§ 6651 Definitions.
(a) "Board" shall mean the Board of Pension Trustees established by § 8308 of Title 29.
(b) "Credited service" shall mean, for any member:
(1) Service as a volunteer after June 30, 1986, that has been certified by the employer; and
(2) Service as a volunteer prior to July 1, 1986, on the basis of 1 year of credited service for each 3 years of service as certified by the employer provided that the member has been actively participating in the organization for the 12 months preceding July 1, 1986.
(c) "Employer" shall mean the participating state volunteer fire departments, ladies auxiliaries thereof and service organizations providing volunteer ambulance services.
(d) "Fund" shall mean the Fund established by § 6661 of this title.
(e) "Member" shall mean an actively-participating volunteer of 1 of the state volunteer fire departments, auxiliaries thereof and service organizations providing volunteer ambulance services.
§ 6652 Volunteer Firemen's Pension Committee.
The Delaware Volunteer Firefighter's Association shall appoint, from its membership, a 9-person advisory committee. Three members shall come from New Castle County, 3 members from Kent County and 3 members from Sussex County. The advisory committee shall make recommendations to the State Board of Pension Trustees on all pension matters the advisory committee deems appropriate.
§ 6653 Attachment and assignment of benefits.
Except for orders of the Delaware Family Court for a sum certain payable on a periodic basis, the benefits provided by this chapter shall not be subject to attachment or execution and shall be payable only to the beneficiary designated and shall not be subject to assignment or transfer.
§ 6654 Waiver of benefits.
Any individual entitled to any benefits under this chapter may decline to accept all or any part of such benefits by a waiver signed and filed with the Board. Such waiver may be revoked in writing at any time, but no payment of the benefits waived shall be made covering the period during which such waiver was in effect.
§ 6655 Eligibility for pension.
(a) A member shall become eligible to receive a pension beginning with the first month after attainment of age 60 if the member has 10 years of credited service.
(b) For purposes of this section, credited service shall include any period during which a member qualifies for benefits under Chapter 67 of Title 18 and/or workers' compensation.
(c) An inactive member with a vested right to a pension shall become eligible to receive such pension, computed in accordance with this chapter in effect when the member ceased to be a member, beginning with the first month after the member's attainment of age 60.
§ 6656 Vested right to pension.
(a) A member who has 10 years of credited service shall have a vested right to a pension.
(b) A member's vested right shall be forfeited upon the member's application for a refund of the member's accumulated contributions, and the member's membership shall be cancelled.
§ 6657 Payment of pension.
No pension payment shall be made under this chapter prior to July 1, 1988, thereafter pension payments shall be made beginning with the month in which the member becomes eligible to receive such pension and ending with the month in which the member dies.
§ 6658 Amount of pension.
The amount of the monthly pension payable to an eligible member shall be $5.00 times years of credited service up to a maximum of 25 years.
§ 6659 Death benefit.
Upon the death of a member, inactive member or retired member, there shall be paid to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries or, in the absence of a designated beneficiary, to the estate of the member, a lump sum equal to the excess, if any, of the accumulated member contributions with interest over the aggregate of all pension payments made.
§ 6660 Withdrawal benefit.
(a) Upon the withdrawal from service of a member who is not eligible to receive a pension and does not have a vested right to a pension, the member's accumulated contributions with interest shall be paid to the member's employer for final disposition.
(b) Upon the withdrawal from service of a member who is not eligible to receive a pension but has a vested right to a pension, the member's accumulated contributions with interest shall be paid to such member.
(c) If an individual ceases to be a member the individual's service credits to the date of termination shall be cancelled, but shall be restored if the individual again becomes a member provided that if the individual has withdrawn the individual's own contributions the individual repays them with interest at a rate determined by the Board.
§ 6661 Volunteer Firemen's Pension Fund established.
There shall be established a Volunteer Firemen's Pension Fund, hereinafter referred to as "Fund," to which the employer and member contributions shall be deposited annually and to which earnings on investments, any other contributions, gifts, donations, grants, refunds and reimbursements shall be deposited upon receipt and from which benefits shall be paid and fees and expenses authorized by the Board shall be paid. Subject to Internal Revenue Code § 457(e)(11) [26 U.S.C. § 457(e)(11)], the assets of the Fund will be invested by the Board as provided for by § 8308 of Title 29. The assets of the Fund are held in trust and may not be used for or diverted to any purpose other than for the exclusive benefit of the members.
§ 6662 Member contributions.
Member contributions to the Fund shall be $60 per annum.
§ 6663 Employer contributions.
(a) The employer's contribution to the Fund for the fiscal year 1986-1987 shall be $250,000.
(b) The employer's contribution to the Fund for the fiscal year 1987-1988 shall be $250,000.
(c) The employer's contribution to the Fund for the fiscal year 1988-1989, and for each fiscal year thereafter shall be a sum approved by the Board on the basis of the most recent actuarial valuation.
(d) The actuary shall prepare an actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of the Fund as of June 30, 1988, and each year thereafter. On the basis of reasonable actuarial assumptions and tables approved by the Board, the actuary shall determine the normal cost required to meet the actuarial cost of current service and the unfunded accrued liability.
§ 6664 Payment of benefits.
Benefits shall be due and payable under this chapter only to the extent provided in this chapter, and neither the State nor the Volunteer Firemen's Pension Fund shall be liable for any amount in excess of such sums.
§ 6665 Withdrawal of an employer.
(a) A participating employer may withdraw from the Fund by providing a resolution from its governing body to the Board. The withdrawing employer shall be ineligible to rejoin the Fund at a future date. The withdrawing employer shall be required to make a withdrawal liability payment as provided under subsection (c) of this section.
(b) All vested members of the employer shall be eligible for benefits accrued with the Fund up to the withdrawal date. All nonvested members will be eligible for a withdrawal benefit as provided under § 6660 of this title.
(c) The employer will remain liable to the Fund for the employer's share of any unfunded actuarial liability of the Fund which is attributable to the members of the employer who have either retired or will retire from the Fund. The employer's liability shall be calculated on the basis of the actuarial assumptions used in the Fund's most recent actuarial valuation. The calculation will be based on the Fund's present value of accrued benefits less the market value of assets multiplied by the fraction of the total amount required to be contributed to the Fund by the employer over the past 5 years divided by the total amount required to be contributed to the Fund by all participating employers during the past 5 years. The employer's liability shall be paid in accordance with a schedule determined by the Board over a period not to exceed 2 years. Any payment schedule shall use an interest rate equal to the rate of investment return used in the actuarial valuation adopted by the Board prior to the withdrawal date.
(d) Should a volunteer fire company take formal action to disband their auxiliary organization the withdrawal liability payment pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be paid by the volunteer fire company.