirement system.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, service credit for additional retirement credit may not be counted to meet the minimum qualifications for service retirement or for purposes of establishing eligibility for benefits based on 30 years of service, additional ad hoc cost-of-living benefits based on service credit, health care benefits, or any other benefits based upon service credit.

(d) A member who elects to make contributions and receive service credit for additional retirement credit shall contribute to the retirement fund, prior to the effective date of his or her retirement, by lump-sum payment or by installment payments over a period not to exceed 10 years, an amount that, at the time of commencement of purchase, in the opinion of the board and the actuary, is sufficient to not place any additional financial burden upon the retirement system.

(e) No member may receive service credit under this section for additional retirement credit that he or she has not completed payment pursuant to subdivision (d) before the effective date of his or her retirement or, if applicable, prior to the date provided in Section 31485.7. Subject to the limitations of United States Internal Revenue Service regulations, a member who has elected to make payment in installments may complete payment by lump sum at any time prior to the effective date of his or her retirement.

(f) Sums paid by a member pursuant to this section shall be considered to be and administered as contributions by the member.

(g) This section is not operative in a county until the board of supervisors, by resolution adopted by majority vote, makes this section applicable in the county.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 117, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2007.)

31486.36.
  

Upon the death of an active or former member of the plan established by this article, an amount equal to the accumulated contributions made by the member pursuant to this article, with interest on that amount, shall be paid to the member’s beneficiaries.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 72, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

31486.4.
  

(a) Retirement of a member or former member who has met the requirements for age and service shall be made by the board, at which time the member or former member becomes a retired member.

(b) Any member who has completed 10 years of service shall be vested under the plan created by this article.

(c) Any vested member or vested former member who has attained the age of 65 years may be retired upon filing with the board a written application on a form provided by the board for normal retirement setting forth the desired effective retirement date.

(d) Any vested member or vested former member who has attained the age of 55 years may be retired upon filing with the board a written application on a form provided by the board for early retirement setting forth the desired effective retirement date.

(e) The normal retirement pension shall consist of an annual allowance payable in monthly installments for the life of the retired member equal to 2 percent of his or her final compensation multiplied by the number of years of service to the preceding completed month to which the member is entitled to be credited at retirement, not to exceed 35 years, added to 1 percent of the member’s final compensation multiplied by the number of years of service in excess of 35, not to exceed 10 years, reduced by the estimated primary insurance amount, if any, multiplied by the fraction of the number of years of service with the employer subject to coverage under the federal system, not to exceed 35 years, divided by 35.

In no event shall the normal retirement pension, when added to the estimated primary insurance amount, exceed 70 percent of the member’s final compensation unless the years of service to which the member is entitled to be credited at retirement exceeds 35, in which case the normal retirement pension, when added to the estimated primary insurance amount, shall not exceed 80 percent of the member’s final compensation.

(f) The early retirement pension shall consist of an annual allowance payable in monthly installments for the life of the retired member in an amount which is the actuarial equivalent of the normal retirement pension to which the retired member would be entitled if otherwise eligible for normal retirement, which shall be computed by multiplying the normal retirement pension by the early retirement adjustment factor set forth opposite the member’s age as of the birthday immediately preceding the date of retirement, in the following table:

Age

ERA Factor

55  ........................

 .39

56  ........................

 .43

57  ........................

 .47

58  ........................

 .51

59  ........................

 .56

60  ........................

 .61

61  ........................

 .67

62  ........................

 .74

63  ........................

 .82

64  ........................

 .90

The ERA Factors set forth in this subdivision shall be used until adjusted by the board in accordance with the interest and mortality tables adopted by the board.

(g) The board, upon the advice of the actuary, shall establish and adjust, as required, the table of estimated primary insurance amounts, which shall be utilized in computing the retirement benefit. For purposes of this article, the primary insurance amount shall be estimated based on the employee’s age and salary as of the date of retirement or the date of termination of a vested member, whichever is applicable, provided that:

(1) An employee’s prior career earnings shall be assumed to have been subject to the federal system and to have increased on a year-to-year basis at a rate equivalent to the rate of increase in the average per worker total wages reported by the Social Security Administration, and

(2) For those members who have not attained the normal retirement age under the federal system as of the date of retirement (i) future earnings in employment covered by the federal system shall be assumed to continue at the rate of pay received by the employee from the employer as of the date of retirement or the date of termination of a vested member, whichever is applicable, and (ii) future wage bases, as defined by the federal system, shall be assumed to continue at the wage base in effect in the year of retirement or the year of termination of a vested member, whichever is applicable, and (iii) cost-of-living increases in the year of retirement and delayed retirement credit provided under the federal system shall not be included in the calculation of the estimated primary insurance amount.

(h) The employer shall certify the years of service to be credited at retirement and the final compensation to be utilized in computing the normal and early retirement pension.

(i) At the time of application for retirement, the member or former member shall provide adequate proof (1) of age and (2) of the eligibility of persons, if any, who at that time would otherwise qualify for the survivor allowance provided for in Section 31486.6.

(j) Notwithstanding subdivision (e) of Section 31486.4, any retired member receiving a normal retirement pension shall, as soon as possible but not later than six months following retirement, present evidence required by the board of the retired member’s actual primary insurance amount. For purposes of this subdivision, the actual primary insurance amount shall be the amount payable under the federal system on the retired member’s date of retirement without regard to delayed retirement credit or any deductions on account of work. Following receipt of that evidence, the board shall adjust the retired member’s pension from the date of retirement to equal the amount of the pension to which he or she would have been entitled on that date had the estimated primary insurance amount equaled the actual primary insurance amount.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.5.
  

A member who retires for service prior to the age of becoming eligible for benefits described under subdivision (f) of Section 31486.1 may, with the approval of the board, elect to have the retirement pension increased prior to the eligible age and reduced after that age by amounts which have equivalent actuarial values. This modification is for the purpose of coordinating a member’s retirement pension with that received from the federal system.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.6.
  

(a) Upon the death of a retired member, 50 percent of the retirement pension, if not modified in accordance with the optional survivor allowance in subdivision (c), shall be continued during and throughout the life of his or her surviving spouse, if he or she was married to the member at least one year prior to the date of retirement. If there is no surviving spouse entitled to this allowance, or if he or she dies before every child of the deceased retired member, including stepchild or adopted child, attains the age of 18 years, then the allowance that the surviving spouse would have received had she or he lived, shall be paid to the deceased retired member’s child or children under the age of 18 years. If the survivor allowance is to be paid to surviving children, the allowance shall be divided among the children in equal amounts. However, the right of any child to share in the allowance shall cease upon the death or marriage of the child or upon the child attaining the age of 18 years.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subdivision, the allowance otherwise payable to the children of the retired member shall be paid to the children through the age of 21 years, if the children remain unmarried and are regularly enrolled as full-time students in any accredited school as determined by the board.

(b) If, upon the death of a retired member, there is no surviving spouse or child entitled to the allowance under this section, and the total retirement allowance income received by the member during his or her lifetime did not exceed his or her accumulated normal contributions, if any, the member’s designated beneficiary shall be paid an amount equal to the excess of his or her accumulated normal contributions over his or her total retirement allowance income.

(c) A vested member, or vested former member, in lieu of the normal or early retirement pension for the retired member’s life alone, may elect to have the actuarial equivalent of the retired member’s pension as of the date of retirement applied to a lesser amount payable throughout the retired member’s life, and thereafter to have a survivor allowance as approved by the board, upon the advice of the actuary, continued throughout the life of and paid to the person or persons having an insurable interest in the life of the retired member, as the member or former member nominates by written designation duly executed and filed with the board at the time of retirement.

(d) Designations pursuant to subdivision (c) shall not, in the opinion of the board and the actuary, place any additional burden upon the retirement system.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 533, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2005.)

31486.7.
  

Notwithstanding any other provisions, upon the death of a member before retirement while in service, the designated beneficiary shall receive a death benefit equal to one month’s final compensation as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 31486.1 for each year of service completed up to a maximum of six months.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.8.
  

Any person employed subsequent to the effective date of this article who would otherwise qualify as a member shall not become a member until that person certifies to the board an election to be covered by the retirement plan established by this article or to be covered by the retirement provisions and benefits otherwise available to members on the date preceding the effective date of this article. As a condition of continued employment, the certification shall be made within 60 days of employment. The employer shall make available to the person a disclosure of the elements of each of the available retirement plans prior to accepting the election.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.9.
  

(a) General members may, within 180 days of the effective date of this article, elect to transfer to the retirement plan created by this article upon proper application executed by the member and filed with the board. The transfer is voluntary and shall be irrevocable.

(b) The retirement benefits of the transferred members are governed and defined by this article.

(c) Transferring members relinquish and waive any and all previously available vested or accrued retirement, survivor, disability and death benefits. However, notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a transferring member may elect to receive credit and a retirement benefit as determined by the former retirement system for public service credit received by leaving contributions on deposit or a refund of contributions and relinquish public service credit.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.10.
  

A member upon becoming vested under this article may elect to terminate and defer accrued benefits for the purpose of future service retirement benefits only, and enter membership of the contributory retirement provisions in effect for new members at the time of transfer. Notwithstanding any other provisions, the rate of contributions shall be based on age nearest birthday at the time of election to transfer.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.11.
  

Until the completion of the next regularly scheduled actuarial survey of the retirement system, the employer contribution required to finance the plan created by this article shall be established by the board, upon the recommendation of the actuary.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

31486.12.
  

If any provision of this article, or the application thereof, to any person or circumstances, is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or application of the article which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application and, to this end the provisions of this article are severable.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 968, Sec. 1. Effective September 10, 1984.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV1.4