CHAPTER 454

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 1105

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 55, TITLE 29, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE EMPLOYEES PENSION PLAN.

WHEREAS, Chapter 483, Volume 60, Delaware Laws, also known as the 1976 Pension Act, contained provisions that were not adequately defined; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Pension Trustees and the Pension Office have encountered difficulty in faithfully administering the statute in its current form.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend 5501 (b)(5), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the phrase "for each month so credited" as the same appears in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"for each month so credited except that individuals who retire prior to December 31, 1981 and who elect not to buy in under the provisions of §5501 (e) shall pay into the fund an amount equal to 5% of his or her prior final average compensation for each month so credited".

Section 2. Amend 5501 (b)(9), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code, by adding immediately at the end of said subsection the following:

"Any credited service purchased under this paragraph (9) shall not be used to determine eligibility for benefits under this Chapter."

Section 3. Amend 5502 (d), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) 'Final average compensation' shall mean 1/60 of the

compensation paid to an employee during any period of sixty consecutive months or any 60 months comprised of five (5) periods of 12 consecutive months in his or her years of service credited under paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) in which his or her compensation was highest, or the average monthly compensation paid to an employee during the period of his or her service credited under paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) if such period is less than sixty months."

Section 4. Amend 5501 (e), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu

thereof a new subsection (e) to read as follows:

"(e) 'Prior final average compensation' shall mean 1/60 of the compensation paid to an employee during any period of sixty consecutive months or any 60 months comprised of five (5) periods of 12 consecutive months in his or her years of service credited under paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) in which his or her compensation was highest, or the average monthly compensation paid to an employee during the period of his or her service credited under paragraphs (b)(1), (2) and (3) if such period is less than sixty months, except that compensation in excess of $24,000 during any calendar year or the sum of any partial calendar years in such period of sixty months shall be excluded and total compensation for such period of sixty months shall not exceed $120,000; provided, however, that for an employee who, prior to the issuance of his first pension check, pays to the fund contributions determined in accordance with the rules and regulations approved by the Board equal to the sum of (1) the additional employee contributions which would have been made to the fund if the maximum limit of $24,000 per annum for computing employee contributions had not been applied, (2) an amount determined by applying the rate of State appropriations to the fund in effect on December 31, 1976 to his or her earnings from January 1, 1966 to December 31, 1976 in excess of $24,000 per annum, and (3) interest compounded at the rate of 6% per annum on the sum of (1) and (2) from the end of the calendar year accrued to the date paid, 'prior final average compensation' shall then mean 'final average compensation' as defined in paragraph (d) herein."

Section 5. Amend §5527 (a)(2)(ii), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the phrase "final average compensation" as the same appears in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the phrase "the average of the sixty (60) months of creditable compensation used to calculate the individual's pension benefit".

Section 6. Amend §5527 (a)(2)(iii), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the phrase "final average compensation" as the same appears in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the phrase "of the average of the sixty (60) months of creditable compensation used to calculate the individual's pension benefit".

Section 7. Amend §5527 (b)(2), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code, by striking the last sentence of said subsection beginning with the word "Any" and ending with the word "compensation."

Section 8. Amend §5527 (d), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the last sentence.

Section 9. Amend §5527 (e), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (e) to read as follows:

any regular part-time employee who is not employed on a full time or annual basis, as the term full time or annual basis is defined in rules and regulations adopted by the Board shall be determined in accordance with paragraph (a) herein, provided that no minimum, amount shall be payable to any such regular part-time employee; provided, however, that for any public school cafeteria employee who entered State service on or before July 1, 1971, and who accrues 15 years of credited service as an employee under 65501 (b)(1) by the date of his retirement eligibility shall receive, beginning at age 62, a minimum amount which, when combined with his Social Security benefit, shall not be less than $200 per month."

Section 10. Amend §5528 (a), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the phrase "65 years of age" as the same appears in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the phrase "62 years of age".

Section 11. Amend §5528 (d)(ii), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code by striking the phrase "but not age 21" as the same appears in said subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the phrase "but not age 22".

Section 12. Amend §5527 (a)(1)(ii) by striking said subparagraph (ii) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subparagraph (ii) to read as follows:

"(ii) 1/60 of his or her final average compensation multiplied by the number of years, taken to the nearest twelfth of a year, in his or her period of credited service after 1976, plus 1/60 of his or her prior final average compensation multiplied by the number of years, taken to the nearest twelfth of a year, in his or her period of credited service before 1977, provided that the maximum limitation specified in paragraph (b) and (c) herein shall not apply."

Section 13. Amend §5543 (a), Chapter 55, Title 29, Delaware Code, by striking said subsection and substituting in lieu thereof a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Effective January 1, 1977, employee contributions to the Fund shall be:

(1) In the case of any employee who first entered service after June 30, 1976, either (a) 3% of total monthly compensation in excess of $500, plus 2% of that portion which exceeds the amount determined by dividing social security wage base by 12; or (b) if any employee receives annual compensation in fewer than 12 months, 3% of total monthly compensation which exceeds the amount determined by multiplying the ratio of 12 over the number of months which he receives annual compensation times $500, plus 2% of monthly compensation which exceeds the amount determined by dividing the social security wage base by the number of months he or she receives annual compensation. In no event shall total compensation during any calendar year in excess of $6,000 be exempt from contributions.

(2) in the case of any employee who first entered service before July 1, 1976, either (a) 5% of that portion of his or her compensation during any month which exceeds $500, or

(b) if annual compensation is paid in less than 12 months, 5% of monthly compensation which exceeds the amount determined by multiplying the ratio of 12 over the number of months paid times $500. In no event shall total compensation during any calendar year in excess of $6,000 be exempt from contributions."

Section 14. This Act shall become effective retroactive to July 1, 1976, provided that Section 13 shall become effective on January 1, 1978.

Approved July 8, 1978.