KENT COUNTY EMPLOYEES PENSIONS
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9, DELAWARE CODE ENTITLED "COUNTIES" BY PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF PENSION BENEFITS TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF KENT COUNTY, PROVIDING REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURE THEREFOR, EXEMPTIONS FROM ATTACHMENT, NON-ASSIGNABILITY AND OTHER GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. That Title 9, Delaware Code is hereby amended by adding the following new chapter:
CHAPTER 43. PENSION FOR EMPLOYEES OF KENT COUNTY
This Act shall be known as the "KENT COUNTY EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT ACT".
§ 4302. Term "covered employee" defined
An employee shall be considered in "covered employment" within the meaning of this chapter while the employee receives a regular salary or wages wholly or in part directly or indirectly from the County Treasurer of Kent County, or the State Treasurer of the State of Delaware; provided, however, that an employee shall not be considered in covered employment if he is a part-time or seasonal employee who is not regularly employed for more than 120 working days in any one calendar year.
§ 4303. Eligibility for retirement benefits
(a) An employee who is in covered employment on the date of retirement and who shall have served in covered employment for at least fifteen years during the period that ends on the date of retirement, and who has served in covered employment for at least five years immediately preceding the date of retirement, and whose service includes no interruption from continuous covered employment, except allowable interruptions aggregating not more than five years, shall be considered eligible for retirement benefits within the meaning of this chapter, except as otherwise provided.
(b) Allowable interruptions from continuous covered employment shall be interruptions arising from (1) leaves of absence granted to employees; or (2) for entering the armed services of the United States of America as provided in section 4304 of this title; or (3) involuntary severance of employment not due to any fault or neglect on the part of such employee; or (4) voluntary severance of employment for a period not to exceed one year; but the employee shall not be considered in covered employment during any period of such interruption. The usual vacation allowed any employee of any department or agency shall not be considered an interruption from continuous employment.
(c) No employee shall be eligible for retirement benefits under the provisions of this chapter who is covered or potentially covered by any other State, County or municipal pension plan or statute now or hereafter in effect, except as otherwise provided.
§ 4304. Service in armed forces of the United States or in National Guard
(a) In the case of an employee of Kent County who is called to the service of, or voluntarily enters the armed forces of the United States of America, or the National Guard of this State when in continuous active service, the Board or Department employing such employee, shall grant to such employee a leave of absence which shall cover the entire period of service, not exceeding four years, and upon the completion of such leave of absence and service, shall reinstate the employee in the position which he held at the time that his leave of absence was granted.
(b) If any employee of Kent County who shall have entered the armed services, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, shall have been employed in any Board or Department of Kent County which shall come under any pension plan enacted or to be enacted by the Legislature of this State, the time spent by such employee in the armed services shall accrue to his benefit in establishing his right to a pension.
(c) The provisions of this section, in regard to time spent in the armed services of the United States of America in time of war, shall be deemed an exception to the provisions of section 4303 of this title.
§ 4305. Retirement age
(a) Every covered employee within the meaning of this chapter, now or hereafter employed, may be retired after such employee shall have served in covered employment for 25 years, or on or after attaining the age of 60 years in the case of a female employee, or the age of 65 years in the case of a male employee, and shall after retirement during the remainder of his or her life receive the pension fixed by this chapter, subject to such qualifications and reservations as are herein contained; provided that a covered employee may continue active work at the option of the department or agency by which he or she is employed up to the age of 65 years for female employees or 75 years of age for male employees.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to make mandatory the retirement of any employee who is not in "covered employment" as such term is defined in section 4302 of this title, except as hereinafter specifically authorized to the contrary.
§ 4306. Retirement pension benefits
(c) Any pension payable under this chapter shall be subject to the limitation that the monthly pension payment shall not exceed $200 nor be less than $85 per month.
(d) The monthly pension payment shall be one-fiftieth of the monthly retiring base pay, multiplied by the number of years (a fractional period of six months shall not be counted) which the employee shall have served in covered employment during the period that ends on the date of retirement and includes no interruptions from continuous covered employment except allowable interruptions aggregating not more than five years.
Where a person eligible for a pension under this chapter shall have served in covered employment for at least 25 years and shall have served for at least 15 years thereof without interruption up to the date of retirement, his monthly pension payment shall be one-sixtieth of the monthly retiring base pay multiplied by the total number of years served regardless of interruption.
(c) In the case of an employee who shall have been continuously in covered employment during the sixty consecutive months ending on the date of retirement, the "monthly retiring base pay" shall be the regular pay for covered employment paid to the employee by the Levy Court of Kent County, during such sixty months (excluding any pay received for over-time or special work), divided by sixty.
§ 4307. Disability pension benefits
(a) An employee who shall become disabled while in covered employment and after having served in covered employment for at least 15 years during the period that ends on the inception of such disability and that includes no interruptions from continuous covered employment, except allowable interruptions aggregating not more than five years, so as to be prevented by such disability from performing his or her active duties, may be retired on a disability pension.
(b) Such disabled employee shall be kept on the active payroll during the remainder of the calendar month in which such disability shall begin and for the next ensuing three months.
(c) At the end of such third calendar month, such disabled employee shall be retired and shall receive a pension calculated in accordance with section 4306 of this title and payable during the subsequent uninterrupted continuance of such disability until the date when such disabled employee would otherwise become eligible for retirement on pension in accordance with section 4305 of this title; provided, however, that if the retired employee while so disabled shall engage in any gainful occupation or business, then such disability pension shall be reduced by the excess, if any, of the compensation or profit earned from such occupation or business over one-half of the salary or wages last received by such employee for active service in covered employment. If such disability shall continue until the date when such disabled employee would otherwise become eligible for retirement on pension in accordance with section 4305 of this title, then the disability pension shall cease but such disabled employee shall simultaneously enter upon the pension provided by section 4306 of this title.
(d) The provisions relating to payment of disability pension as provided in this section shall not apply if the disabled employee receives compensation equal to or in excess of the benefits provided by this chapter pursuant to the provisions of the Delaware Workmen's Compensation Law, Title 19, Chapter 23.
If the amount of compensation received pursuant to the Delaware Workmen's Compensation Law by the disabled employee is less than the amount he would otherwise receive under the provisions of this section then an amount equal to the difference shall be paid to the employee as disability pension.
(e) Decision as to whether such disability exists or continues shall be by majority vote of the Arbitration Commission referred to in section 4312 of this title. The Arbitration Commission shall, at least once a year or oftener, at its discretion, while the disabled employee is receiving disability pension, require such disabled employee to furnish satisfactory proof of the continuance of such disability. Whenever, in the opinion of the Arbitration Commission, it appears that such employee has recovered to the extent of being able to perform his or her active duties, the Arbitration Commission shall so notify the employee and shall also notify the Department or agency wherein such employee was employed; whereupon the employee shall be required to resume active service and no further pension payments shall be made under the provisions of this section for such disability.
(f) The period for which the disability pension shall have been paid shall be considered an allowable interruption which is allowable in addition to the allowable interruptions aggregating not over five years, in determining subsequent eligibility for retirement on pension under section 4305 of this title.
§ 4308. Submission of pension data to Levy Court for determination of amount required to be raised by taxation
(a) Each department or agency of Kent County that shall come within the provisions of this chapter shall, not less than thirty days prior to the date when the County tax rate shall be fixed by the Levy Court of Kent County in each year, submit a salary or wage payroll record to include employees eligible for pension and which shall contain the names, addresses and amounts for those employees who are carried on the pension rolls, plus the names and addresses and amounts to be paid employees of such department or agency who might become eligible for retirement during the following fiscal year.
(b) At the time of the establishment of the tax rate, the Levy Court of Kent County shall include, in addition to an amount for active employees' salaries or wages, the amounts for those employees who are carried on the pension roll, plus the amount for those employees who might become eligible for retirement during the period covered in such budget.
§ 4309. Pension benefits; time and manner of payment; list of pensioners
(c) The payment of the pension benefits under this chapter shall be made at the same time and in the same manner as salaries and wages are paid for active employees, except as herein otherwise provided.
(d) The name and address of each employee receiving benefits under the provisions of this chapter, together with the amount of pension to be received at each payment by each such employee, shall be filed in the office of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer.
§ 4310. Retirement of employee
(e) A covered employee may request retirement with pension in accordance with this chapter by making a written request therefor to the president or chairman or other principal person of the department or agency by which he or she is employed, at least 30 days prior to the date of retirement; or the president or chairman or other principal person of the department or agency may, with the approval of a majority of the governing board of such department or agency, and in accordance with this chapter, retire a covered employee of his or their department or agency by giving written notice to the employee at least 30 days prior to the date of retirement.
(f) In either event, the president or chairman or other principal person of the department or agency shall prepare a statement in such form as may be prescribed by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to enable him to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The president, chairman or other principal person of such department or agency shall, at least 15 days prior to the date of retirement, give a certified copy of* such statement shall also be given to the employee at least 15 days prior to the date of retirement.
§ 4311. Preservation of pension records by Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer
All records of whatever kind or character received or to be received by the County Treasurer on pension cases shall be kept by him as all other official records of his office are preserved.
§ 4312. Arbitration Commission
For the purpose of settling any controversy that may arise out of the administration of this chapter, the Arbitration Commission for Kent County is hereby created. It shall consist of three persons, not more than two of whom shall be of the same political party, to be appointed by the Levy Court of Kent County, for a term of four years. The Commission shall adjudicate such controversy at a time and place to be fixed by the Commission, after due notice in writing has been given to all interested parties at least ten days prior to the date of hearing. The Commission may administer oaths and do such acts and make such rules in the premises as the Commission deems necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter. The written concurring decision of any two members of the Commission shall be final. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but the Levy Court of Kent County shall provide for the payment of the necessary expenses of the Commission.
§ 4313. Notice to employee of qualification for pension; resolution of Levy Court
When the employee is not entitled to the pension benefits of this chapter, the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall so advise the employee by letter, but if the employee is entitled to the pension benefits of this chapter, the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall so advise the Levy Court of Kent County, whereupon such Levy Court shall prepare, sign and seal, and deliver to the employee, an appropriate resolution in the following form:
WHEREAS, The retirement of __(Name)_____ an employee of Kent County, ______(Address)_______ State of Delaware, from ___(his or her)____ duties as __(Title of Duty)_______ in the __(Name of Dept. or Agency)______ presents a suitable opportunity for expressing the esteem in which we hold __(Name)___ as a faithful and satisfactory public servant; therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, That the County of Kent express its warmest appreciation and thanks to ___(Name)____ for the able and loyal manner in which ___(he or she)___ has uniformly performed ___(his or her)____ public duties and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this Resolution be ___(his or her)____ evidence of a right to the pension provided by the Kent County Pension Law.
President of the Levy Court of Kent County, State of Delaware
Member of the Levy Court of Kent County, State of Delaware
Member of the Levy Court of Kent County, State of Delaware
§ 4314. Effect of Receipt of pension or other benefits under other law
If any Federal or other law now or hereafter enacted shall provide for annuities, pension, disability, allowances, social security, or other benefits, on account of or arising from the same service for which a pension is granted under the provisions of this chapter, then the benefits provided in this chapter shall be reduced to the extent of any such benefits so granted, or if such benefits shall be equal to or greater than the benefits provided in this chapter, no payment shall be made under this chapter.
§ 4315. Restrictions upon other employment by pensioner
No person, while receiving a pension under this chapter, shall be employed by the Levy Court of Kent County, or any department or agency of such Levy Court, in any capacity unless elected by popular vote at an election; and during such elected term, he shall not be entitled to a pension unless he serves such term of office without pay.
§ 4316. Exemption of pension benefits from taxation, attachment, etc.; assignability of benefits
The pension benefits mentioned in this chapter shall not be subject to attachment or execution, nor to any State or local income tax, and shall be payable only to the beneficiary designated, and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer.
§ 4317. Deduction on account of social security payments; duty to report payments
(g) In the event that the employees of the Levy Court of Kent County shall become eligible for the benefits of the Federal Social Security Act, the amount to which the employee upon retirement shall be eligible to receive under the provisions of this chapter shall be reduced by an amount equal to the benefits payable under the Federal Social Security Act.
(h) The County Treasurer may require submission by any covered employee or pensioner of such information or such documents as he shall find necessary for the proper administration of this chapter.
Where he has reason to believe that an applicant for pension or a pensioner may be eligible for an old age insurance benefits under the Federal Social Security Act, the County Treasurer shall require that evidence of application and of notice of award under the Federal Social Security Act shall be submitted promptly to him. Failure to make such submission shall result in postponement of any pension payments under this chapter until these requirements have been met. An initial or amended award of benefits under the Federal Social Security Act shall be promptly reported by the pensioner to the County Treasurer. Willful withholding of information as to receipt of Federal Social Security benefits by a pensioner in order to increase the amount of his pension shall cause him to forfeit all his rights and benefits under this chapter.
Approved June 18, 1957.