TITLE 29

State Government

Public Officers and Employees

CHAPTER 55A. COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL PENSION PLAN

Subchapter I. General Provisions


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Approved medical leave" means a leave of absence from employment, without pay, for a definite period of time, authorized by the employer, and necessitated by the employee's mental and/or physical condition. Approved medical leaves shall not exceed 1 year unless extended by the Board of Pension Trustees.

(2) "Board" shall mean the Board of Pension Trustees established by § 8308 of this title.

(3) "Compensation" shall mean all salary, wages and fees, including overtime payments and special payments for extra duties, payable to a member for service credited under paragraph a. of subdivision (4) of this section and the value of any maintenance provided for the member as part of such payments.

(4) "Credited service" shall mean, for any individual:

a. Service as an employee after the date of affiliation with the Fund by the employer, excluding any period during which an employee is on an approved medical leave or approved sabbatical leave unless service credit for such period or periods of leave is purchased pursuant to paragraph (4)e. or f. of this section.

b. "Equalized state service" shall mean:

1. Years of service as an "employee" as defined in § 5501(e)(1) and (3) of this title, multiplied by 30/30, provided that the individual is not accruing nor collecting benefits under Chapter 55 of this title. It shall not include service for which the employee has received the withdrawal benefit provided by § 5530 of this title, or the refund provided by § 5523(b) of this title, unless such benefit or refund is first repaid with interest at a rate determined by the Board before such service may be equalized.

2. Years of service as an "employee" as defined in § 8351(5) of Title 11, multiplied by 3 0/25, provided that the individual is not accruing nor collecting benefits under subchapter III of Chapter 83 of Title 11. It shall not include service for which the employee has received the withdrawal benefit provided by § 8374 of Title 11, or the refund provided by § 8364(d) of Title 11, unless such benefit or refund is first repaid with interest at a rate determined by the Board before such service may be equalized.

3. Years of service as an "employee" as defined in § 8801(5) of Title 11, multiplied by 3 0/25, provided that the individual is not accruing nor collecting benefits under Chapter 88 of Title 11. It shall not include service for which the employee has received the withdrawal benefit provided by § 8824 of Title 11, or the refund provided by § 8814(d) of Title 11, unless such benefit or refund is first repaid with interest at a rate determined by the Board before such service may be equalized.

c. Restored credited service. If a member ceases to be an employee before the member has acquired 5 years of credited service, the member's service credits to the date of termination shall be cancelled but shall be restored if:

1. The member's cessation of employment is due to absence on account of military service, disability or approved leave, under such rules as the Board may adopt, and the member again becomes an employee within 4 months after such absence; or

2. The member again becomes an employee within 4 months after such cessation of employment; or

3. The member subsequently acquires 5 years of credited service, provided that if the member has withdrawn the member's contributions the member repays them with interest at a rate determined by the Board.

d. Purchased service. A member may elect to purchase (i) up to 5 years of credited service for full-time active duty in the Armed Services of the United States, and/or (ii) up to 5 years of credited service for full-time employment performed for another state, a political subdivision of another state or other service with the State for which the employee will not receive pensionable credit in another Delaware State Pension Plan, a county or municipality of the State, the federal government or an accredited private school or college, provided that the member pays into the Fund, on or before the date of issuance of the member's 1st benefit check, a single lump sum payment equal to the actuarial value of the pension benefits to be derived from such service credits computed on the basis of actuarial assumptions approved by the Board and the member's attained age and final average compensation. Any credited service purchased under this paragraph shall not be used to determine eligibility for benefits under this chapter.

e. Approved medical leave if the member subsequently accrues at least 1 year of credited service under paragraph a. of this subdivision and pays into the Fund prior to the issuance of his or her 1st pension check, contributions determined by multiplying the rates in effect at the time of payment for member contributions and employer contributions times the average of the 60 months of creditable compensation used to calculate the member's pension benefit times the months or fractions thereof so credited. Any credited service purchased for medical leave shall not be used to determine eligibility for benefits under this chapter.

f. Approved sabbatical leave if the member pays into the Fund, prior to the issuance of his or her 1st pension check, contributions equal to the sum of the employee contributions and employer contributions which would have been made to the Fund during such periods of sabbatical leave, with the amount of such contributions to be determined in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the Board.

g. Service as an employee before the date of affiliation with the Fund by the member's employer, provided the actuarially-determined past service cost associated with such service is paid into the Fund on a schedule approved by the Board of Pension Trustees.

(5) "Employee" shall mean:

a. An individual who is employed on a full-time or annual basis or on a regular part-time basis, as the terms "full-time or annual basis" and "regular part-time basis" are defined in rules and regulations adopted by the Board, by an employer;

b. An elected or appointed official;

c. A person defined in paragraph a. or b. of this subdivision during the period he or she is on an approved medical or sabbatical leave;

d. A person who is a paid employee of a volunteer fire company or a volunteer ambulance company in Delaware; or

e. A person who is a paid non-state employee of the Delaware State Housing Authority or of any of its subsidiaries.

(6) "Employer" shall mean a county or municipality, including state governmental subdivisions, Delaware State Housing Authority, volunteer ambulance companies, and volunteer fire companies, in Delaware which has affiliated with the Fund established by Chapter 55 of this title as provided in § 5555 of this title.

(7) "Final average compensation" shall mean 1/60 of the compensation paid to an employee during any period of 60 consecutive months or any 60 months comprised of 5 periods of 12 consecutive months in his or her years of credited service in which his or her compensation was highest.

(8) The clause "for which he or she is eligible under the Federal Social Security Act" shall mean the old age insurance benefit or the disability insurance benefit for which a member is or will be eligible by virtue of age and his or her wage credits under the Federal Social Security Act, based on his or her final average compensation and the Federal Social Security Act in effect when the member ceased to be an employee under this chapter and computed in accordance with rules and regulations approved by the Board, regardless of any other factors such as, without limitation, whether the member has made application for social security benefits or is subsequently employed.

(9) "Fund" shall mean the Fund established by § 5593 of this title.

(10) "Inactive member" shall mean a member who:

a. Has terminated service;

b. Is not eligible to begin receiving a service or disability pension; and

c. Has neither applied for nor received a refund of the member's contributions.

(11) "Member" shall mean a person who is an employee on or after the date the employer affiliates with the Fund.

(12) "Retired member" shall mean a member who has terminated service, other than an inactive member, who is eligible to receive a service or disability pension under this chapter.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 306, §§ 1, 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 157, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 86, §§ 4, 17; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 425, § 37(a), (b); 71 Del. Laws, c. 132, §§ 91, 92; 74 Del. Laws, c. 226, §§ 2, 3; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 6; 79 Del. Laws, c. 140, § 1.;

An individual shall not receive a pension under this chapter for any month during which the individual is an employee, unless the individual is:

(1) An official elected by popular vote at a regular or special election; or

(2) An official appointed by the Governor; or

(3) A temporary employee whose earnings from such temporary employment do not exceed the maximum allowed by social security without affecting social security benefits; or

(4) A registration or election official, or a juror.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

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.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 337, § 3.;

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.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1.;

Any county or municipality, including state governmental subdivisions, Delaware State Housing Authority, volunteer ambulance company, and volunteer fire company, may elect to participate in the State Employees' Pension Fund beginning July 1 of any year on or after July 1, 1981. Application to participate shall be by resolution approved by the governing body of the county or municipality, including state governmental subdivisions and the Delaware State Housing Authority, and shall be submitted to the Board in such form as the Board shall determine, not later than 90 days prior to the date participation is to begin, except such time limit may be reduced by the Board. Any such application, upon approval by the Board, shall be irrevocable. Each participating county and municipality, including state governmental subdivisions and the Delaware State Housing Authority, shall provide such information to the Board as it may require for the administration of this chapter.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 157, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 425, § 37(c); 71 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 93; 74 Del. Laws, c. 226, § 4.;