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 2.6. Alternative Plan for Counties of the 13th Class [31511 - 31511.11]
  ( Article 2.6 added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1. )

31511.
  

(a) The retirement plan created by this article shall be known as Retirement Plan 3.

(b) This article shall be applicable in the retirement system of any county of the 13th class as described by Sections 28020 and 28034, if the board of supervisors executes a memorandum of understanding agreement 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 a 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 (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 below, the provisions contained in this chapter shall apply:

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

(2) 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 (commencing with Section 31830) dealing with disability retirement and the requirement relating to the deposit of accumulated member contributions shall not apply.

(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 such 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. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.1.
  

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) “Member” or “general member” means an employee hired on a permanent basis, as defined by the employer, except an employee eligible for safety membership.

(e) “Primary insurance amount” means the monthly retirement benefit payable under the federal system at the normal retirement age.

(f) “Service” means the period of employment of a member and the time in which a member or former member (1) is totally disabled, and (2) is receiving disability benefits or is eligible to receive disability benefits either during or after any elimination or qualifying period, under a long-term disability plan provided by the employer.

Except as otherwise herein provided, a member shall not be credited with service for any period of time in which the member is absent from work without pay.

Unless otherwise provided, service shall not include military service or public service other than service with the employer.

(g) “Final compensation” means the average annual compensation earnable by a member during any three years elected by a member at or before the time he or she files an application for retirement, or, if he or she fails to elect, during the three years immediately preceding his or her retirement. If a member has less than three years of service, his or her final compensation shall be determined by dividing his or her total compensation by the number of months of service credited to him or her and multiplying by 12.

The board of supervisors of any county subject to this article shall establish a defined contribution retirement plan authorized by Section 401 of the United States Code or a similar plan authorized by the United States Code.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.2.
  

(a) There shall be no general members’ contributions under the plan created by this article.

(b) No refund shall be made to any member who elects to transfer to the retirement plan created by this article of the member’s accumulated contributions. A member who elects to transfer to the retirement plan established pursuant to this article shall receive: service credit toward vesting under the other retirement plan; a pension from the other retirement plan based upon his or her credited service on the day prior to the operative date of the transfer to the retirement plan established pursuant to this article; and a pension from the retirement plan established pursuant to this article based upon service credited on and after the operative date of the transfer to the retirement plan established pursuant to this article.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.3.
  

(a) Absence from work or termination of employment while an eligible employee or disability beneficiary, as defined by the long-term disability plan provided by the employer, shall not be considered as breaking the continuity of service.

(b) For the purposes of subdivision (b) of Section 31511.4, an unpaid leave of absence which has been approved by the employer, shall not be considered an interruption of service. However, the period of time of unpaid leave shall not be considered as service in calculating the retirement benefits otherwise provided under this article.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.4.
  

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

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

(c) Any vested member who has attained normal retirement age 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. For purposes of this article, normal retirement date means the first day of the month coincident with or next following the member’s normal retirement age. For purposes of this article, normal retirement age means:

For Persons Born

Normal Retirement Age

1937 or before

65

1938

65 and 2 months

1939

65 and 4 months

1940

65 and 6 months

1941

65 and 8 months

1942

65 and 10 months

1943–1954

66

1955

66 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 and later

67.

(d) Any vested 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 for a member who has attained normal retirement age shall consist of an annual allowance payable in monthly installments for the life of the retired member equal to: 2.333 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, but not to exceed 30 years; reduced by 2.166 percent of the estimated primary insurance amount, if any, multiplied by the number of years of service to the preceding completed month to which the member is entitled to be credited at retirement, but not to exceed 30 years, multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of years of service with the employer subject to coverage under the federal system, but not to exceed 30 years, and the denominator of which is 30.

(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, based on the number of years and months by which the member’s early retirement date precedes the member’s normal retirement date, in the following tables:

Early Retirement Adjustment Factors

Months

Years

0

1

2

3

4

 0
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12

1.0000
0.9333
0.8667
0.8000
0.7333
0.6667
0.6333
0.6000
0.5667
0.5333
0.5000
0.4667
0.4333

0.9944
0.9278
0.8611
0.7944
0.7278
0.6639
0.6306
0.5972
0.5639
0.5306
0.4972
0.4639
0.4306

0.9889
0.9222
0.8556
0.7889
0.7222
0.6611
0.6278
0.5944
0.5611
0.5278
0.4944
0.4611
0.4278

0.9833
0.9167
0.8500
0.7833
0.7167
0.6583
0.6250
0.5917
0.5583
0.5250
0.4917
0.4583
0.4250

0.9778
0.9111
0.8444
0.7778
0.7111
0.6556
0.6222
0.5889
0.5556
0.5222
0.4889
0.4556
0.4222

Early Retirement Adjustment Factors

Months

Years

5

6

7

8

 0
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12

0.9722
0.9056
0.8389
0.7722
0.7056
0.6528
0.6194
0.5861
0.5528
0.5194
0.4861
0.4528
0.4194

0.9667
0.9000
0.8333
0.7667
0.7000
0.6500
0.6167
0.5833
0.5500
0.5167
0.4833
0.4500
0.4167

0.9611
0.8944
0.8278
0.7611
0.6944
0.6472
0.6139
0.5806
0.5472
0.5139
0.4806
0.4472
0.4139

0.9556
0.8889
0.8222
0.7556
0.6889
0.6444
0.6111
0.5778
0.5444
0.5111
0.4778
0.4444
0.4111

Early Retirement Adjustment Factors

Months

Years

9

10

11

12

 0
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12

0.9500
0.8833
0.8167
0.7500
0.6833
0.6417
0.6083
0.5750
0.5417
0.5083
0.4750
0.4417
0.4083

0.9444
0.8778
0.8111
0.7444
0.6778
0.6389
0.6056
0.5722
0.5389
0.5056
0.4722
0.4389
0.4056

0.9389
0.8722
0.8056
0.7389
0.6722
0.6361
0.6028
0.5694
0.5361
0.5028
0.4694
0.4361
0.4028

0.9333
0.8667
0.8000
0.7333
0.6667
0.6333
0.6000
0.5667
0.5333
0.5000
0.4667
0.4333
0.4000

(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 as of the date of retirement or the date of termination of a vested member, whichever is applicable, and the employee’s earnings, provided that:

(1) An employee’s earnings prior to the first day of service with the employer shall be assumed to have been zero, and

(2) An employee’s earnings during the period of service shall include only those earnings paid by the employer, and

(3) 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) Notwithstanding subdivision (e), any retired member receiving a normal retirement pension may 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 or any reductions on account of early retirement. 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.

(j) All part-time and intermittent employees of a county which elects to be subject to this article shall not be eligible to participate in the retirement plans provided by this article.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.5.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, no surviving spouse benefit shall be paid to a surviving spouse of a member who at the time of death had not met the minimum age and service credit requirements for service retirement.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.6.
  

General members may, within 180 days of the operative 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. Furthermore, any general member who does not elect to transfer during this 180-day period, may elect to transfer within the 30 days prior to any annual anniversary of the operative date of this article. Such a transfer is voluntary and shall be irrevocable.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.7.
  

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

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.8.
  

The board shall before April 1 of each year determine whether there has been an increase or decrease in the cost of living as provided in this section. Notwithstanding Section 31481 or any other provision of this chapter (commencing with Section 31450), every retirement allowance, optional death allowance, or annual death allowance payable to or on account of any member of the plan created by this article who retires at or beyond normal retirement age or dies shall, as of April 1st of each year, be increased or decreased by a percentage of the total allowance then being received found by the board to approximate to the nearest one-half of 1 percent the percentage of annual increase or decrease in the cost of living as of January 1st of each year as shown by the then current Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Los Angeles-Anaheim-Long Beach area, but such change shall not exceed 5 percent per year; however, the amount of any cost-of-living increase or decrease in any year which is not met by the maximum annual change of 5 percent in allowances shall be accumulated to be met by increases or decreases in allowances in future years; except that no decrease shall reduce the allowance below the amount being received by the member or his or her beneficiary on the effective date of the allowance. No adjustment shall be made in the retirement allowance of a member who retires prior to attaining normal retirement age until the member attains normal retirement age.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.9.
  

(a) An employer which is subject to this article shall provide disability benefits for its employees through a long-term disability plan which shall be separate from and administered separately from the retirement plans authorized by this article and all other retirement plans.

(b) The long-term disability plan shall consist of a separate trust which shall be funded utilizing a level cost method and employer contributions. No employee shall be required to make any employee contribution to the long-term disability plan.

(c) The board of supervisors shall contract for the resolution of the issue of disability. The board of supervisors shall establish an appeals board to which a member who is aggrieved by a decision of the administrator may appeal.

(d) Any member permanently incapacitated for the performance of duty, regardless of age or years of service, shall receive disability benefits as follows: (1) for not to exceed two years; (2) for any time after the expiration of the two-year period specified in subdivision (a) if, and only if the member is unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which the member is qualified by reason of training or experience.

(e) The disability benefit shall be 50 percent of the final compensation of the member reduced by any Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, and earnings from any employment other than employment which is part of a rehabilitation program.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.10.
  

(a) The board of retirement shall establish a position whose qualifications shall include experience in administration and communication of defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans and whose duties shall include management of the plan or plans adopted pursuant to this article and reporting to the county treasurer and the director of personnel.

(b) The board of retirement shall establish and implement a comprehensive communication program to educate employees regarding the benefits available under this article and Social Security.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

31511.11.
  

(a) The board of supervisors of any county subject to this article shall establish a defined contribution retirement plan authorized by Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or a similar plan authorized by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

(b) Any full-time employee of the county who is hired by the county on or after the operative date of this article in that county and has completed 6 months of credited full-time service with the county or any member who elects to transfer to the retirement plan created by this article shall participate in the plan.

(c) The county shall partially or fully match the contributions of the employee on the basis mutually agreed to by the board of supervisors and the employee representatives.

(d) The right of the employee to benefits derived from employee contributions vests upon the commencement of the participation by the employee in the plan.

(e) The right of the employee to benefits derived from matching employer contributions vests 100 percent after five years of full-time service with the county.

(f) Upon termination of the employment of an employee whose benefits derived from employer contributions are not vested, benefits derived from the contributions of the employee shall be refunded to the employee and the matching contributions of the employer shall be credited to reduce future employer contributions or to pay expenses of the plan.

(g) The defined contribution plan shall accept rollover contributions from other plans to the extent authorized by federal law.

(h) The plan shall be administered in accordance with subdivision (k) of Section 401 of the United States Code.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1480, Sec. 1.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV2.6