TITLE 29

State Government

Public Officers and Employees

CHAPTER 55A. COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL PENSION PLAN

Subchapter II. Eligibility Requirements and Benefits


When a member applies for a pension, he or she shall choose either a unified pension or an ordinary pension.

67 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 6.;

The amount of unified pension payable to an employee, former employee or survivor shall be the sum of:

(1) The amount computed according to this chapter, exclusive of service credited under § 5551(4)b. of this title; plus

(2) The sum of the amounts computed, based on credited service as an employee, according to subchapter II of Chapter 55 of this title; subchapter III of Chapter 83 of Title 11; and Chapter 88 of Title 11.

67 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 6.;

A member shall retire on the member's mandatory retirement date as established by the employer.

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

(a) A member shall become eligible to receive a service pension, beginning with the month after the member has terminated employment, if:

(1) The member has 5 years of credited service, and has attained age 62; or

(2) The member has 15 years of credited service, and has attained age 60; or

(3) The member has 30 years of credited service.

(b) An inactive member with a vested right to a service pension shall become eligible to receive such pension, computed in accordance with this chapter in effect when he or she ceased to be an employee, beginning with the 1st month after his or her attainment of age 62.

(c) A member shall become eligible to receive a reduced service pension beginning with the month after he or she has terminated employment, if he or she has 15 years of credited service, and has attained age 55. The amount of the service pension shall be reduced by four-tenths percent for each month the member is under age 60.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 5.;

(a) A member who has 5 years of credited service shall have a vested right to a pension.

(b) An inactive member's vested right shall be forfeited upon an application for a refund of the member's accumulated contributions and cancellation of membership.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 364, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) A member who has 5 years of credited service, develops a disability and is no longer employed shall become eligible to receive a disability pension beginning with the month following the inception of his or her disability. Such member shall cease to be eligible at the end of the month in which he or she recovers from disability, if such recovery occurs before his or her attainment of age 60.

(b) A member shall be deemed to have a disability who is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity for which the employee is reasonably suited by training or experience by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental disability which can be expected to result in death or to last for a period of not less than 12 months.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 289-291.;

Service pension payments shall be made to a retired member for each month beginning with the month in which the retired member became eligible to receive such pension and ending with the month in which the retired member dies.

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

(a) Disability pension payments shall be made to a member for each month beginning with the month in which the member becomes eligible to receive such pension and ending with the month in which the member ceases to be eligible or dies.

(b) Any disability pensioner who has not attained age 60 shall report to the Board by April 30 each year in a form prescribed by the Board, the total earnings from any gainful occupation or business in the preceding calendar year. The excess of such earnings over 1/2 of the annual rate of compensation, adjusted annually for any increase in the total "Median Usual Weekly Earnings" as published by the U.S. Department of Labor, received by the pensioner before the pensioner developed a disability shall be deducted from the disability pension during the 12 months beginning in July of the year following the calendar year for which earnings are reported, in a manner determined by the Board. If any person received a disability pension for less than 12 months in the calendar year for which earnings are reported, the deduction, if any, shall be determined on a pro rata basis.

(c) Termination of a disability pension on account of recovery from disability shall not prejudice the right of the retired member to qualify subsequently for a service pension or another disability pension.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 364, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 292.;

The amount of the monthly service or disability pension payable to a retired member shall be 1/60 of the retired member's final average compensation multiplied by the number of years, taken to the nearest twelfth of a year, in the retired member's period of credited service.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 14; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 1.;

(a) The amount of the monthly service or disability pension payable to a retired member shall be 1/60 of the retired member's final average compensation multiplied by the number of years, taken to the nearest twelfth of a year, in the retired member's period of credited service.

(b) Notwithstanding provisions of this chapter to the contrary, a member may elect to have his or her service or disability pension computed under this chapter reduced by 2% thereby providing a survivor's pension equal to 2/3 of such reduced amount to the employee's eligible survivor or survivors at the time of the employee's death. This election must be made in a form approved by the Board, filed prior to the issuance of the employee's first benefit check and shall be irrevocable.

(c) Notwithstanding provisions of this chapter to the contrary, a member may elect to have his or her service or disability pension computed under this chapter reduced by 3% thereby providing a survivor's pension equal to 75% of such reduced amount to the employee's eligible survivor or survivors at the time of the employee's death. This election must be made in a form approved by the Board, filed prior to the issuance of the employee's first benefit check and shall be irrevocable.

(d) Notwithstanding provisions of this chapter to the contrary, a member may elect to have his or her service or disability pension computed under this chapter reduced by 6% thereby providing a survivor's pension equal to 100% of such reduced amount to the employee's eligible survivor or survivors at the time of the employee's death. This election must be made in a form approved by the Board, filed prior to the issuance of the employee's first benefit check and shall be irrevocable.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 14; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 315, § 4.;

(a) Upon the death of a member in service who has 5 years of credited service, a monthly survivor's pension shall be payable to his or her eligible survivor or survivors equal to one half of the service pension for which the employee would have been eligible if he or she had been 62 years of age.

(b) Upon the death of a retired member, a monthly survivor's pension shall be payable to the retired member's eligible survivor or survivors equal to one half of such service or disability pension.

(c) For the purpose of this section, the eligible survivors of a member or retired member shall be as follows, provided that a member may change the priority of eligible survivors specified for herein by designating his or her priority of eligible survivors on a form prescribed by the Board and filed with the Board at the time of the member's death:

(1) The widow or widower, provided such person had been married to the deceased member for at least 1 year before the date of death; or

(2) If there is no eligible widow or eligible widower, a child (or with the survivor's pension divided among them in equal shares, all such children if there are more than 1), provided the child is unmarried and either:

a. Has not attained age 18;

b. Has attained age 18 but not age 22 and is attending school on a full-time basis; or

c. Has attained age 18 and has a permanent disability as the result of a disability which began before the child attained age 18; or

(3) If there is no eligible widow, eligible widower or eligible child, a dependent parent (or, with the survivor's pension divided between them in equal shares, both such parents if there are 2).

(d) The amount payable to a widow or widower who has not attained age 50 at the time the survivor's pension begins shall be actuarially reduced, in accordance with actuarial tables approved by the Board, for each month the survivor is under age 50 at such time; provided, however, that the actuarial reduction for any such widow or widower shall not apply for the period during which such widow or widower has in his or her care a son or daughter who is unmarried and either:

(1) Has not attained age 18;

(2) Has attained age 18 but not age 22 and is attending school on a full-time basis; or

(3) Has attained age 18 and has a permanent disability as the result of a disability which began before the child attained age 18.

(e) A parent shall be deemed to have been dependent on the member or retired member who was receiving at least one half of his or her support from the member at the time of the member's death.

(f) A survivor's pension shall begin with the month following the month in which the member or retired member dies. If payable to a widow or widower, it shall cease with the month in which the survivor dies or marries. If payable to a parent, it shall cease with the month in which the parent dies. If payable to a child, it shall cease with the month in which the child dies or fails to meet the conditions of eligibility in paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of this section.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 86, § 15; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 293.;

Upon the death of a member, inactive member, retired member or individual receiving a survivor's pension, there shall be paid to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries or, in the absence of a designated beneficiary, to the estate of the member, inactive member, retired member or survivor, a lump sum equal to the excess, if any, of the accumulated member contributions with interest over the aggregate of all pension payments made.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1.;

Upon the withdrawal from service of a member who is not eligible for a service or disability pension, the accumulated contributions with interest shall be paid to the member.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 7.;

(a) A service pension, disability pension, survivor's pension, death benefit or withdrawal benefit shall be paid only upon the filing of an application in a form prescribed by the Board. A monthly benefit shall not be payable for any month earlier than the 2nd month preceding the date on which the application for such benefit is filed. In no event shall a withdrawal benefit be paid to an individual whose application is filed more than 5 years after the date the individual first becomes eligible to receive such benefit.

(b) The Board may require any member, inactive member, retired member or eligible survivor to furnish such information as may be required for the determination of benefits under this chapter, or to authorize the Board to procure such information including, but not limited to, information regarding benefits pursuant to the Federal Social Security Act. The Board may withhold payment of any pension under this chapter whenever the determination of such pension is dependent upon such information and the member, inactive member, retired member or eligible survivor does not cooperate in the furnishing or procuring thereof.

(c) A service pension, disability pension, or survivor's pension applied for under this act may be paid into a Miller Trust Bank account, pursuant to the creation of an irrevocable income assignment trust ("Miller Trust"), established on behalf of an eligible pensioner or survivor covered under this chapter who is a person with disabilities, so long as the Miller Trust is established consistent with the laws of the State of Delaware, the laws of the United States and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the local and federal agencies responsible for administering assistance programs for persons with disabilities.

62 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 3.;

Any monthly service pension, disability pension or survivor pension based on a former service or disability pension which is payable on July 7, 2005, shall be increased effective July 1, 2005, by the amount of difference between the pensioner's computed benefit under § 5577 of this title, as effective July 1, 2005, less the benefit previously awarded under § 5577 of this title.

75 Del. Laws, c. 132, § 4.;