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AGO Opinions with Topic: RETIREMENT
AGO 2005 No. 16 >  November 2, 2005
PENSIONS - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ - RETIREMENT SYSTEMS - RETIREMENT
Effect of “non-contractual rights clause” on Legislature’s future obligation to provide “gain-sharing benefits” Where the Legislature has enacted statutes providing “gain-sharing” benefits to retirement system members if certain circumstances occur, but has included language reserving the right to repeal or modify such benefits before they are actually granted, pension system members have no enforceable right or current reasonable expectation of receiving such benefits.
AGO 1980 No. 8 >  March 7, 1980
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - TEACHERS - STATE EMPLOYEES
RETENTION OF MEMBERSHIP IN TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR TRANSFER TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM UPON CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT STATUS (1) A person who has properly established membership in the Washington Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) through employment as a public school teacher in accordance with RCW 41.32.240 or RCW 41.32.780 may thereafter continue to participate in TRS and receive TRS service credit in connection with later periods of employment with the same or another school district or a state agency even though that person is not still employed as a teacher. (2) Such continuing active participation in the Washington Teachers' Retirement System, however, is only permitted and not required under the specified circumstances; accordingly, the person in question (by not returning to or continuing in active TRS membership upon his or her change in employment status) may, if employed in an eligible position under the Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), thereafter be covered as a member of that retirement system unless he or she is personally ineligible, under RCW 41.40.120, for some other reason.
AGO 1980 No. 18 >  August 28, 1980
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LEOFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM - DRUGS AND MEDICINE
MEDICAL SERVICES UNDER RCW 41.26.150 (1) In the case of a LEOFF Retirement System member seeking payment for medical services, an employer under chapter 41.26 RCW may be required to pay for drugs prescribed by a physician for the member regardless of whether or not the drug prescribed is one which can be legally purchased without a physician's prescription.(2) Syringes used to inject insulin do not constitute "drugs and medicine" under RCW 41.26.030(22)(b)(iii)(A).(3) It is a function of a LEOFF Disability Board established under RCW 41.26.110 not only to designate what medical services are to be provided to a sick or disabled member but, in addition, to designate the provider of medical services under RCW 41.26.150.
AGO 1980 No. 24 >  December 23, 1980
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - INITIATIVE NO. 62
IMPACT ON PROPOSED PENSION LEGISLATION (1) In the event that the legislature amends the statutes governing the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) by increasing post-retirement benefits in such a manner as will require all employers, including local taxing districts, to make increased employer contributions to the retirement system, the provisions of section 6(1) of Initiative 62 will not require the state to reimburse those taxing districts for such increased contributions.(2) If the legislature amends the statutes governing the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) in such a manner as to require that local school districts make some form of "employers' contribution" to the system, the provisions of section 6(1) of Initiative 62 will likewise not require the state to reimburse those local school districts for such contributions; however, such legislation could cause section 6(3) of the initiative to become applicable unless the full cost to the school district resulting from the legislation is, in turn, covered by state funding in accordance with Wash. Const., Art. IX, section 1.(3) If the legislature acts to require that persons seeking to be employed as municipal fire fighters or law enforcement officers meet minimum medical and health standards in order to become eligible for such employment, and the taxing districts by which those personnel are employed thereby incur additional costs either in establishing or implementing such standards, the state will not be required by section 6(1) of Initiative 62 to reimburse those taxing districts for such costs.
AGO 1971 No. 34 >  November 4, 1971
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
PENSIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM (1) It is not necessary that a fire dispatcher pass a civil service examination for firemen or fire fighters in order to be considered a "fire fighter" as that term is used in chapter 41.26 RCW, the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system; instead, it is sufficient that a person has been serving on a full-time, fully compensated basis as a fire dispatcher in a city, town or other municipal fire department which, on March 1, 1970, required its dispatchers to have passed a civil service examination for fireman or fire fighter ‑ without regard to whether the particular individual has, himself, taken or passed such an examination.(2) Any person who, on March 1, 1970, was employed in a fulltime, fully compensated basis by an employer covered by the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system, and who, on May 21, 1971, was making contributions under the provisions of chapters 41.16 or 41.18 RCW, is also now to be considered a "fire fighter" for the purposes of chapter 41.26 RCW, whether or not he has taken or passed a civil service examination for fire fighters or firemen.(3) A retired fireman is entitled to the increased benefits provided by RCW 41.16.145 or RCW 41.18.104, as clarified by §§ 17 and 18 of chapter 257, Laws of 1971, 1st Ex. Sess., if he was retired for disability under either of those two chapters and was so retired prior to June 8, 1961.(4) A fire fighter who has vested under RCW 41.18.130 is not required to have attained the age of 50 years before being entitled to receive an allowance under that statute.
AGO 1961 No. 35 >  June 6, 1961
TEACHERS - RETIREMENT - CREDIT FOR OUT-OF-STATE SERVICE UNDER RCW 41.32.300 - 1961 AMENDMENT
TEACHERS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- CREDIT FOR OUT-OF-STATE SERVICE UNDER RCW 41.32.300 ‑- 1961 AMENDMENT A teacher who entered public school employment during the 1960-61 school year has until June 30, 1962, to establish credit for out-of-state service under the provisions of RCW 41.32.300 as it read prior to its 1961 amendment.
AGO 1981 No. 12 >  August 12, 1981
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM ‑- MEMBERSHIP ON LOCAL DISABILITY BOARD (1)  A municipal fire fighter or law enforcement officer who was first employed as such on or after October 1, 1977, and thus is classified as a Plan II member of the Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement System (LEOFF), may nevertheless be elected to, and serve as a member of, a local LEOFF disability board established pursuant to RCW 41.26.110.(2)  Likewise, a municipal fire fighter or law enforcement officer who is a Plan II LEOFF member may vote for the fire fighter or law enforcement officer position on a city disability board under RCW 41.26.110(a); but such a Plan II fire fighter or law enforcement officer may not do so in the case of a county disability board under RCW 41.26.110(b).
AGO 1982 No. 6 >  May 27, 1982
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
LIABILITY FOR ADDED PENSION COSTS Payment of a lump sum amount to a retiree for accrued annual leave at the time of his or her termination of employment does not constitute a salary increase for the purposes of § 34, chapter 52, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess. or § 2, chapter 10, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess. relating to employer liability for increased retirement benefit costs under the laws governing the Public Employees' Retirement System and the State Teachers' Retirement System, respectively.
AGO 1972 No. 19 >  September 11, 1972
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - COMMUNITY COLLEGES - CIVIL SERVICE - RETIREMENT - ESTABLISHMENT OF MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE FOR STATE CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- COMMUNITY COLLEGES ‑- CIVIL SERVICE ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- ESTABLISHMENT OF MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE FOR STATE CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES The board of trustees of a community college may not adopt a rule establishing a mandatory retirement age of 65 years for all of its classified civil service employees who are also members of the Washington public employees' retirement system, without regard to the particular jobs which they hold.
AGO 1973 No. 9 >  March 30, 1973
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - EMPLOYEES - CONTRACTS - RETIREMENT - INSURANCE
DISTRICTS ‑- SCHOOLS ‑- EMPLOYEES ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- INSURANCE (1) An agreement by a school district in reducing its force of certificated teachers for financial reasons to grant those teachers whose contracts are not to be renewed an unpaid leave of absence coupled with a right to return at some future date, if and when future teaching vacancies occur within the district for which they are qualified, will be enforceable by a separated teacher only if it is supported by an adequate legal consideration. (2) Such an agreement must be in writing in order to satisfy the requirements of RCW 28A.67.070, and of RCW 19.36.020 as well if the rights thereby granted are intended to be enforceable for more than one year beyond the date of its execution. (3) Considerable doubt must be expressed as to the enforceability of such a leave of absence coupled with a right of return if the term of leave exceeds one year in duration. (4) During the period of an unpaid leave of absence a teacher will not be eligible for active participation in the state teachers' retirement system as an employee of the district granting the leave. (5) Whether during the period of an unpaid leave of absence a teacher will be eligible to continue participating at his own expense in a medical insurance program provided for by the school district under RCW 28A.58.420 or RCW 41.04.180 will depend upon the terms of the particular insurance contract involved.
AGO 1983 No. 5 >  March 23, 1983
DISTRICTS - SCHOOL - EMPLOYEES - RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - SOCIAL SECURITY
WITHDRAWAL BY INDIVIDUAL DISTRICTS Because of the necessity for a legally sufficient description in connection with an offer to sell, or sale of, real property an offer to sell a portion of a larger tract of land, or the execution of a purchase and sale agreement covering such a tract of land, constitutes a "division" of the land under the definition of a "short subdivision" contained in RCW 58.17.020(6) or (7) so as to render applicable the various provisions of chapter 58.17 RCW relating to short plats and short subdivisions.
AGO 1983 No. 7 >  March 30, 1983
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LAW ENDORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
DIVISION OF INSURANCE COSTS Medical insurance for law enforcement officers or firefighters under RCW 41.26.150(4), on the basis of which medical service payments by the employer are to be reduced in accordance with subsection (2) of that statute, may be paid for entirely by the employer or partially by the employer and partially by the subject employees; an employer may not, however, require its employees to pay the entire cost of such plan or plans of group hospitalization and medical aid insurance.
AGO 1983 No. 16 >  August 16, 1983
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LEOFF PLAN II
RESTORATION TO ACTIVE SERVICE OF MEMBERS RECEIVING DISABILITY RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES Pursuant to RCW 41.26.470(2), nonduty LEOFF Plan II disability retirees who recover from their disabilities are to be restored to duty based on the same procedures and under the same conditions as duty disability retirees.
AGO 1976 No. 1 >  January 12, 1976
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION - INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES
RETIREMENT ‑- PENSIONS ‑- SALARIES AND WAGES ‑- COMPENSATION ‑- INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES (1) Terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave are not to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed under the laws governing the Washington law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system (chapter 41.26 RCW) or either of the two judicial retirement systems (chapters 2.10 and 2.12 RCW); however, such payments are to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed under the laws governing the Washington public employees' retirement system (chapter 41.40 RCW), the Washington state teachers' retirement system (chapter 41.32 RCW) and the Washington state patrol retirement system (chapter 43.43 RCW).  (2) Where terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave are to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed, the only such payments thus to be included are those reflecting such leave actually earned but not taken during the time period being utilized in each case to determine the appropriate salary or compensation base.
AGO 1977 No. 7 >  March 3, 1977
TAXATION - PROPERTY - PENSIIONS - RETIREMENT - POLICE - FIREMEN - LEOFF
TAXATION ‑- PROPERTY ‑- PENSIIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- POLICE ‑- FIREMEN ‑- LEOFF ‑- PROPERTY TAXES FOR FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND (1) RCW 41.26.040(3) does not prohibit a city or town from using property tax revenues obtained under RCW 41.16.060 for municipal purposes other than the funding of firemen's pensions in those cases where such other uses are permitted by the terms of the latter statute.  (2) A municipality which first created a full time, paid fire department after March 1, 1970, the date upon which the LEOFF system became operative, is not authorized to levy the additional property tax provided for in RCW 41.16.060.
AGO 1985 No. 7 >  March 7, 1985
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - DENTISTRY - MEDICAL AID - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS
SCOPE OF MEDICAL SERVICES (1) The phrase "his teeth" in RCW 41.26.030 (relating to members of the Washington Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement System) includes not only natural teeth but also previously installed dental work such as bridges, false teeth, fillings, and the like. (2) The obligation of an employer, under RCW 41.26.150, to pay for dental repair or replacement for an individual whose previous dental work broke while eating depends on whether, under the facts of the particular case as determined by the disability board having jurisdiction, the damages were the result of an accident.
AGO 1986 No. 12 >  October 27, 1986
COUNTY - EMPLOYMENT - RETIREMENT - MEDICAL BENEFITS
LIABILITY FOR COSTS OF NURSING HOME CARE FOR RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS RCW 41.26.150 makes the counties responsible for the costs of nursing home care for those individuals retired from county employment under the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Act for so long as nursing home confinement is required. The county may reduce the amount paid monthly to a retiree by the amount currently received from another source as reimbursement for medical services but not for those monies received by the retiree for other purposes such as a general retirement allowance.
AGO 1978 No. 8 >  March 23, 1978
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - COMPUTATION OF DISABILITY LEAVE AND DISABILITY RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES
RETIREMENT ‑- PENSIONS ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM ‑- COMPUTATION OF DISABILITY LEAVE AND DISABILITY RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES (1) Where a Plan I member of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System has been placed on disability leave under RCW 41.26.120, his disability leave allowance is not affected by salary increases (or decreases) granted to active members of the police or fire department during the period he remains on disability leave.   (2) The disability retirement allowance payable to a Plan I member of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System under RCW 41.26.130 is to be based on his salary at the time he began his period of disability leave.
AGO 1987 No. 4 >  January 29, 1987
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - RCW 43.135.060(1)
IMPACT ON PROPOSED PENSION LEGISLATION If the Legislature amends the statutes governing the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System, Plan II (LEOFF II), by reducing the retirement age from 58 years to 50 years, reducing the number of months of service from 60 months to 24 months in determining the final average salary, and requiring any increased costs to be borne by local taxing districts/employers, the State would not be required by RCW 43.135.060(1) to reimburse those local taxing districts.
AGO 1989 No. 3 >  February 15, 1989
LEOFF - RETIREMENT - LONGEVITY PAY - VACATION
LEOFF ‑- VACATION ‑- LONGEVITY PAY ‑- RETIREMENT 1.Where a LEOFF member after a period of temporary disability retirement returns to active duty, the member's employer is not required under RCW 41.26.140 to grant longevity pay, vacation accrual or similar benefits to the member to the same extent such benefits would be available to another employee of the same rank who had been continuously employed with no period of disability retirement.2.The term "current salary" as used in RCW 41.26.140(2) may or may not include "longevity pay", depending on the type of "longevity pay" used by a particular LEOFF employer.3.RCW 41.26.140 does not restrict LEOFF employers from adopting policies or entering into collective bargaining agreements regarding longevity pay and vacation accrual, so long as the policies or collective bargaining agreements are consistent with the requirements of the statute.  
AGO 1992 No. 24 >  October 19, 1992
PENSIONS - POLICE - RETIREMENT - CITIES AND TOWNS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Change in Pension of Retired Member RCW 41.20.050 and .060 provide that a retired police officer will receive a pension equal to 50 percent of the amount of salary at any time attached to the position held at the date of retirement.  If a city creates a new step in its civil service classification and advances all officers at the next lower step to the new step, an officer who retired at that next lower step will receive a pension equal to 50 percent of the salary attached to the new step.
AGO 1992 No. 26 >  November 6, 1992
LEOFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
Payment of Interest on Members' Accumulated Contributions RCW 41.26.060(8) authorizes the Director of Retirement Systems to fix the amount of interest to be credited to members' accumulated contributions at a rate which shall be based upon the net annual earnings of the fund.  This statute permits the Director to credit interest to members' accumulated contributions.  However, it does not require the Director to credit interest to members' accumulated contributions in the amount of the actual net earnings of the invested funds.
AGO 1993 No. 4 >  March 22, 1993
CITIES AND TOWNS - CHARTERS - FIREMEN - RETIREMENT - PENSIONS
Appointment of a city director of finance to serve on municipal firemen's pension board RCW 41.16.020 creates a municipal firemen's pension board and provides that one member is the city comptroller or clerk.  If a charter city eliminates the position of comptroller and assigns those functions to a director of finance, the city can assign the director of finance to the pension board instead of the clerk.
AGO 1969 No. 13 >  August 25, 1969
CITIES AND TOWNS - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - ELIGIBILITY OF POLICE OFFICERS FOR INCREASED RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE
CITIES AND TOWNS - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - ELIGIBILITY OF POLICE OFFICERS FOR INCREASED RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE (1) In order to qualify for retirement in a position higher than the rank of captain, in accordance with RCW 41.20.050, as amended by § 36, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., it is not necessary that the retiree has served in such a position for three consecutive years immediately prior to the date of his retirement; it is sufficient that he has served in such a position for a minimum of three years at sometime during his period of covered service.(2) Under § 36, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., a person seeking to qualify for retirement in a position higher than the rank of captain must pay into the first-class city relief and pension fund, in addition to his normal contributions, an amount equal to six percent of that portion of all monthly salaries previously received without limitation as to time of receipt upon which a sum equal to six percent has not heretofore been deducted.
AGO 1960 No. 118 >  May 24, 1960
COLLEGES OF EDUCATION - RETIREMENT - TRANSFER FROM TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO TEACHERS' INSURANCE AND ANNUITY ASSOCIATION (T.I.A.A.)
COLLEGES OF EDUCATION - RETIREMENT - TRANSFER FROM TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO TEACHERS' INSURANCE AND ANNUITY ASSOCIATION (T.I.A.A.) (1) A faculty member of one of the colleges of education who voluntarily elected to become a member of the retirement program of Teachers' Insurance and Annuity Association (T.I.A.A.) after that program was adopted by the college, may not, at will, re establish [[reestablish]] or return to active membership in the retirement system.  (2) A faculty member who can clearly and definitely establish that he was denied the right to continue in active membership in the Teachers' Retirement System because of a mistake of law on the part of the college, should be allowed to rectify the mistake by paying into the system all back contributions which would have been paid by an active member during the period.
AGO 1956 No. 207 >  February 21, 1956
RETIREMENT - SIMULTANEOUS COVERAGE UNDER OASI AND STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
RETIREMENT ‑- SIMULTANEOUS COVERAGE UNDER OASI AND STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM. Employees of P.U.D. No. 1 of Clallam County now covered by OASI may also become participants in the State Employees' Retirement System.  
AGO 1953 No. 35 >  May 8, 1953
OFFICERS - RETIREMENT - LEGALITY OF ELECTIVE OFFICIALS DRAWING SALARY AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS - STATE EMPLOYEES - RETIREMENT - LEGALITY OF STATE EMPLOYEES DRAWING SALARY AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS
OFFICERS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- LEGALITY OF ELECTIVE OFFICIALS DRAWING SALARY AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS ‑- STATE EMPLOYEES ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- LEGALITY OF STATE EMPLOYEES DRAWING SALARY AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS Receipt of both salary from public employment and retirement benefits under the State Employees Retirement Act is not legally permissible. either in the case of elective officials or appointive officials.
AGO 1953 No. 72 >  June 24, 1953
OFFICERS - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES - RETIREMENT - EXTENSION OF TIME BEYOND SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY - EFFECT
OFFICERS ‑- PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- EXTENSION OF TIME BEYOND SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY ‑- EFFECT 1. State employees retirement.  Extension of service of an employee passed 70 years of age is effective beyond April 1, 1953, not withstanding the passage of chapter 200, Laws of 1953. 2. Such extension entitles the employee to continue to be a fully contributing member and qualify for further benefits under the retirement act. 3. Section 21, chapter 200, Laws of 1953 has no effect upon the rights of such employee to continue in service and to continue to be a fully contributing member of the retirement system.
AGO 1953 No. 136 >  September 21, 1953
OFFICERS - RETIREMENT - STATE EMPLOYEES
SIMULTANEOUS COVERAGE UNDER OASI AND STATE RETIREMENT Where employees of a political subdivision have, by agreement, placed themselves under OASI, they may not become members in State Employees' Retirement System.
AGLO 1982 No. 1 >  January 18, 1982
DISTRICTS - SCHOOLS - EMPLOYEES - RETIREMENT
REIMBURSEMENT FOR UNUSED SICK LEAVE In order to receive reimbursement for unused sick leave, pursuant to RCW 28A.58.097, at the time of separation from school district employment due to retirement, an employee must have separated from such employment and have been granted a retirement allowance under the laws governing the Teachers' Retirement System or the Public Employees' Retirement System, whichever applies;  however, it is not necessary that the employee have actually filed for retirement prior to the date of his or her separation so long as the application is thereafter filed within a reasonable period of time and without the occurrence of any intervening covered employment.
AGLO 1981 No. 1 >  January 2, 1981
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PROPOSED DISABILITY RETIREMENT AMENDMENTS Analysis and determination, under the Bakehus [Bakenhus] rule, of the constitutionality of three proposed bills relating to disability retirement for certain municipal law enforcement officers and fire fighters, distinguishing between substantive and procedural changes in the law.
AGO 1953 No. 143 >  October 5, 1953
OFFICERS - RETIREMENT - QUALIFICATIONS
ELIGIBILITY OF PERSONS OVER SEVENTY YEARS OF AGE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM Persons holding elective offices who are seventy years of age or over are not eligible to be accepted into membership in state employees retirement system.
AGO 1950 No. 255 >  April 13, 1950
COUNTY ROAD BONDS - RETIREMENT
COUNTY ROAD BONDS ‑- RETIREMENT

County road bonds retirement and interest may be effected by use of proceeds of ten mill levy and gas tax refund.Property tax levy not necessary unless shortage in funds during last five years prior to bond maturity.

AGLO 1982 No. 5 >  March 5, 1982
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - LEGISLATORS - ELECTED OFFICIALS
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF PENDING LEGISLATION REGARDING RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Unless deemed by the Court to be merely a legislative clarification of existing law and not a change in the law as it now exists, House Bill No. 986 relating to the formula to be utilized in computing the service retirement allowances of state elected officials, would be unconstitutional as applied to existing members of the Public Employees' Retirement System under the reasoning of Bakenhus v. Seattle, 48 Wn.2d 695, 296 P.2d 536 (1956) and later cases.
AGLO 1982 No. 17 >  June 29, 1982
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
LIABILITY OR ADDED PENSION COSTS (1) It is the level of salary increases which have been granted to all employees of the particular employer, and not merely certain classes of employees of that employer, which is to be looked to, under § 34, chapter 52, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess., in determining whether a salary increase granted to a particular employee (thereafter retiree) is so excessive as to result in employer liability for increased pension costs.
AGLO 1981 No. 7 >  March 19, 1981
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - CITIES AND TOWNS - POLICE - FIREMEN - LEOFF
USE OF MUNICIPAL FIREMEN'S PENSION FUND (1) Monies in a prior municipal firemen's pension fund may now lawfully be used for the payment of service retirement, disability retirement and other pension benefits to qualified members of the former paid firemen's pension system and, as well, for the payment of hospitalization costs and other medical expenses incurred by firefighters covered by the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' System Plan I.
AGLO 1980 No. 11 >  March 12, 1980
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION
INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES

(1) In the case of a Plan I member of the Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave may not be included in determining the member's "average final compensation" for the purpose of computing his or her service or disability retirement allowance to the extent that, in a given case, the payments are made for unused sick leave or vacation leave actually earned by the retiree during a period of service other than the two-year period being utilized to determine average final compensation in that case.

AGLO 1980 No. 16 >  April 4, 1980
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM
COMPUTATION OF DISABILITY RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES The disability retirement allowance payable to a Plan I member of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System under RCW 41.26.130 is to be based on the salary which would have been payable to him had he still been in active service at the time of disability retirement (reversing AGO 1978 No. 8 in part).
AGLO 1980 No. 21 >  June 2, 1980
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - DEFERRED COMPENSATION
CREATION OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES' DEFERRED COMPENSATION PROGRAM UNDER RCW 41.04.250(2) (1) In establishing a deferred compensation program for county employees under RCW 41.04.250(2), a board of county commissioners may establish a special account for that purpose which would constitute a "public pension or retirement fund" within the meaning of Article XXIX, S 1 (Amendment 49) of the Washington Constitution relating to investments.
AGLO 1980 No. 32 >  November 18, 1980
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE - LEOFF
SIMULTANEOUS PAYMENT OF DISABILITY LEAVE AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION Neither RCW 41.26.130(4) nor anything contained in the state Industrial Insurance Act preclude a Plan I LEOFF member who is on disability leave because of injuries sustained in the performance of some other employment from simultaneously receiving a disability leave allowance under RCW 41.26.120 and workers' compensation benefits in accordance with Title 51 RCW.
AGLO 1980 No. 34 >  December 31, 1980
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEES
MEMBERSHIP IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM It is not necessary for a city fire fighter or a county deputy sheriff to have satisfactorily completed the probationary periods of service provided for in RCW 41.08.100 or RCW 41.14.130 in order to obtain membership in the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System; likewise, as a matter of state law, it is not necessary for a city police officer to have satisfactorily completed the probationary period specified in RCW 41.12.100 in order to obtain membership in the retirement system but, conceivably, such a qualification could be established in this instance by a local charter provision or ordinance.
AGLO 1977 No. 37 >  August 18, 1977
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS
MEMBERSHIP IN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM If a person who was previously employed by a state agency but who was not then eligible for membership in the public employees retirement system (PERS) returns to employment on or after October 1, 1977, and then for the first time becomes a member of the retirement system, that person will be covered by the alternative pension benefits of Chapter 295, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess.
AGLO 1977 No. 41 >  October 17, 1977
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
POST-RETIREMENT CHANGES IN THE FORM OF RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE OR BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION In the event that a member of the public employees retirement system, upon retirement, selects a particular form of retirement allowance as provided for in RCW 41.40.185 or RCW 41.40.190, the member may not thereafter (during his or her retirement) revoke the selection made at the time of retirement and either choose a different form of retirement allowance or change of beneficiary designation.
AGLO 1976 No. 12 >  February 18, 1976
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
COMPUTATION OF SUPPLEMENTARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR ACADEMIC EMPLOYEES Creditability of service under coverage of the teachers' retirement system in computing supplementary retirement benefits for academic employees of colleges and universities under RCW 28B.10.400(3) and RCW 28B.10.415; prohibition against payment of benefits by teachers' retirement system based on any post-July 1, 1955, service for which credit is also allowed in the computation of supplementary retirement benefits for such academic employees; inclusion of teachers' retirement benefits or social security payments as a part of the basic retirement allowance for such academic employees for the purpose of determining the maximum amount of the supplementary retirement benefits which may be paid to those employees.
AGLO 1976 No. 25 >  March 29, 1976
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
FUNDING OF POST-RETIREMENT PENSION INCREASES UNDER PERS AND TRS Where the actuary employed by either the public employees' or teachers' retirement boards reports that the required employer (in the case of PERS) or legislative (in the case of TRS) contribution rate, expressed as a percentage of salary, is now less than or the same as that required at the time of the enactment of chapters 189 and 190, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., either of those boards will have a proper basis to find that cost-of-living pension increases "have been met" by an existing growth in the assets of the system over that required to meet the actuarial liability of the system at that time ‑ and thereupon grant such increases in accordance with RCW 41.40.195(5) or RCW 41.32.499(6), as the case may be.
AGLO 1976 No. 69 >  November 16, 1976
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM
PARTICIPATION BY PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR OTHER PENSIONS If an individual becomes a member of PERS subsequent to the effective date of chapter 105, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess., and at the time he becomes a member is not covered by either subsections (1) or (2) of § 1 of that act, the fact that he may later attain a status encompassed by subsections (1) and (2) does not mean that from the date he acquires such a status he can no longer acquire service credits in the public employees' retirement system.
AGLO 1975 No. 2 >  January 13, 1975
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LEOFF
MEDICAL BENEFITS The provisions of RCW 41.26.150 are subject to the constitutional principles with respect to public employees' pensions in this state which have been enunciated by the Washington supreme court in such cases as Bakenhus v. Seattle, 48 Wn.2d 695, 296 P.2d 536 (1956)
AGLO 1975 No. 5 >  January 15, 1975
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - VETERANS
CREDIT FOR MILITARY SERVICE So much of RCW 41.40.170 as provides for military service credit for members of the public employees' retirement system, without regard to their employment status when they entered the armed forces, is applicable only to persons who were still active members of the retirement system on the effective date of the amendment contained in § 3, chapter 151, Laws of 1972, Ex. Sess. (February 25, 1972).
AGLO 1975 No. 28 >  March 17, 1975
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - CITIES AND TOWNS - EMPLOYEES - LEOFF
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF CERTAIN PENSION LEGISLATION (1) The legislature can require those cities which desire not to have their employees covered by a state pension system to establish and maintain a local, municipal pension system for all of their law enforcement officers and fire fighters who are currently members of the state law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system (LEOFF), as codified in chapter 41.26 RCW. (2) In the event a city determines to stay out of a proposed state pension system, the city may, in the event that it is currently operating a pension system of its own for its general, municipal employees, include within the coverage of that system any new fire fighters or law enforcement officers employed by it after the effective date of a state law which disqualifies all such newly employed fire fighters or law enforcement officers from coverage under the LEOFF system.
AGLO 1975 No. 40 >  April 9, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - MUNICIPAL FIREMEN
POST-RETIREMENT INCREASES Municipal firemen retired under a pension law predating chapter 91, Laws of 1947, are not entitled to receive a post-retirement increase under the provisions of chapter 190, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex. Sess.
AGLO 1975 No. 45 >  April 24, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
ACQUISITION OF SERVICE CREDIT FOR PREVIOUS PERIODS OF EMPLOYMENT Necessity for completion of all contributions to the public employees' retirement fund as a condition precedent to acquisition of service credit for previous periods of employment under RCW 41.40.120(3), RCW 41.40.150(2), RCW 41.40.170(3) and RCW 41.40.361(5).
AGLO 1975 No. 46 >  April 29, 1975
LEOFF - RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - CITIES AND TOWNS - DISQUALIFICATION FOR PRESENT MEMBERSHIP
AMENDMENT The amended definition of "law enforcement officer" in § 1, chapter 120, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex. Sess., may not constitutionally be applied so as to disqualify for continuing membership in the LEFF system a person who obtained membership in the system on the basis of the legislature's prior definition of "law enforcement officer."
AGLO 1975 No. 49 >  May 12, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - LEOFF
PROVISION OF EYEGLASSES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS Eyeglasses are included within the scope of "medical services" to be provided for under RCW 41.26.150 in view of the definition of that term in RCW 41.26.030(22).
AGLO 1975 No. 50 >  May 12, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
FUNDING POST-RETIREMENT BENEFIT INCREASES In the event of their receipt of investment earnings sufficiently in excess of actuarially determined general funding requirements to fully fund the post-retirement cost of living pension increases provided for by RCW 41.40.195(5) and RCW 41.32.499(6), neither the public employees' retirement board nor the board of trustees of the teachers' retirement system, respectively, may, nevertheless, finance such pension increases through increased employers' contributions or, in the case of the teachers' retirement system, by requesting increased state appropriations.
AGLO 1975 No. 51 >  May 20, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT
ADMISSION OF ELECTED OFFICIALS TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM A member of the council of a city which has been admitted into the public employees' retirement system may elect to join the system himself at any time during his term of office without violating Article XI, § 8 or Article XXX, § 1 (Amendment 54) of the state constitution; and the city which is involved may constitutionally make, on behalf of the council member becoming a member of the retirement system, the employer's contributions required by RCW 41.40.361.
AGLO 1975 No. 58 >  June 6, 1975
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN - MANDATORY RETIREMENT
SURVIVORS' BENEFITS (1) It is not within the authority of either a local board or the state board for volunteer firemen to require all volunteer firemen who are enrolled under the pension provisions of chapter 41.24 RCW to retire upon attaining age 65; the only volunteer firemen required to retire at such age are those who have been members of the pension system and have served for a period of twenty-five years as active members of a regularly organized volunteer fire department. (2) A volunteer fireman enrolled under the pension provisions of chapter 41.24 RCW prior to July 1, 1973, may not elect to remain under the prior laws, pay the lesser fees required thereby, and claim the lesser benefits thereunder.
AGLO 1975 No. 59 >  June 10, 1975
LEOFF - PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN
PAYMENT OF MEDICAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR RETIRED FIREMEN Moneys in a city's paid fireman's pension fund established pursuant to RCW 41.16.050 may not be used to pay medical and dental insurance premiums for retired former firemen not also covered by chapter 41.26 RCW who have only contributed to that prior pension fund; however, moneys in such a paid fireman's pension fund may be used to pay medical and dental insurance premiums for fire fighters under the LEFF system (chapter 41.26 RCW) who have not contributed to the fund established pursuant to RCW 41.16.050 from which the payments in question are made.
AGLO 1979 No. 27 >  August 9, 1979
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PENSION COVERAGE FOR EMPLOYEES OF NORTHWEST AIR POLLUTION AUTHORITY
PENSIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- PENSION COVERAGE FOR EMPLOYEES OF NORTHWEST AIR POLLUTION AUTHORITY Explanation of options available to the Northwest Air Pollution Authority regarding pension or retirement coverage for its employees under (a) federal social security, (b) the Washington Public Employees Retirement System and (c) a tax-deferred annuity program or similar contractual pension plan.
AGLO 1979 No. 31 >  September 18, 1979
STATE EMPLOYEES - SICK LEAVE - RETIREMENT - CASHING OUT ACCUMULATED SICK LEAVE UNDER CHAPTER 150, LAWS OF 1979, 1ST EX. SESS.
STATE EMPLOYEES ‑- SICK LEAVE ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- CASHING OUT ACCUMULATED SICK LEAVE UNDER CHAPTER 150, LAWS OF 1979, 1ST EX. SESS.

(1) Chapter 150, Laws of 1979, 1st Ex. Sess., permits an employee during January of 1980 to cash out unused sick leave earned during all of 1979 even though eight of the twelve days were earned prior to the effective date of the Act.

(2) An employee who dies or retires and is in pay status after chapter 150, supra, becomes effective may receive remuneration for unused sick leave earned prior to the effective date of the Act.

AGLO 1978 No. 13 >  April 10, 1978
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM - VETERANS - MILITARY SERVICE CREDIT
PENSIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM ‑- VETERANS ‑- MILITARY SERVICE CREDIT In the case of persons who were members of the Public Employees Retirement System during the period from February 25, 1972, through April 24, 1973, the applicable definition of the term "veteran," for the purposes of obtaining military service credit under RCW 41.40.170, is that which was then contained in RCW 41.06.150 and not the definition of "veteran" which is in RCW 41.04.005.
AGLO 1978 No. 19 >  June 12, 1978
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - CITIES AND TOWNS - FIRST-CLASS CITY POLICE OFFICERS - COMPUTATION OF CERTAIN SERVICE RETIREMENT BENEFITS
RETIREMENT ‑- PENSIONS ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- FIRST-CLASS CITY POLICE OFFICERS ‑- COMPUTATION OF CERTAIN SERVICE RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Under the provisions of RCW 41.20.050, as amended by § 36, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, 1st Ex. Sess., a first-class city police officer's service retirement allowance may not be based upon the salary of a position higher than that of captain in the absence of an election to that effect made on or before September 1, 1969.

AGLO 1975 No. 84 >  October 1, 1975
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - LEOFF
AFFECT OF RESIGNATION UPON DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION Where a member of the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system has applied for disability retirement pursuant to RCW 41.26.120, his subsequent employment resignation, occurring prior to any action on the application by the appropriate disability board, does not render that application for disability retirement inoperative.
AGLO 1974 No. 27 >  March 4, 1974
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - LEOFF
IMPAIRMENT OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS The sixty percent maximum of final average salary, as provided in § 3, chapter 120, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex. Sess., may not constitutionally be applied to the presently active members of LEOFF.
AGLO 1974 No. 35 >  March 19, 1974
PENSIONS - PERS - RETIREMENT - EMPLOYEES - MUNICIPAL
METRO TRANSIT Applicability of public employees' retirement system (PERS) to employees of private transportation company acquired by Metro Transit; entitlement of such employees to service credit for periods of employment with private company; funding of such service credit by employer; impact of labor contract between Metro Transit and bargaining representative of employees on the foregoing.
AGLO 1973 No. 79 >  July 23, 1973
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - PERS - STATE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - LEGISLATURE - CONTRACTS - AUTHORITY OF LEGISLATURE TO MODIFY EMPLOYEES' PENSION PLANS
PENSIONS ‑- RETIREMENT ‑- PERS ‑- STATE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM ‑- LEGISLATURE ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- AUTHORITY OF LEGISLATURE TO MODIFY EMPLOYEES' PENSION PLANS Unless accompanied by correlative new benefits and/or a demonstrable showing of necessity for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the applicable pension system, a legislative act amending the statutes governing the computation of retirement allowances for members of the teachers' retirement system and the public employees' retirement system so as to (1) exclude from consideration any pay increases received by current active members of these two retirement systems after the effective date of such amendments or (2) reduce the levels of retirement allowances ultimately to be received by such members in all cases where the amounts payable to those members from the federal social security program are correspondingly increased, would be unconstitutional.
AGLO 1974 No. 79 >  September 11, 1974
PENSIONS - RETIREMENT - FIREMEN
COMPUTATION OF CERTAIN DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS Where a municipal fireman otherwise eligible for a disability retirement allowance under the provisions of RCW 41.18.060 was, at the time of retirement, holding a rank or receiving a salary in excess of that of a battalion chief, he is not thereby precluded from receiving the additional increments in such allowance that are payable under that statute by reason of years of service in excess of twenty-five years.
AGLO 1974 No. 82 >  September 30, 1974
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES
CALCULATION OF DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS When a former member of the state‑wide [[statewide]]city employees' retirement system who transferred to the public employees' retirement system under chapter 75, Laws of 1971, is awarded disability retirement benefits calculated pursuant to chapter 41.44 RCW, those retirement benefits are not to be offset by amounts received from the department of labor and industries on account of the same disability.
AGO 2007 No. 6 >  September 6, 2007
INTERLOCAL COOPERATION ACT - LEOFF RETIREMENT SYSTEM - PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM - FIRE FIGHTERS - CITIES AND TOWNS - FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS - RETIREMENT
“Employer” status for retirement system purposes of nonprofit corporation formed by cities and fire protection districts to carry out cooperative functions under the Interlocal Cooperation Act. 1.  Where a combination of cities and fire protection districts enters into an interlocal agreement under RCW 39.34 and forms a nonprofit corporation under the authority of that act to carry out cooperative activities, the corporation would qualify as an “employer” for purposes of the LEOFF Retirement System Plans 1 and 2, to the same extent as the government entities responsible for creating the corporation.  2.  Where a combination of cities and fire protection districts enters into an interlocal agreement under RCW 39.34 and forms a nonprofit corporation under the authority of that act to carry out cooperative activities, the corporation would qualify as an “employer” for purposes of the PERS Retirement System Plans 1, 2, and 3, to the same extent as the government entities responsible for creating the corporation.
AGO 2014 No. 5 >  May 28, 2014
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING - BENEFITS - HEALTH INSURANCE - RETIREMENT
Whether Supplemental Retirement Benefits Or Retiree Health And Welfare Benefits For State Employees Are Mandatory, Permissive, Or Illegal Subjects For Co...

 

RCW 41.80.040(5) prohibits the State, as an employer, from engaging in collective bargaining regarding supplemental retirement benefits for state employees independent of state-controlled retirement plans.  It also prohibits engaging in collective bargaining regarding retiree health and welfare benefits.

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