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 3.9. Internal Revenue Code County Compliance and Replacement Benefits Program [31899 - 31899.9]
  ( Heading of Chapter 3.9 amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 7. )

31899.
  

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to ensure the federal tax-exempt status of the county employees’ retirement systems, to preserve the deferred treatment of federal income tax on public employer contributions to public employee pensions, and to ensure that members are provided with retirement and other related benefits that are commensurate, to the extent deemed reasonable, with the services rendered without violating the intent and purposes of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(b) To achieve this purpose, this chapter incorporates certain pension payment limitations and elects the “grandfather” option in Section 415(b)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code. Also, this chapter provides for certain replacement benefits.

(c) On or after January 1, 2013, the application of this chapter is limited as specified in Section 7522.43.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 247, Sec. 50. (AB 1380) Effective January 1, 2014.)

31899.1.
  

(a) The definitions in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part shall apply to this chapter.

(b) The term “Internal Revenue Code” includes all regulations, revenue rulings, notices, and revenue procedures issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.2.
  

(a) In accordance with Section 31899.3, the retirement benefits for any person who for the first time became a member of the system on or after January 1, 1990, shall be subject to the payment limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code. The retirement benefits for any person who became a member of the system before January 1, 1990, also shall be subject to the payment limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code to the extent that those benefits are not exempt from those limitations under the “grandfather” election that has been made under that section and this section.

(b) The “grandfather” election in Section 415(b)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code is hereby made. All members of a retirement system who joined the system prior to January 1, 1990, are exempt from the Section 415 limits to the extent permitted by the Internal Revenue Code.

(c) This section does not apply in a county of the first class as defined in Section 28020, as amended by Chapter 1204 of the Statutes of 1971, and Section 28022, as amended by Chapter 43 of the Statutes of 1961, which county is instead subject to Article 2.1 (commencing with Section 31510) of Chapter 3.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.3.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the retirement rights conferred by this chapter and by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part upon any person who for the first time becomes a member of a retirement system on or after January 1, 1990, shall be subject to the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code upon benefits that may be paid by public retirement systems. That person may not have any retirement right or benefit that exceeds those limitations, and no retirement right or benefit may accrue to or vest in that person under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) that exceeds those limitations. That person may, however, have retirement rights and benefits under the replacement benefits program established under this chapter.

(b) Each retirement board shall provide to each employer a notice of the content and effect of subdivision (a) for distribution, prior to employment, to each person who may become a member and to each person who for the first time becomes a member on or after January 1, 1990.

(c) Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) shall be construed as if it included this section.

(d) This section does not apply in a county of the first class as defined in Section 28020, as amended by Chapter 1204 of the Statutes of 1971, and Section 28022, as amended by Chapter 43 of the Statutes of 1961, which county is instead subject to Article 2.1 (commencing with Section 31510) of Chapter 3.

(Added by renumbering Section 31899.4 by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.4.
  

(a) Each county and district shall provide a program to replace the benefits that are limited by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code for members whose retirement benefits are limited by Section 415 and cannot be fully maximized pursuant to Section 31538. The replacement benefits program shall provide benefits that, together with the benefits provided by the retirement system, are the same as, and may not exceed, the benefits that would be paid by the retirement system but for the application of the limits of Section 415. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the county or district may modify its replacement benefits program and may add, modify, or eliminate any replacement benefits, as necessary, to carry out the purpose of this chapter. A replacement benefit may not be reduced if the reduction would impair the vested rights of any person.

(b) Each county shall establish and administer its own replacement benefits program for members whose retirement benefits are limited by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(c) A county may, pursuant to a contract with a district, agree to administer the district’s replacement benefits program for the district’s members whose retirement benefits are limited by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code. The county may charge each district a reasonable fee for administering the district’s program and the county and district may agree on any other conditions relating to that administration. If a district does not contract with the county to administer its replacement benefits program, it shall establish and administer its own replacement benefits program.

(d) Upon the recommendation of the retirement system’s actuary, and in accordance with its obligation to recommend county and district contribution rates under Sections 31453 and 31453.5, the board shall adjust the contributions required to be made by a county or district to the extent that benefits are payable under a replacement benefits program of that county or district.

(e) The county, and any district that establishes and administers its own program, shall enact an ordinance or prescribe regulations or other written documentation setting forth the terms of its replacement benefits program.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a county of the first class, as defined in Section 28020, as amended by Chapter 1204 of the Statutes of 1971, and Section 28022, as amended by Chapter 43 of the Statutes of 1961, is not required to provide replacement benefits to any member under this section if that member participates in General Plan F or Safety Plan F under Article 2.1 (commencing with Section 31510) of Chapter 3.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.5.
  

Each county, and each district that establishes its own replacement benefits program, shall administer the replacement benefits program established by it pursuant to this chapter. The board may, pursuant to an agreement with the county or the district that establishes its own program, assist in the administration of the replacement benefits program to the extent permitted under the Internal Revenue Code.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.6.
  

If the Internal Revenue Service determines that any provision of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part or this chapter cannot be given effect without placing a retirement system administered under this chapter or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part out of conformity with Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, that provision, only to the extent that it causes that nonconformity and only with respect to the affected parties shall become inoperative with respect to the payment of benefits pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part, as of the effective date of the determination. The retirement board shall notify the Secretary of State of inoperation under this section.

(Added by renumbering Section 31899.7 by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.7.
  

(a) If Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code is amended to exclude public retirement systems, or if the application of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code to public retirement systems is invalidated by the final decision of an appellate court of proper jurisdiction, all sections of this chapter, except this section, shall become inoperative as of the effective date of that amendment or decision. The retirement board shall immediately notify the Secretary of State whenever any provision of this chapter becomes inoperative pursuant to this section.

(b) Whenever all sections of this chapter, except this section, become inoperative pursuant to this section, and to the extent not prohibited by the Internal Revenue Code, the retirement board, county, and districts shall do all of the following:

(1) Remove the pension limitations imposed by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code for prospective payments to annuitants.

(2) Eliminate the replacement benefits, and pay benefits that are due under the system to the affected annuitants without regard to any limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(3) Take any and all other actions they deem necessary and feasible.

(Added by renumbering Section 31899.8 by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.8.
  

It is the sole intent of the Legislature, in enacting this chapter, to fully comply with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that apply to public retirement systems in order to maintain and ensure the federal income tax exempt status of the county employees’ retirement systems, to elect the “grandfather” option in Section 415(b)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code, and to require that each county and district provide benefits that replace the benefits that are limited by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code for affected members of the county employees’ retirement systems.

The Legislature finds and declares that all costs of local public agencies and local public retirement systems of complying with Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code are a federal mandate within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution and Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2, as construed in City of Sacramento v. State of California (50 Cal. 3d 51).

It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter not be construed to impose upon local public agencies that are maintaining county retirement systems pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of this part, state-reimbursable, state-mandated local program benefit costs within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution and Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2.

If either the Commission on State Mandates or a court determines that this chapter imposes upon any local agency, state-mandated local program benefit costs, notwithstanding any other provision of law, no reimbursement therefor shall be made from the State Mandates Claims Fund pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 or from any other state fund.

(Added by renumbering Section 31899.9 by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2004.)

31899.9.
  

The Legislature reserves the power and right to amend this chapter, as needed to effect its purposes. This chapter shall be controlling over any memorandum of understanding reached between employers and employees pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 4 of Title 1.

(Added by renumbering Section 31899.10 by Stats. 2003, Ch. 520, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2004.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV