Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 51.1. Pensions, Benefits, and Retirement
Chapter 1. Virginia Retirement System
9/17/2021

Chapter 1. Virginia Retirement System.

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 51.1-100. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1994, cc. 4, 85. For effective dates, see Editor's note.

Article 1.1. General Provisions.

§ 51.1-124.1. Legislative intent and purposes [Not set out].

(1994, cc. 4, 85.)

§ 51.1-124.2. Virginia Supplemental Retirement System continued as Virginia Retirement System.

The Virginia Supplemental Retirement System, a body corporate and a retirement system for teachers, state employees, and employees of participating political subdivisions, shall be continued as the Virginia Retirement System. Wherever the term "Virginia Supplemental Retirement System" appears in the Code of Virginia, it shall mean the Virginia Retirement System.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.11; 1960, c. 604; 1982, c. 478; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-100; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Abolished system" means the Virginia Retirement Act, §§ 51-30 through 51-111, repealed by Chapter 1 of the Acts of Assembly of 1952.

"Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts deducted from the compensation of a member and credited to his individual account in the member's contribution account, all amounts the member may contribute to purchase creditable service, all member contributions contributed by the employer on behalf of the employee, on or after July 1, 1980, except those amounts contributed on behalf of members of the General Assembly who are otherwise retired under the provisions of this chapter, and all interest accruing to these funds. If a member is retired for disability from a cause which is compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.), dies in service prior to retirement, or requests a refund of contributions in accordance with § 51.1-161, "accumulated contributions" shall include all member contributions paid by the employer on behalf of the member on and after July 1, 1980, and all interest which would have accrued to these funds.

"Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value when computed upon the basis of actuarial tables adopted by the Board.

"Average final compensation" means the average annual creditable compensation of a member during his 60 highest consecutive months of creditable service or during the entire period of his creditable service if less than 60 months. However, for any member who (i) is not a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and (ii) as of January 1, 2013, has at least 60 months of creditable service, "average final compensation" means the average annual creditable compensation of a member during his 36 highest consecutive months of creditable service. A participant in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169 shall be considered to be a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, for the purposes of this definition.

If a member ceased employment prior to July 1, 1974, "average final compensation" means the average annual creditable compensation during the five highest consecutive years of creditable service.

"Beneficiary" means any person entitled to receive benefits under this chapter.

"Board" means the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System.

"Creditable compensation" means the full compensation payable annually to an employee working full time in his covered position. For any state employee of a public institution of higher education or a teaching hospital affiliated with a public institution of higher education who is (i) compensated on a salaried basis and (ii) working full time in a covered position pursuant to a contract of employment for a period of at least nine months, creditable compensation means the full compensation payable over the term of any contract entered into between the employee and the employer, without regard to whether or not the term of the contract coincides with the normal scholastic year. However, if the contract is for more than one year, creditable compensation means that compensation paid for the current year of the contract.

Remuneration received by members of the General Assembly not otherwise retired under the provisions of this chapter pursuant to §§ 30-19.11 and 30-19.12 shall be deemed creditable compensation. In addition, for any member of the General Assembly, creditable compensation shall include the full amount of salaries payable to such member for working in covered positions, regardless of whether a contractual salary is reduced and not paid to such member because of service in the General Assembly.

"Creditable service" means prior service as set forth in § 51.1-142.2 plus membership service for which credit is allowable.

"Employee" means any teacher, state employee, officer, or employee of a locality participating in the Retirement System.

"Employer" means the Commonwealth in the case of a state employee, the local public school board in the case of a teacher, or the political subdivision participating in the Retirement System.

"Joint Rules Committee" means those members of the House of Delegates and the Senate designated by the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules, respectively, to meet with each other and to act jointly on behalf of the Committee on Rules for each house.

"Local officer" means the treasurer, commissioner of the revenue, attorney for the Commonwealth, clerk of a circuit court, or sheriff of any county or city, or deputy or employee of any such officer.

"Medical Board" means the boards composed of physicians or other health care professionals as provided by this chapter.

"Member" means any person included in the membership of the Retirement System.

"Membership service" means service as an employee rendered while a contributing member of the Retirement System except as provided in this chapter.

"Normal retirement date" means a member's sixty-fifth birthday. However, for any (i) person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or (ii) member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, under this chapter his normal retirement date shall be the date that the member attains his "retirement age" as defined under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 416 et seq., as now or hereafter amended).

"Person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010," means a person who is not a member of a retirement plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System the first time he is hired on or after July 1, 2010, in a covered position. Subsequent separation from such position and subsequent employment in a covered position shall not alter the status of a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010.

"Political subdivision" means any county, city, or town, any political entity, subdivision, branch, or unit of the Commonwealth, or any commission, public authority, or body corporate created by or under an act of the General Assembly specifying the powers, privileges, or authority capable of exercise by the commission, public authority, or body corporate.

"Prior service" means service rendered prior to becoming a member of the Retirement System.

"Purchase of service contract" means a contract entered into by the member and the Retirement System for the purchase of service credit by the member as provided in § 51.1-142.2.

"Retirement allowance" means the retirement payments to which a member is entitled.

"Retirement plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System" means a retirement plan established under this title administered by the Virginia Retirement System, or by an agency that has been delegated administrative responsibility by the Virginia Retirement System, but such term shall exclude any plan established under Chapter 6 (§ 51.1-600 et seq.) or Chapter 6.1 (§ 58.1-607 et seq.).

"Retirement System" means the Virginia Retirement System.

"Service" means service as an employee.

"Social security disability benefit" means, with respect to any member, the social security disability benefits to which the member is entitled pursuant to the provisions of the federal Social Security Act as in effect at his date of retirement.

"State employee" means any person who is regularly employed full time on a salaried basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of, and whose compensation is payable, no more often than biweekly, in whole or in part, by the Commonwealth or any department, institution, or agency thereof. "State employee" shall include any faculty member, but not including adjunct faculty, of a public institution of higher education (a) who is compensated on a salary basis, (b) whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, and (c) who regularly works at least 20 hours but less than 40 hours per week (or works the equivalent of one-half of a full time equivalent position) engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties at such institution; such faculty member shall be deemed an eligible employee for purposes of the retirement provisions under §§ 51.1-126, 51.1-126.1, and 51.1-126.3. "State employee" shall also include the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and members of the General Assembly but shall not include (i) any local officer, (ii) any employee of a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, (iii) individuals employed by the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired pursuant to § 51.5-72, (iv) any member of the State Police Officers' Retirement System, (v) any member of the Judicial Retirement System, or (vi) any member of the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System.

"Teacher" means any person who is regularly employed full time on a salaried basis as a professional or clerical employee of a county, city, or other local public school board.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.10, 51-111.31; 1954, cc. 241, 497; 1956, c. 98; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 64; 1958, c. 367; 1960, cc. 400, 604; 1966, cc. 174, 175; 1970, c. 779; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 88, 185; 1972, cc. 568, 708; 1973, cc. 322, 523, 545, 546; 1974, cc. 353, 484; 1975, cc. 296, 597, 611; 1976, cc. 581, 678, 699; 1977, c. 620; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.10:01; 1982, cc. 467, 478; 1984, c. 430; 1986, c. 474; 1987, c. 392; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-101; 1992, cc. 811, 826; 1993, c. 895; 1994, cc. 4, 85, 876; 1996, cc. 711, 731; 1999, cc. 929, 974; 2000, c. 911; 2001, cc. 686, 697; 2003, c. 628; 2005, cc. 933, 945; 2007, c. 89; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2014, c. 356; 2018, cc. 53, 305; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 53, 54.

§ 51.1-124.4. Exemption of assets from taxation; exemption of benefits and assets from execution and assignment; trust funds; unclaimed property; eligible rollover distribution.

A. The assets of the retirement systems created under this title are hereby exempted from any state, county, or municipal tax. Retirement allowances and other benefits accrued or accruing to any person under this title and the assets of the retirement systems created under this title shall not be subject to execution, attachment, garnishment, or any other process whatsoever, except any process for a debt to any employer who has employed such person, and except for administrative actions pursuant to Chapter 19 (§ 63.2-1900 et seq.) of Title 63.2 or any court process to enforce a child or child and spousal support obligation, nor shall any assignment thereof, other than a voluntary, irrevocable assignment of group life insurance pursuant to § 51.1-510, be enforceable in any court. However, retirement benefits and assets created under this title which are deemed to be marital property pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 20-89.1 et seq.) of Title 20 may be divided or transferred by the court by direct assignment to a spouse or former spouse pursuant to § 20-107.3. The assets of the retirement systems administered by the Board are trust funds and shall be used solely for the benefit of members and beneficiaries and to administer the retirement systems. The Board shall establish procedures whereby persons entitled to property held by the Board, which would be presumed abandoned under the Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.), may recover it.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary that would otherwise limit a distributee's election, a distributee may elect, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Board, to have any portion of an eligible rollover distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan specified by the distributee in a direct rollover. The terms "eligible rollover distribution," "eligible retirement plan" and "distributee" have the meanings prescribed by § 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code (including as such section is amended or renumbered, or any successor provision thereto) and the regulations thereunder, as may be amended. Such terms shall include non-spouse designated beneficiaries and inherited individual retirement accounts in accordance with § 402(c)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended or renumbered, and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans. In the event of a mandatory cash-out, as that term is defined under the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans, greater than $1,000, if the member does not elect to have such distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan specified by the member in a direct rollover or to receive the distribution directly in accordance with this section, then the Board shall pay the distribution in a direct rollover to an individual retirement plan designated by the Board in accordance with subsection F of § 51.1-124.30.

C. The provisions of this chapter and Chapters 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) and 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) are intended to meet the requirements of § 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended or renumbered, and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.15, 51-111.24; 1954, c. 633; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 47; 1962, c. 50; 1972, c. 151; 1973, c. 523; 1976, c. 545; 1977, c. 620; 1978, c. 841; 1980, cc. 559, 596; 1983, c. 308, § 51-111.26:1; 1984, c. 430; 1986, c. 474; 1989, Sp. Sess., c. 3; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-102; 1991, c. 433; 1992, cc. 716, 811; 1993, c. 135; 1994, cc. 4, 85, 883; 2003, c. 15; 2006, c. 637; 2015, c. 660.

§ 51.1-124.5. Disclosure of social security account numbers.

The Retirement System may require the disclosure of the social security account number of any employee, judge, or other person covered under this title to be used for any purpose relating to the administration of the retirement systems or the implementation of this title.

1977, c. 620, § 51-111.22:2; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-103; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.6. Benefits to be paid monthly.

All benefits payable by the Retirement System shall be paid in equal monthly installments, unless the Board approves another method of payment.

1952, c. 353, § 51-111.71; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-104; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.7. Distribution of assets upon repeal of system.

A. If the General Assembly repeals the provisions of this chapter or terminates its application to any person, the Board shall continue to administer the Retirement System in accordance with the provisions of this chapter for the sole benefit of the then members, any beneficiaries then receiving retirement allowances, and any future persons entitled to receive benefits under a joint and last-survivor option who are designated by a member.

B. Upon repeal or termination of the Retirement System, the assets of the Retirement System shall be allocated by the Board in an equitable manner to provide benefits for the persons stated in subsection A of this section in accordance with the provisions of this chapter but based on creditable service and average final compensation as of the date of repeal or termination and in the following order:

1. For the benefit of the then members to the extent of their individual account in the members' contribution account.

2. If any funds remain, then for the benefit of the then beneficiaries and persons already designated by former members who are then beneficiaries under a joint and last-survivor option, to the extent of the then actuarial value of their retirement allowances.

3. If any funds remain, then for the benefit of members, and persons, if any, designated by them under a joint and last-survivor option, to the extent, not provided under subdivision 1 of this subsection, of the then actuarial value of their accrued future retirement allowances. The allocation under this subdivision shall be the basis of the oldest-ages-first method.

The employer is required to contribute the amount necessary to make up any insufficiency of assets needed to provide all benefits payable under subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection.

C. The allocation of assets of the Retirement System shall be carried out by the Board as the benefits become due or by the transfer of such assets to any retirement system replacing this Retirement System. The vesting of benefits shall be fully maintained under the new retirement system. Any funds remaining in the assets of this retirement system after all of the vested benefits have been paid shall revert to the general fund.

D. Any allocation of assets shall be final and binding on all persons entitled to benefits.

E. Upon the termination or partial termination of the Retirement System, each affected member shall become fully vested, as of the termination date or partial termination date, in his service retirement allowance to the extent funded, regardless of the length of service or amount of creditable service.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.16; 1960, c. 604; 1977, c. 620; 1978, c. 841; 1980, cc. 637, 638, 646; 1982, cc. 467, 478; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-105; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 2014, c. 356.

§ 51.1-124.8. Persons affected by changes in retirement benefits.

Unless otherwise specifically stated, legislation which effects a change in the amount of a retirement benefit other than a post-retirement supplement shall be construed to effect only the benefits of those persons who qualify for a retirement allowance on or after the effective date of the legislation.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.16; 1960, c. 604; 1977, c. 620; 1978, c. 841; 1980, cc. 637, 638, 646; 1982, cc. 467, 478; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-106; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.9. Changes or errors in records resulting in erroneous payments; employer liability.

A. 1. If any change or error in records results in any member or beneficiary receiving more or less than he would have been entitled to receive from the Retirement System had the records been correct, the Board shall, subject to the provisions of subsection B, correct the error and as far as practicable adjust the payments so that the actuarial equivalent of the correct benefit shall be paid.

2. If a member has been overpaid through no fault of his and could not reasonably have been expected to detect the error the Board may waive any repayment which it believes would cause hardship.

3. Upon determination that any person has erroneously been included in membership in the Retirement System, accumulated contributions resulting from the erroneous membership shall be refunded.

B. The Board is authorized to recover any overpayments, from an employer found to be responsible for such overpayments, to a member or beneficiary (i) whose average final compensation exceeds the limitation in § 51.1-152, (ii) who receives in-service distributions because the member or beneficiary is rehired by the employer without either a bona fide break in service, as determined by the Board, following retirement, or the break in service required under subdivision B 3 (a) of § 51.1-155, or (iii) who the Board determines was in service as an employee covered for retirement purposes as prohibited by subdivision B 1 of § 51.1-155.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.67; 1956, c. 690; 1976, c. 541; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-107; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 2011, c. 747.

§ 51.1-124.10. Falsification of records; penalty.

Any person who knowingly makes any false statement or falsifies or permits the falsification of any Retirement System record in any attempt to defraud the Retirement System shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.14; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-108; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.11. Recovery of payments procured by fraud, false statement, etc.

Any payment to a member or beneficiary which is later determined by the Board to have been procured on the basis of any false statement or falsification of any Retirement System record knowingly made by or on behalf of the member or beneficiary, or the member's or beneficiary's failure to make any required report of change in disability status, may be recovered from the member or beneficiary by the Board either by way of a credit against future payments due the member or beneficiary, by an action at law against the member or beneficiary, or by deducting any overpayment of benefits from insurance proceeds as provided in § 51.1-510. Prior to making any such determination, the Board shall give the member or beneficiary reasonable prior written notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Any member or beneficiary aggrieved by such determination of the Board shall be entitled to judicial review pursuant to Article 5 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.

1998, c. 657.

§ 51.1-124.12. Procedure when employer required to withdraw funds.

A. As used in this section, unless the context clearly shows otherwise, the following definitions shall apply.

"Replacement employer" means an employer as defined in § 51.1-124.3 who enters into a written agreement with the Retirement System to assume all liabilities for retirement benefits, as provided herein due to a member or beneficiary whose coverage under the Retirement System is affected by the withdrawal of the withdrawing employer, that are attributable to service with and creditable compensation from the withdrawing employer.

"Termination date" means the effective date of a change in an employer's status from an agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or the termination of the employer's existence that shall cause an employer participating in the Retirement System to become a withdrawing employer. If such date is in question or if the advance notification required by subsection C is not given, the termination date shall be the date determined by the Board.

"Termination event" means an event that results in an employer which participates in the Retirement System ceasing to be an agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

"Withdrawing employer" means an employer that is required to withdraw from the Retirement System under subsection B.

B. Any employer participating in the Retirement System which ceases to be an agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth or which permanently ceases operations shall withdraw from the Retirement System as of the termination date. All benefit accrual for members employed by a withdrawing employer shall automatically cease as of the termination date.

C. A withdrawing employer shall provide written notification to the Board of its termination date. Notification shall be in the form of a certified copy of an ordinance or resolution adopted by the governing body of the employer and shall be provided to the Board at least 90 days prior to the termination date. Upon receipt of notification or upon the Board's determination that a termination event has occurred or will occur within 90 days, the Retirement System shall request its actuary to determine the present value of the Retirement System's liability to each member, retired member, or beneficiary attributable to service with, and creditable compensation from, the withdrawing employer. For members, such calculation shall be determined based on the liability resulting from the present value of a service retirement allowance beginning at his normal retirement date. Such determination shall be based on actuarial principles and assumptions consistent with those used in the most recent actuarial valuation and financial report for the Retirement System. The expenses incurred by the Board for such actuarial determination report shall be the liability of the withdrawing employer.

D. If (i) no qualified retirement plan, as that term is defined in § 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, is established by the withdrawing employer, to which the assets and liabilities relating to members employed by such employer are transferred, as described in subsection E, or (ii) if no replacement employer has come forth within 90 days of the termination date, or within such other reasonable time as may be agreed to by the Board, benefits shall be determined as follows:

1. Each member or beneficiary whose coverage under the Retirement System is affected by the withdrawal of the employer shall become fully vested, as of the termination date, in his service retirement allowance attributable to creditable service with the withdrawing employer regardless of employment status or length of service with the withdrawing employer.

2. Each member, retired member or beneficiary shall be entitled to a distribution of the greater of (i) the balance in his member contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 or (ii) the present value of his service retirement allowance attributable to creditable service and compensation with the withdrawing employer to which such member, retired member or beneficiary would have been entitled immediately prior to the termination event (plus additional amounts, if any, which the withdrawing employer may direct pursuant to subdivision 4 of this subsection). Such members, retired members, and beneficiaries may elect to receive such benefit either in the form of (i) a lump sum payment, subject to the eligible rollover distribution rules and withholding requirements of the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) an annuity equal to the service retirement benefit at normal retirement. The annuity shall be purchased from a private insurance company or companies as selected by the Board. The Board shall establish reasonable notice and election periods for the distribution made pursuant to this subsection. The distribution provided for in this subdivision shall be in the form of a lump sum, subject to applicable withholding requirements, upon the failure of a member, retired member or beneficiary to make an election.

3. If the assets held in the members' contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 and in the retirement allowance account established for withdrawing employer pursuant to § 51.1-148 are less than the amount needed to pay the benefits to which all affected members, retired members, and beneficiaries are entitled, the withdrawing employer shall make a contribution to the retirement allowance account in the amount necessary to make up any insufficiency in assets required to provide all benefits payable under this section. If the withdrawing employer fails to make the required contribution, assets held in the members' contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 and in the retirement allowance account established for the withdrawing employer pursuant to § 51.1-148 shall be distributed to members, retired members and beneficiaries in the manner described in § 51.1-139.

4. Any assets remaining in the retirement account established for the withdrawing employer pursuant to § 51.1-148 after full satisfaction of liabilities to members, retired members and beneficiaries under this section shall be distributed on a pro rata basis (based on contributed funds within the immediately preceding 12 months) to any employers within the meaning of § 51.1-124.3 who, within the 12 months immediately preceding the termination date of the withdrawing employer, directly or indirectly, by appointment of the governing body of the withdrawing employer, controlled the activities of the withdrawing employer and contributed funds or property to the withdrawing employer; provided, however, that if there is no such employer, any remaining assets shall be used to offset expenses incurred by the Retirement System in any manner permitted by the Internal Revenue Code.

5. Upon completion of the distribution of assets held in the members' contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 and in the retirement allowance account established for the withdrawing employer pursuant to § 51.1-148 as provided in the section, the Retirement System shall have no further liability for such accounts.

E. If the withdrawing employer establishes or has established a qualified retirement plan, as that term is defined in § 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides (i) for participation by members, retired members and the beneficiaries of members and retired members, (ii) for the transfer to the qualified retirement plan of all contributions and prior service attributable to creditable service with the withdrawing employer, and (iii) member benefits and vesting rights at least equal to those which each member would have been entitled under the Retirement System immediately before the termination of the employer's affiliation with the Retirement System, the Board shall transfer to such qualified retirement plan all balances in the individual accounts of the members' contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 and all balances in the retirement allowance account established for such employer pursuant to § 51.1-148 and attributable to creditable service and compensation with such employer, including all earnings through and including the date of the transfer, less the reasonable expenses incurred by the Retirement System in connection with such transfer. Upon such transfer, all liabilities of the Retirement System for benefits, to the extent accrued as of the date of the transfer with respect to service with such employer shall be assumed by such qualified retirement plan and all liabilities of the Retirement System with respect thereto shall terminate.

F. If the withdrawing employer does not establish a qualified retirement plan, as that term is defined in § 401 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code and as provided for in subsection E, but a replacement employer has come forth within 90 days of the termination date, or within such other reasonable time as may be agreed to by the Board, the Board shall transfer to the retirement allowance account of such replacement employer, all balances in the retirement allowance account of the withdrawing employer, including all earnings through and including the date of the transfer. The members' contribution account established pursuant to § 51.1-147 attributable to employees of the withdrawing employer shall be credited to member contribution accounts with the replacement employer. Notwithstanding however, if the balance of the retirement allowance account and the member contribution accounts exceed the actuarial present value of all liabilities with respect to employees of the withdrawing employer (after allowance for reimbursement to the Retirement System for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such transfer), any amount in excess of 105 percent of such present value (including expenses) shall be paid on a pro rata basis (based on contributed funds within the immediately preceding 12 months) to any employers within the meaning of § 51.1-124.3 who within the 12 months immediately preceding the termination date of the withdrawing employer (i) directly or indirectly by appointment of the governing body of the withdrawing employer controlled the activities of the withdrawing employer and (ii) contributed funds or property to the withdrawing employer.

G. If there is no replacement employer, creditable service attributable to employment with a withdrawing employer shall be taken into consideration for purposes of determining whether each employee of the withdrawing employer meets the five or more year requirement to be entitled to a service allowance at normal retirement from the employment of an employer other than the withdrawing employer. If there is no replacement employer, neither creditable service nor creditable compensation attributable to employment with a withdrawing employer shall be taken into account for any other purpose under the Retirement System.

H. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section or of any other law, if the withdrawing employer is a city which reverts to town status or otherwise loses its status as a city or is a town which loses its status as a town, then the members, retired members, and beneficiaries of the former city or town shall maintain all rights and privileges which they possess at the time of such change in status to current or future benefits from the Retirement System.

1999, c. 284; 2000, c. 344; 2003, c. 267.

§ 51.1-124.13. Loss of benefits; certain felony convictions.

A. No person shall be entitled to any of the benefits of this title as provided in this section if (i) he is convicted of a felony and (ii) the person's employer determines that the felony arose from misconduct occurring on or after July 1, 2011, in any position in which the person was a member covered for retirement purposes under any retirement system administered by the Board. Prior to making any such determination, the employer shall give the person reasonable prior written notice and provide an opportunity to be heard. The employer's determination may be appealed in a manner consistent with subsection B, and no further proceedings shall follow the decision of the circuit court. The employer's determination shall become final 10 calendar days after the date of the initial determination if no appeal is filed, or the date of the decision of the circuit court if an appeal is filed. A reversal by the circuit court of the employer's determination shall render the determination null and void.

B. Proceedings for review of the determination of the employer may be made by the member filing a notice of appeal within five workdays of receipt of the determination. Within five workdays thereafter, the employer shall transmit, to the clerk of the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the employer is located, a copy of the record. The court, on motion of the member, may issue a writ of certiorari requiring the employer to transmit the record on or before a certain date. Within 30 days of receipt of such records, the court, sitting without a jury, shall hear the appeal on the record and such additional evidence as may be necessary to resolve any controversy as to the correctness of the record. The court, in its discretion, may receive such other evidence as the ends of justice require. The court may affirm the determination of the employer or may reverse or modify the determination. The decision of the court shall be rendered no later than the fifteenth day from the date of the conclusion of the hearing. The decision of the court shall be final and shall not be appealable. The circuit court hearing shall be at no cost to the Commonwealth or the member.

C. The Board shall implement the relinquishment of benefits under this title as soon as practicable after the employer notifies the Board of its final determination that the member's felony conviction arose from misconduct in any position in which the member was a member in service.

D. If the person is or becomes a member in service after relinquishment of benefits under subsection C, he shall be entitled to the benefits under this title based solely on his service occurring after the relinquishment.

E. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any service credit lost from relinquishment of benefits under subsection C shall be ineligible for subsequent purchase.

F. The governing body of any locality served by a constitutional officer shall be considered that officer's employer for purposes of this section.

2011, c. 483; 2012, cc. 56, 349.

§ 51.1-124.14. Reserved.

Reserved.

Article 2.1. Board of Trustees, Medical Board, and Advisory Committees.

§ 51.1-124.20. Board of Trustees; membership; terms; quorum; compensation and expenses.

A. The Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System is established as an independent board in state government and shall consist of nine members as follows: five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting in each house of the General Assembly and four members appointed by the Joint Rules Committee and confirmed by the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting in each house of the General Assembly.

B. Members shall be appointed for five-year terms with such members leaving the Board on a staggered basis as initially provided. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be for the unexpired terms. A vacancy of a legislatively appointed trustee shall be filled by the Joint Rules Committee, and any such appointee shall enter upon and continue in office, subject to confirmation at the next session of the General Assembly. If the General Assembly refuses or fails to confirm his appointment, such person shall not be eligible for reappointment.

C. No member shall be eligible to serve for more than two successive five-year terms. After the expiration of an unexpired term to which appointed, or for an initial staggered appointment of less than five years, a member may serve one additional five-year term.

D. Subject to confirmation by the affirmative vote of a majority of those voting in each house of the General Assembly, the Governor shall designate the chairman of the Board from among the Board members described in subsection A above. A chairman may be reappointed and confirmed for additional two-year terms, not to exceed a total of two. However, the initial chairman's one-year term shall not be counted against the two-term limitation, and such person may serve as chairman for five successive years if appointed and confirmed as aforesaid. The chairman shall (i) preside over meetings of the Board; (ii) communicate on behalf of the Board to outside entities interested in the Retirement System; and (iii) perform additional duties as may be set by resolution of the Board. The Board shall elect one of its members as vice-chairman and appoint a secretary who may or may not be a member of the Board. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. The meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

E. Trustees shall receive an initial stipend of $3,000 for each calendar quarter they may serve and a per diem of $300 for each Board meeting attended not to exceed one meeting per day. Commencing July 1, 1995, the stipend shall be increased annually by a percentage equal to the most recent salary structure adjustment as provided in the general appropriation act. The chairman shall receive an additional $1,500 for each calendar quarter served in such capacity. Government employees, still actively employed by any governmental entity, shall receive a per diem of $300 for each Board meeting attended, not to exceed one meeting per day, but shall receive no stipend for their service. Retired government employees shall be entitled to receive a stipend of $3,000 for each calendar quarter they may serve and a per diem of $300 for each Board meeting attended not to exceed one meeting per day. Each Board member shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for attending Board meetings as provided in §§ 2.2-2813 and 2.2-2825. Any member of the Board who also serves as an officer, director, or member of the board of any corporation organized by the Virginia Retirement System shall be entitled to receive compensation and expenses pursuant to this subsection in addition to any remuneration to which he is entitled by virtue of his service as an officer, director, or member of the board of any corporation organized by the Virginia Retirement System. Funding for the costs of compensation and expenses of the members shall be provided by the Virginia Retirement System.

F. No elected or appointed official shall serve on the Board of Trustees. Except for the faculty member or employee of a public institution of higher education, none of the gubernatorial appointees shall be an employee of state government.

G. The gubernatorial appointees shall be as follows: two shall have a minimum of five years of experience in the direct management, analysis, supervision, or investment of assets; one shall have at least five years of direct experience in the management and administration of employee benefit plans; one shall be a local employee; and one shall be a faculty member or employee of a public institution of higher education.

H. The legislative appointees shall be as follows: two shall have a minimum of five years of experience in the direct management, analysis, supervision, or investment of assets; and one shall be a state employee and one shall be a teacher, as such terms are defined in § 51.1-124.3.

I. State and local government employees appointed to the Board pursuant to this section shall be members of the Retirement System at the time of their appointment, may be actively employed or retired, and if actively employed, shall be given administrative leave from their employment to attend Board and advisory committee meetings.

J. Members of the Board shall be subject to removal from office only as set forth in Article 7 (§§ 24.2-230 through 24.2-238) of Chapter 2 of Title 24.2. The Circuit Court of the City of Richmond shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all proceedings for such removal.

K. Faculty members of public institutions of higher education shall be eligible to serve on the Board pursuant to this section if they are members of the Retirement System at the time of their confirmation to the Board or become members of the Retirement System within 18 months after their confirmation to the Board.

L. All members of the Board shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.18 to 51-111.20; 1956, c. 363; 1958, c. 419; 1970, c. 476; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 88; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1977, c. 620; 1980, cc. 681, 728; 1989, c. 41; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-109; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 1995, c. 788; 1997, c. 641; 1998, c. 196; 2004, c. 1000.

§ 51.1-124.21. Application of State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act.

The provisions of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.) shall apply to the members of the Board and the employees of the Virginia Retirement System.

1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.22. Board to administer Retirement System; powers and duties.

A. The Retirement System shall be administered by the Board of Trustees, whose powers and duties include but are not limited to:

1. Appointing a director, who shall not be a member of the Board, to serve as the chief administrative officer of the Retirement System at the pleasure of the Board.

2. Maintaining records of all of its proceedings and making such records available for inspection by the public.

3. Employing an actuary as its technical advisor and employing other persons and incurring expenditures as it deems necessary for the efficient administration of the Retirement System.

4. Causing an actuarial investigation to be made of all the experience under the Retirement System at least once in each four-year period. The Board shall also cause actuarial gain/loss analyses to be made in conjunction with each actuarial valuation of the System. Pursuant to such investigations and analyses, the Board shall periodically revise the actuarial assumptions used in the computation of employer contribution rates.

5. Causing a biennial actuarial valuation to be made of the assets and liabilities of the Retirement System with respect to each employer. Pursuant to the results of such valuations, the Board shall prepare a statement as to the employer contribution rates applicable to each employer.

6. Publishing the results of each actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities.

7. Publishing annual financial statements of the Retirement System or annual reports in accordance with §§ 51.1-1000 through 51.1-1003.

8. Promulgating regulations and procedures and making determinations necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.

9. Purchasing insurance to insure against losses suffered by the Retirement System if any member of the Board or of any advisory committee breaches the standard of care in § 51.1-124.30.

10. Adopting rules and policies that bring the Retirement System into compliance with any applicable law or regulation of this Commonwealth or the United States.

11. Establishing and administering, for the officers and employees of the Retirement System, (i) a compensation plan which is consistent with the provisions set forth in the general appropriations act for this purpose and (ii) a grievance procedure which is consistent with the provisions of § 2.2-1202.1 and any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

12. Investing in real estate to be held as a nonrevenue producing asset and used by the Retirement System for administrative offices.

13. Charging and collecting administrative fees to pay actual costs incurred by the Retirement System in administering and overseeing any retirement plan or service award fund other than the Virginia Retirement System (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), the State Police Officers' Retirement System (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or the Judicial Retirement System (§ 51.1-300 et seq.), for which it is responsible from the Commonwealth or participating political subdivisions whose employees benefit under such retirement plans. Any fee charged under the authority granted herein shall be for costs incurred directly related to the administration and oversight of the retirement plan or service award fund, as determined by the Board. Such fee shall be charged to the employer whose employees benefit under the retirement plan and to the service award fund in the case of costs incurred in administering and overseeing service award funds. Overpayments from benefits received under the Virginia Retirement System, the State Police Officers' Retirement System, the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System, the Judicial Retirement System, the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program under Chapter 11 (§ 51.1-1100 et seq.), the Disability Program for Hybrid Retirement Program Participants under Chapter 11.1 (§ 51.1-1150 et seq.), or Health Insurance Credits for Certain Retirees under Chapter 14 (§ 51.1-1400 et seq.) may be deducted from life insurance benefits payable under Chapter 5 (§ 51.1-500 et seq.).

14. The Board is authorized to charge and collect from participating employers any penalties, interest, compliance fees, or other charges charged to the Retirement System by the Internal Revenue Service or other regulatory body.

B. The Board shall be vested with the powers and duties of the Board of Trustees of the abolished system to the extent necessary for the payment of vested rights and the return of accumulated contributions.

C. The Commonwealth, the Board, employees of the Retirement System, the Investment Advisory Committee of the Retirement System, and any other advisory committee established by the Board shall not incur any liability for any losses suffered by the deferred compensation, the cash match, or the defined contribution retirement plans established or administered under the authority of this title, except as provided in § 51.1-124.30.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.17, 51-111.18, 51-111.21 to 51-111.22:1, 51-111.23, 51-111.68; 1956, c. 363; 1958, c. 419; 1960, c. 400; 1970, c. 476; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 88; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 610; 1977, c. 620; 1980, cc. 681, 728; 1982, c. 478; 1989, c. 41; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-110; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 1995, c. 307; 1997, c. 711; 1998, c. 176; 2003, cc. 11, 626; 2004, c. 80; 2008, c. 245; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, c. 356.

§ 51.1-124.23. Medical boards.

A. The Board may create one or more medical boards composed of physicians or other health care professionals who are not eligible to participate in the Retirement System. Members of the medical boards created pursuant to this section shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. A medical board created pursuant to this section may appoint physicians or other health professionals to supplement the medical board membership as necessary to render medical decisions involving specific medical specialties or to serve as substitutes when members of such medical board cannot serve in their official capacity. Any such appointments made by the medical board shall be immediately communicated to the Board or its designee.

B. The duties of a medical board created pursuant to this section shall include:

1. Reviewing all reports of medical examinations required by this chapter.

2. Investigating all essential health and medical statements and certificates filed in connection with disability retirement.

3. Submitting to the Board a written report of its conclusions and recommendations on all matters referred to it.

C. A medical board created pursuant to this section, its substitutes, and its employees shall not be held personally liable for conclusions, advice, or recommendations made in accordance with the duties of such medical board under the provisions of this title.

D. The Board is authorized to delegate or assign to any person the authority to appoint medical board membership.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.26; 1980, cc. 680, 728; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-112; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 1997, c. 78; 2001, c. 39.

§ 51.1-124.24. Chief investment officer; qualifications; duties.

A. To assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its fiduciary duty as trustee of the funds of the Virginia Retirement System, the Board shall employ a chief investment officer to direct, manage, and administer the investment department. The chief investment officer shall be employed under special contract with the Board, shall report directly to the Board, shall serve at the pleasure of the Board, and may be removed by a majority vote of the Board.

B. To ensure that the Board of Trustees receives competent, professional advice regarding its investment decisions from the chief investment officer, the chief investment officer shall demonstrate (i) an ability to oversee, structure, and evaluate institutional investment portfolios and (ii) extensive experience in any two or more of the following areas: domestic equity or fixed-income securities, international equity or fixed-income securities, cash management, alternative investments, managed futures, or large real estate investments. By resolution of the Board, additional qualifications for the chief investment officer may be set.

C. In addition to such duties as the Board of Trustees may include in its special employment contract with the chief investment officer, he shall have the following duties: (i) coordinating asset allocation for all asset classes and subclasses within each class; (ii) supervising, evaluating, and monitoring the investment portfolio and associated investment activities; (iii) facilitating communication between and among the Board of Trustees, advisory committees, employees, members, beneficiaries, and outside entities interested in the investment programs of the retirement system; (iv) enhancing the Board's ability to make effective, prompt decisions in all matters related to investments and the administration of the investment department; and (v) reporting as requested by the General Assembly.

1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.25. Existing advisory committees of the Virginia Retirement System abolished.

As of March 25, 1994, the existing advisory committees of the Virginia Retirement System are abolished and the members are discharged from any further duties.

1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.26. Advisory Committees to the Board of Trustees; membership; terms; qualifications; duties.

To further assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its fiduciary duty as trustee of the funds of the Retirement System, the Board shall appoint an Investment Advisory Committee to provide the Board with sophisticated, objective, and prudent investment advice. The Investment Advisory Committee shall consist of seven to nine members and each member appointment shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board.

A. In addition, the Board of Trustees may appoint such other advisory committees as it deems necessary. Each member appointment shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board.

B. Each advisory committee shall include no more than two Board members and no individual Board member shall serve on more than one advisory committee. Advisory committee members shall serve at the pleasure of the Board and may be removed by a majority vote of the Board.

C. Except for any Board member who serves on an advisory committee, no elected or appointed official shall serve on an advisory committee.

D. Except for any trustee appointed to the Board between February 28, 1994, and July 1, 1995, no former trustee of the Virginia Retirement System or its predecessors in interest shall, during the five-year period after the termination of his service as a Board member, serve on any advisory committee.

E. Except for Board members, members of any advisory committee shall receive an initial stipend of $1,875 for each calendar quarter they may serve and a per diem of $300 for each meeting attended not to exceed one meeting per day. Commencing July 1, 1995, the stipend shall be increased annually by a percentage equal to the most recent salary structure adjustment as provided in the general appropriation act. Government employees shall receive no stipend for their service but shall be entitled to receive a per diem of $300 for each advisory committee meeting attended not to exceed one meeting per day. Each advisory committee member shall be entitled to receive reimbursement for his actual reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for attending committee meetings. Any member of any advisory committee who also serves as an officer, director, or member of the board of any corporation organized by the Virginia Retirement System shall be entitled to receive compensation and expenses pursuant to this subsection in addition to any remuneration to which he is entitled by virtue of his service as an officer, director, or member of the board of any corporation organized by the Virginia Retirement System.

F. Any Board member who serves on an advisory committee shall not receive the quarterly stipend for advisory committee members provided for in subsection E above, but shall receive the per diem applicable to advisory committee meetings attended in that quarter plus reasonable and necessary expenses incurred.

G. The disclosure requirements of subsection B of § 2.2-3114 of the State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act shall apply to any member of any advisory committee who is not also a Board member.

H. Members of the Investment Advisory Committee shall demonstrate extensive experience in any one or more of the following areas: domestic or international equity or fixed-income securities, cash management, alternative investments, substantial real estate investments, or managed futures. By resolution of the Board, qualifications for members of any other advisory committee may be set.

The Investment Advisory Committee shall (i) review, evaluate, and monitor investments and investment opportunities, (ii) make appropriate recommendations to the Board about such investments and investment opportunities, and (iii) make recommendations to the Board about overall asset allocation. By resolution of the Board, responsibilities of any other advisory committee may be set.

I. The recommendations of an advisory committee are not binding upon the Board of Trustees.

1994, cc. 4, 85; 1995, c. 788; 1997, c. 641; 1998, c. 196.

§ 51.1-124.27. Employees of the Retirement System.

The officers and employees of the Virginia Retirement System shall be exempt from the provisions of § 2.2-1202.1 and of the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.). Personnel actions shall be taken without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap, or political affiliation.

1994, cc. 4, 85; 1997, c. 711; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, c. 1137.

§ 51.1-124.28. Legal representation in criminal matters.

Upon the acquittal, dismissal of charges, nolle prosequi, or any other final disposition concluding the innocence of any trustee, advisory committee member, officer, or employee of the Retirement System brought before any regulatory body, summoned before any grand jury, investigated by any law-enforcement agency, arrested, indicted, or otherwise prosecuted on any criminal charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties which alleges a violation of state or federal securities laws, the Board may reimburse all or part of the cost of employing legal counsel and such other costs as are demonstrated to have been reasonably necessary for his defense. The Board shall provide for the payment of such legal fees and expenses out of funds appropriated for the administration of the Retirement System.

1997, c. 821.

§ 51.1-124.29. Reserved.

Reserved.

Article 3.1. Investments.

§ 51.1-124.30. Board as trustee of funds; investments; standard of care; liability for losses.

A. The Board shall be the trustee of the funds of the Retirement System that it administers and of those resulting from the abolished system. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Board shall have full power to invest and reinvest such funds as authorized by law.

B. The Board shall have the power to borrow money in such amounts as may be necessary to discharge current obligations under this chapter whenever in its judgment it would be more advantageous to borrow money than to sell securities held by the Retirement System. Any debt so incurred may be evidenced by notes duly authorized by resolution of the Board, but in no case is the due date of any note or other evidence of debt to be beyond the end of the biennium succeeding the biennium in which the debt is incurred. Securities held by the Retirement System may be hypothecated by the Board as security for the payment of any debt incurred under this section.

C. The Board shall discharge its duties with respect to the Retirement System solely in the interest of the beneficiaries thereof and shall invest the assets of the Retirement System with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.

D. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Retirement System or any of its tax exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care in subsection C above shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this chapter.

E. In the case of a plan administered by the Board which provides individual accounts permitting an employee or beneficiary to exercise discretion over assets in his account, the Board shall not be liable for any loss resulting from such employee's or beneficiary's (i) exercise of discretion over the assets in his account or (ii) inaction with respect to the assets in his account that results in such assets being placed in a default investment option selected by the Board.

F. In the case of an automatic rollover of a mandatory cash-out, as that term is defined under I.R.C. § 401 (a)(31)(B) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (including as such section is amended or renumbered, or any successor provision thereto) and regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans, the Board shall not be liable for any loss resulting from the Board's selection of an individual retirement plan provider and investment product where the selection is made in accordance with guidelines to be adopted by the Board that are similar to the safe harbor guidelines adopted by the United States Department of Labor for this purpose.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.24; 1954, c. 633; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 47; 1962, c. 50; 1972, c. 151; 1973, c. 523; 1976, c. 545; 1977, c. 620; 1978, c. 841; 1980, cc. 559, 596; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-114; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 1995, c. 788; 2000, c. 396; 2005, c. 729; 2013, c. 463.

§ 51.1-124.30:1. Adoption of stress testing and reporting policies.

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) shall adopt a formal policy to:

1. Develop and regularly report sensitivity and stress test analyses. Such analyses and reporting shall include projections of benefit levels, pension costs, liabilities, and debt reduction under various economic and investment scenarios;

2. Improve investment transparency and reporting policy by (i) providing a clear and detailed online statement of investment policy; (ii) including one-year, three-year, five-year, and 10-year investment performance data in quarterly investment reports; (iii) including 20-year and 25-year investment performance data in annual investment reports; (iv) reporting net investment returns on a quarterly basis; and (v) reporting gross investment returns and returns by asset class on an annual basis; and

3. Regularly report investment performance and expenses such as external manager fees, carried interest fees, and investment department expenses for all asset classes, including private equity, public equity, fixed income, credit strategies, real assets, strategic opportunities, and other investments.

2017, c. 639.

§ 51.1-124.31. Pooling of assets for investment.

The Board may invest the assets of any retirement system or program it administers on a pooled or consolidated basis. The Board shall maintain a separate accounting of the funds of each of the retirement systems and programs.

Code 1950, §§ 51-140, 51-141, 51-149, 51-166; 1950, p. 885; 1954, c. 139; 1966, c. 628; 1970, c. 779; 1972, c. 151; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-115; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 2000, c. 911.

§ 51.1-124.32. Exemption from Public Procurement Act.

The selection of services related to the management, purchase, or sale of authorized investments, actuarial services, and disability determination services shall be governed by the standard of care in § 51.1-124.30 and shall not be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

1982, c. 580, § 51-111.24:2; 1985, c. 490; 1989, c. 399; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-116; 1991, c. 391; 1994, cc. 4, 85; 2007, c. 65.

§ 51.1-124.33. Deposit of trust funds not an investment; authorized deposits.

The Board may authorize the deposit of trust funds in interest-bearing time deposits and certificates of deposit of national banks located within the Commonwealth, of banks organized pursuant to Chapter 8 (§ 6.2-800 et seq.) of Title 6.2, of savings institutions which are under state supervision, and of federal associations located in this Commonwealth and organized under the laws of the United States and under federal supervision and federally insured. Such deposits shall not be considered the investment of trust funds for the purposes of this chapter. Deposit of the funds in demand and time deposits and in certificates of deposit of national banks located within this Commonwealth and of banks organized pursuant to the Virginia Banking Act is hereby authorized, provided that the deposits are secured as provided by law and that no deposit is made for any one period in excess of one year. Deposit of trust funds in savings accounts and certificates of savings institutions which are under state supervision and of federal associations located in this Commonwealth and organized under the laws of the United States and under federal supervision is hereby authorized. Such deposits shall not exceed the amount insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or other federal insurance agency, unless deposits in excess of the amount insured are fully collateralized by eligible collateral as defined in § 2.2-4401. No such deposit shall be made for any one period in excess of one year.

1980, c. 596, § 51-111.24:4; 1990, cc. 3, 832, § 51.1-122; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.34. Retention of investments that become ineligible.

An investment that conformed with the provisions of this chapter at the time the investment was made may be retained even though the investment ceases to be eligible for purchase under the provisions of this chapter, unless the standard of care in § 51.1-124.30 requires the sale or other disposition of the investment.

1980, c. 596, § 51-111.24:1; 1988, c. 526; 1989, c. 28; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-123; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.35. Investment provisions exclusive.

Investment of trust funds by the Board shall be governed exclusively by this article.

1980, c. 596, § 51-111.24:8; 1990, c. 832, § 51.1-124; 1994, cc. 4, 85.

§ 51.1-124.36. Investment of assets of the Commonwealth Health Research Fund.

A. In addition to such other powers as shall be vested in the Board, the Board shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the Commonwealth Health Research Fund. The Board shall maintain a separate accounting for the assets of the Commonwealth Health Research Fund.

B. The Board shall invest the assets of the Commonwealth Health Research Fund with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.

C. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Retirement System or any of its tax exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care in subsection B above shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.

D. The provisions of §§ 51.1-124.32, 51.1-124.33, 51.1-124.34, and 51.1-124.35 shall apply to the Board's activities with respect to funds in the Commonwealth Health Research Fund.

E. The Board may assess the Commonwealth Health Research Board a reasonable administrative fee for its services.

1997, cc. 803, 888, 891; 2007, cc. 700, 711.

§ 51.1-124.37. Investment of assets of the Commonwealth's Attorneys Training Fund.

A. In addition to such other powers as shall be vested in the Board of the Virginia Retirement System (Board), the Board shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the Commonwealth's Attorneys Training Fund (Fund). The Board shall maintain a separate accounting for the assets of the Fund.

B. The Board shall invest the assets of the Fund with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.

C. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Virginia Retirement System or any of its tax exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care set forth in subsection B shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.

D. The provisions of §§ 51.1-124.32, 51.1-124.33, 51.1-124.34, and 51.1-124.35 shall apply to the Board's activities with respect to moneys in the Fund.

E. The Board may assess the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council a reasonable administrative fee for its services.

2015, cc. 212, 226.

§ 51.1-124.38. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, cc. 1164 and 1169, cl. 2.

§ 51.1-124.39. Investment of assets of the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund.

A. In addition to such other powers as shall be vested in the Board, the Board shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage the assets of the Line of Duty Death and Health Benefits Trust Fund (the Fund) established pursuant to § 9.1-400.1. The Board shall maintain a separate accounting for the assets of the Fund.

B. The Board shall invest the assets of the Fund with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.

C. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Retirement System or any of its tax-exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care in subsection B shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.

D. The provisions of §§ 51.1-124.32 through 51.1-124.35 shall apply to the Board's activities with respect to moneys in the Fund.

E. The Board may assess the Fund a reasonable administrative fee for its services.

2016, c. 677.

§ 51.1-124.40. Investment of assets of the Opioid Abatement Fund.

A. In addition to such other powers as shall be vested in the Board, the Board shall have the full power to invest, reinvest, and manage any assets of the Opioid Abatement Fund (the Fund) designated by the Opioid Abatement Authority for investment, reinvestment, or management by the Board. The Board shall maintain a separate accounting for the assets of the Fund. The Opioid Abatement Authority shall request a distribution of funds from the Board no more frequently than annually, and the Opioid Abatement Authority shall designate funds for investment by the Board no more frequently than annually.

B. The Board shall invest the assets of the Fund with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims. The Board shall also diversify such investments so as to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.

C. No officer, director, or member of the Board or of any advisory committee of the Retirement System or any of its tax exempt subsidiary corporations whose actions are within the standard of care in subsection B shall be held personally liable for losses suffered by the Retirement System on investments made under the authority of this section.

D. The provisions of §§ 51.1-124.32 through 51.1-124.35 shall apply to the Board's activities with respect to funds in the Fund.

E. The Board may assess the Opioid Abatement Authority a reasonable administrative fee for its services.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 306, 307.

Article 4. Membership in Retirement System.

§ 51.1-125. Persons composing membership; persons holding more than one position.

A. All persons who become employees after March 1, 1952, shall be members of the retirement system, except for the following persons:

1. Any person who elects not to participate as provided in this chapter, or who elected not to participate in the abolished system.

2. Any person who becomes an employee and who elects to remain a member of a local pension system where such election is allowed by state law.

3. Any member of a local system who through promotion achieves a position bringing him within the definition of a teacher if he elects within sixty days, with the concurrence of his employer, to remain a member of the local system.

B. No person shall hold more than one membership in the retirement system at any one time with respect to any of the benefits provided under this title. Any person employed in more than one position resulting in membership shall elect one position on which his membership shall be based by written notification thereof to the Board.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.27; 1954, c. 241; 1960, c. 400; 1973, c. 523; 1978, c. 841; 1982, c. 467; 1984, c. 430; 1985, c. 490; 1987, c. 575; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-126. Employees of institutions of higher education.

For purposes of this section, "optional retirement plan" means a retirement plan covering the employee for retirement purposes other than the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established under this chapter or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169.

A. 1. The Board shall maintain an optional retirement plan covering employees engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties with an institution of higher education and any institution of higher education is authorized to make contributions to such plan for the benefit of its employees participating in such plan. Except (i) as provided in subsection B for institutions of higher education that have established their own optional retirement plan and (ii) for employees described in subdivision A 2, every employee hired by an institution of higher education on or after July 1, 2003, engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties shall make an irrevocable election to participate in either (a) the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter until January 1, 2014, and thereafter, the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169 or (b) an optional retirement plan maintained by the Board. Such election shall be exercised no later than 60 days from the time of the employee's entry upon the performance of his duties. If an election is not made within such 60 days, such employee shall be deemed to have elected to participate in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, as applicable.

2. Any employee (i) hired on or after July 1, 2003, by an institution of higher education engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties; and (ii) who at the time of hiring is in continuous service in the performance of such teaching, administrative, or research duties shall participate in the optional retirement plan maintained by the Board if the most recent retirement plan covering the employee prior to such hiring was an optional retirement plan. If the most recent retirement plan covering the employee prior to such hiring was the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, such person shall participate in such defined benefit retirement plan or such hybrid retirement program, as applicable, from the time of his entry upon the performance of his duties.

B. 1. Any institution of higher education, upon receipt of approval by the Board in writing, may establish and maintain its own optional retirement plan covering its employees who are engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties. Upon such approval, such institution is authorized to make contributions to its own optional retirement plan for the benefit of its employees who elect to participate or who are required to participate in such plan as provided in this subsection.

2. Every employee, with the exception of employees described in subdivision B 3, (i) hired on or after July 1, 2003, by an institution of higher education that has established and is maintaining its own optional retirement plan pursuant to this subsection and (ii) engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties shall make an irrevocable election to participate in either: (a) the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter until January 1, 2014, and thereafter, the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, as applicable; or (b) such optional retirement plan of the institution of higher education. Such employee shall not be provided any election to participate in an optional retirement plan maintained by the Board.

The election shall be exercised no later than 60 days from the time of the employee's entry upon the performance of his duties. If an election is not made within such 60 days, such employee shall be deemed to have elected to participate in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, as applicable.

3. Any employee (i) hired on or after July 1, 2003, by an institution of higher education engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties; and (ii) who at the time of hiring is in continuous service in the performance of such teaching, administrative, or research duties shall participate in the optional retirement plan established by the institution of higher education pursuant to this subsection if the most recent retirement plan covering the employee prior to such hiring was an optional retirement plan. If the most recent retirement plan covering the employee prior to such hiring was the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, such person shall participate in such defined benefit retirement plan or such hybrid retirement program, as applicable, from the time of his entry upon the performance of his duties.

C. Any employee engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties at an institution of higher education who was covered under an optional retirement plan for retirement purposes, other than the optional retirement plan established by such institution pursuant to subdivision B 1, shall, at the time such institution establishes its own optional retirement plan pursuant to subdivision B 1, automatically and immediately begin to participate in the optional retirement plan established pursuant to subdivision B 1, notwithstanding such employee's prior election to participate in a different optional retirement plan.

D. 1. Any administrative fee imposed pursuant to subdivision A 13 of § 51.1-124.22 upon any institution of higher education for administering and overseeing the institution's retirement plan established pursuant to subsection A shall be charged for each employee participating in such plan and shall be for costs incurred by the Retirement System that are directly related to the administration and oversight of such plan.

2. Each institution of higher education may charge and collect a reimbursement fee from each employee participating in the institution's retirement plan established pursuant to subsection A. The total amount charged and collected for such fee from all such employees for any year shall not exceed the total of the costs described in subdivision D 1 and charged to the institution for such year.

E. 1. No employee of an institution of higher education who is an active member in any plan maintained by the Board or established by an institution of higher education, pursuant to this section, shall also be an active member of the retirement system or beneficiary other than a contingent annuitant.

2. If a member of the optional retirement plan maintained under this section is at any time in service as an employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.), his benefit payments under the optional retirement plan maintained under this section shall be suspended while so employed; provided, however, reemployment shall have no effect on the payment under the optional plan maintained under this section if the benefits are being paid in an annuity form under an annuity contract purchased with the member's account balance.

F. 1. The contribution by the Commonwealth on behalf of an employee participating in an optional retirement plan maintained by the Board or on behalf of an employee participating in an optional retirement plan established by his institution of higher education under this section to such employee's retirement plan shall be (i) at least 8.5 percent but not in excess of 8.9 percent of creditable compensation for any person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and (ii) 10.4 percent of creditable compensation for all other employees. Any institution of higher education that elects a contribution in excess of 8.5 percent of creditable compensation for any employee described in clause (i) shall provide for the same percentage of creditable compensation as contributions for each of its employees described in clause (i) who participates in such optional retirement plan. The portion of the contribution in excess of 8.5 percent of creditable compensation pursuant to clause (i) shall not be funded from the general fund of the state treasury, but shall be paid by the institution of higher education from other funds. In addition, any person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, shall, pursuant to procedures established by the Board, pay member contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, in an amount equal to five percent of his creditable compensation, to the optional retirement plan maintained by the Board on his behalf or the optional retirement plan established by his institution of higher education on his behalf, as applicable. Each employee making such member contribution shall be deemed to consent and agree to any salary reduction for purposes of the member contribution. Such member contributions shall be in addition to all contributions pursuant to clause (i). An institution of higher education may make an additional contribution for participants who, before January 1, 1991, exercised the election to participate in the plan provided by the institution employing them. Such additional contributions shall be made using funds other than general funds, tuition or fees, up to an additional 2.17 percent of creditable compensation.

2. The governing board of any institution of higher education that establishes its own optional retirement plan pursuant to this section may establish a policy regarding the number of years of service, or portion thereof, that an employee must perform before such employee shall be entitled to receive all contributions made on his behalf by the institution to the optional retirement plan. If an employee has less than the number of years of service, or portion thereof, established by the governing board at the time he ceases employment, other than by death or involuntary separation due to causes other than job performance or misconduct, as determined by the institution of higher education in its sole discretion, he shall not receive or be entitled to that portion of the contributions that was paid by the institution on his behalf for which he does not have the required service. The institution of higher education may establish a forfeiture account for such employer contributions forgone by the employee and may specify the uses of funds in the forfeiture account. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply only to any person who (i) becomes a participant in the institution of higher education's optional retirement plan on or after July 1, 2014, and (ii) is not an employee described under subdivision B 3. Any future change to a policy established by the governing board of an institution of higher education pursuant to this subdivision regarding the number of years of service required for an employee to receive all contributions made by the institution to the optional retirement plan shall apply only to new employees hired on or after the date of the change.

3. The contribution rates established pursuant to subdivision 1 shall be examined by the Board at least once every six years. The examination shall consider the salary peer group mean contribution as determined by the State Council of Higher Education and the Virginia Retirement System actuary, and, if deemed advisable, recommend a revision to the rate of contribution by the Commonwealth.

G. With respect to any employee who elects pursuant to subsection A or B to participate in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter or the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, the institution of higher education shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions to the Virginia Retirement System for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) for such employees.

H. The Virginia Retirement System shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of the optional retirement plan it maintains. To assist the Virginia Retirement System in developing such policies and procedures, the Board may appoint an advisory committee of higher education employees to supply guidance in the process.

I. As a condition of the Board granting approval to an institution of higher education to establish its own optional retirement plan, the institution of higher education shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of such plan and shall submit such policies and procedures to the Board as part of the Board-approval process required under this section. In addition, an institution of higher education that is granted approval by the Board to establish its own optional retirement plan covering employees engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties shall not adopt or implement policies and procedures that are substantially different from the policies and procedures approved by the Board in the initial approval process unless the Board, in writing, approves such substantially different policies and procedures.

J. The Board shall establish guidelines for the employee elections referred to in subdivision B 2 and shall review and, if deemed advisable, recommend revisions to the contribution rates as described in subsection F. Except for the duties described in subsection I, the Board shall have no duties and responsibilities with respect to such plans established pursuant to subsection B.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.28; 1978, c. 841; 1982, c. 467; 1987, c. 215; 1990, c. 832; 1991, cc. 217, 645; 1996, cc. 933, 995; 2000, cc. 722, 723; 2001, c. 691; 2003, cc. 369, 626; 2005, c. 793; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2014, cc. 745, 764.

§ 51.1-126.1. Certain employees of teaching hospitals.

A. Any teaching hospital affiliated with an institution of higher education, other than the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority or the University of Virginia Medical Center, may establish a retirement plan covering in whole or in part its employees who are health care providers, as determined by the Department of Human Resource Management pursuant to § 2.2-2905, and is authorized to make contributions for the benefit of its employees who elect to participate in such plan or arrangement rather than in the retirement system established by this chapter. Any such alternative retirement plan shall not become effective until July 1, 1991, or any time thereafter, as determined by such teaching hospital. Any health care provider employed by such teaching hospital on or after July 1, 1991, may make an irrevocable election to participate in either the retirement plan established by this chapter or the plan provided by the teaching hospital, in accordance with guidelines established by the Virginia Retirement System. The election herein provided shall, as to any health care provider employed after the alternative retirement plan implementation date, be exercised not later than thirty-one days from the time of entry upon the performance of his duties.

B. No health care provider employed by a teaching hospital who is an active member of a plan established under this section shall also be an active member of the retirement system or a beneficiary other than a contingent annuitant.

C. The contribution by the Commonwealth to any other retirement plan established on behalf of health care providers as provided in subsection A shall be the contribution by the Commonwealth which would be required if the health care provider were a member of the retirement system or eight percent of creditable compensation, whichever is less.

D. If the institution of higher education with which the teaching hospital is affiliated has adopted a retirement plan under § 51.1-126 for its employees who are engaged in the performance of teaching, administrative, or research duties, the plan established under this section shall offer the same investment opportunities as are available to the participants of the plan established under § 51.1-126.

E. The Virginia Retirement System shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of the retirement plan established under this section.

1991, c. 645; 1993, c. 895; 1996, cc. 905, 933, 995, 1046; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 720.

§ 51.1-126.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1998, c. 449.

§ 51.1-126.3. Employees of the University of Virginia Medical Center.

A. The University of Virginia Medical Center, hereafter referred to as the Medical Center, may establish one or more retirement plans covering in whole or in part its employees. The Medical Center is authorized to make contributions for the benefit of its employees who are covered by any plan established pursuant to this section. Any such alternative retirement plans for Medical Center employees shall not become effective until such time as the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia may determine. Except as provided herein, all employees of the Medical Center who are employed by the Medical Center on or after July 1, 2000, shall be participants in a Medical Center retirement plan established pursuant to this section, with a contribution by the Medical Center at a rate to be determined by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. However, an employee hired by the Medical Center on or after July 1, 2003, who, as of the first day of such employment, is a current member of the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter shall elect to either: (i) continue to participate in such defined benefit retirement plan or (ii) choose the plan provided by the Medical Center with a contribution by the Medical Center at a rate to be determined by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. Such election shall be exercised not later than 60 days from the time of the employee's entry into the performance of his duties for the Medical Center, and the election shall be irrevocable. During such 60-day period, to the time of such election, such employee shall participate in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established by this chapter. If such election is not made within the time period provided in this subsection, such employee shall be deemed to have elected to participate in the retirement plan established by the Medical Center.

B. With respect to any employee of the Medical Center who elects to continue to participate in the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan, the Medical Center shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions due to the Virginia Retirement System for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) of this title for such employees. For Medical Center employees who elect or who are required pursuant to subsection A to become members of the retirement program established by the Medical Center, the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized plan shall transfer to the retirement plan established by the Medical Center assets equal to the actuarially determined present value of the accrued basic benefit as of the transfer date. For purposes hereof, the basic benefit shall be the benefit accrued under the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan, based on creditable service and average final compensation, as defined in § 51.1-124.3 and determined as of the transfer date. The actuarial present value shall be determined on the same basis, using the same actuarial factors and assumptions used in determining the funding needs of the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan, so that the transfer of assets to the retirement plan established by the Medical Center will have no effect on the funded status and financial stability of the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan.

C. No employee of the Medical Center who is an active member of any plan established under this section shall also be an active member of the retirement system established by this chapter or a beneficiary of such other plan other than as a contingent annuitant.

D. The University of Virginia Board of Visitors shall adopt guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of this section, including guidelines for the administration of any retirement plan established pursuant to this section. The Board shall have no duties and responsibilities with respect to such plan. The guidelines adopted by the Board of Visitors shall be filed with the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System.

1996, cc. 933, 995; 2000, c. 723; 2003, c. 369.

§ 51.1-126.4. Employees of the Virginia Port Authority.

A. The Virginia Port Authority, hereinafter referred to as the Authority, may establish one or more retirement plans covering in whole or in part its employees. The Authority is authorized to make contributions for the benefit of its employees who elect to participate in such plan or arrangement rather than in any other retirement system established by this chapter. Any such alternative retirement plan shall become effective at such time as determined by the Authority. The Authority shall notify the Virginia Retirement System of the establishment of such plan no later than ninety days prior to the effective date. Any present employee of the Authority may make an irrevocable election to participate in the retirement plan established by this chapter or any plan provided by the Authority. Such election shall be made no later than 180 days after the effective date of the plan provided for in this section on forms supplied by the Virginia Retirement System. Any employee hired on or after the effective date of the plan provided for in this section shall become a participant in that plan, subject to the eligibility criteria of that plan.

B. No employee of the Authority who is an active member of a plan established under this section shall also be an active member of the retirement system established by this chapter or a beneficiary of such other plan other than as a contingent annuitant.

C. The Authority shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of any retirement plan it establishes under this section. A copy of such policies and procedures shall be filed with the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System.

D. Pursuant to § 62.1-129.1, employees of the Authority shall be eligible to continue their participation in the Virginia Retirement System or may participate in an alternative retirement plan offered pursuant to this section.

1997, c. 232; 2015, c. 660.

§ 51.1-126.5. Defined contribution plan for eligible members.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Eligible member" means a member who holds an eligible position.

"Eligible position" means a position designated in subdivision 3, 4, or 20 of § 2.2-2905 or an officer or employee appointed by the Attorney General or Lieutenant Governor to a position designated as a deputy, counsel or director position.

"Participating member" means an eligible member who elects to participate in the plan.

"Plan" means the defined contribution plan established pursuant to this section.

B. The Board shall establish a plan covering any eligible member who elects to participate in the plan. The plan shall be in lieu of the service retirement allowance provided by the retirement system under § 51.1-155. Participating members shall be deemed to be members of the retirement system to the extent consistent with the provisions of this section.

C. Any person who becomes an eligible member after July 1, 1998, shall elect upon accepting an eligible position to participate in either (i) the retirement system or (ii) the plan. Such election shall be made in accordance with guidelines established by the Virginia Retirement System.

D. Upon ceasing to be employed in an eligible position but continuing to be an employee of the Commonwealth, a participating member may elect to:

1. Maintain the accrued contributions and earnings in his defined contribution account; or

2. Use the accrued contributions and earnings in his defined contribution account to purchase service credit in the retirement system as provided in subsection F.

E. After termination of employment, a participating member may withdraw the accrued contributions and earnings from his defined contribution account, subject to applicable state and federal law and regulation.

F. Upon an election under subsection D by a participating member who has ceased to be employed in an eligible position, the accrued contributions and earnings in such electing person's defined contribution account shall be used to purchase service credit in the retirement system at a rate to be established by the Board. Such rate shall cover the actuarial cost of providing the creditable service. If the account is less than the actuarial cost of the total time worked in the eligible position, the employee may use his own funds to purchase the remaining time. In no event shall the amount of service credit purchased in the retirement system exceed the time that was served in an eligible position while participating in the plan. Any amount of accrued contributions and earnings in such electing person's defined contribution account in excess of the amount required to purchase service credit in the retirement system for the time served in an eligible position while participating in the plan shall be forfeited to the Virginia Retirement System.

G. The contribution by the Commonwealth to a participating member's defined contribution account shall be determined by the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System in consultation with its actuary. Contributions to the defined contribution account and all earnings thereon shall be credited to an account to be maintained for each participating member. Contributions by the Commonwealth to a participating member's defined contribution account shall be in lieu of contributions to the retirement system required pursuant to § 51.1-145.

H. If a member of the optional retirement plan maintained under this section is at any time in service as an employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) of this title, his benefit payments under the optional retirement plan maintained under this section shall be suspended while so employed; provided, however, reemployment in such position shall have no effect on the payment under the optional retirement plan maintained under this section if the benefits are being paid in an annuity form under a lifetime annuity contract purchased with the member's account balance.

I. Effective January 1, 2014, any reference to "retirement system" in this section shall mean the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169. The Virginia Retirement System shall (i) develop policies and procedures for the administration of the plan and (ii) provide a program of education and support for participating members.

1998, c. 661; 1999, c. 111; 2001, c. 691; 2002, c. 668; 2004, c. 206; 2006, c. 639; 2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-126.6. Certain employees of public school divisions.

A. The Board shall establish a defined contribution plan covering any eligible employee serving in a position designated in § 22.1-60 who elects to participate in the plan.

B. Any school board established pursuant to Article VIII, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia and Chapter 5 (§ 22.1-28 et seq.) of Title 22.1 is hereby authorized to make contributions to the optional retirement plan established by the Virginia Retirement System pursuant to this section for the benefit of its eligible employees who elect to participate in such a plan. Any eligible employee of such school board hired on or after the effective date of the plan shall make an irrevocable election to participate in either (i) the retirement system established by this chapter or (ii) the optional retirement plan established by the Virginia Retirement System pursuant to this section. Such election shall be made in accordance with the guidelines established by the Virginia Retirement System.

C. No employee of any school board who is an active member of the retirement plan established under this section shall also be an active member in the Virginia Retirement System or beneficiary thereof other than as a contingent annuitant. Such eligible employee may, however, be covered under any insurance plan established by the Board under this title for which he would have been otherwise eligible.

D. The contribution by the school board to such employee's defined contribution account shall be determined by the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System in consultation with its actuary. Contributions to the defined contribution account and all earnings thereon shall be credited to an account to be maintained for each eligible employee who elects to participate. Contributions by the school board to an electing employee's defined contribution account shall be in lieu of contributions to the retirement system required pursuant to § 51.1-145. In addition, any person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, shall, pursuant to procedures established by the Board, pay member contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, in an amount equal to five percent of his creditable compensation, to the retirement plan established under this section. Each employee making such member contribution shall be deemed to consent and agree to any salary reduction for purposes of the member contribution. Such member contributions shall be in addition to all contributions by the school board to such employee's defined contribution account.

E. If a member of the optional retirement plan maintained under this section is at any time in service as an employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) of this title, his benefit payments under the optional retirement plan maintained under this section shall be suspended while so employed; provided, however, reemployment in such position shall have no effect on the payment under the optional retirement plan maintained under this section if the benefits are being paid in an annuity form under a lifetime annuity contract purchased with the member's account balance.

F. Effective January 1, 2014, any reference to "retirement system" or "Virginia Retirement System" in this section, as the context requires, shall mean the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169. The Virginia Retirement System shall develop policies and procedures for the administration of such plan in accordance with existing and future federal and state policies, regulations, and statutes governing the administration of such plans.

1998, c. 822; 2000, c. 345; 2001, c. 691; 2002, c. 668; 2006, c. 639; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2013, c. 463.

§ 51.1-126.7. Employees of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

A. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation, hereinafter referred to as the Foundation, may establish a retirement plan covering in whole or in part its employees. The Foundation is authorized to make contributions for the benefit of its employees who elect to participate in such plan or arrangement rather than in any other retirement system established by this chapter. Any such alternative retirement plan shall become effective at such times as determined by the Foundation. The Foundation shall notify the Virginia Retirement System of the establishment of such plan no later than ninety days prior to the effective date. Any present employee of the Foundation may make an irrevocable election to participate in the retirement plan established by this chapter or any plan provided by the Foundation. Such election shall be made no later than 180 days after the effective date of the plan provided for in this section on forms supplied by the Virginia Retirement System. Any employee hired on or after the effective date of the plan provided for in this section shall become a participant in that plan, subject to the eligibility criteria of that plan.

B. No employee of the Foundation who is an active member of a plan established under this section shall also be an active member of the retirement system established by this chapter or a beneficiary of such other plan other than as a contingent annuitant.

C. Upon an election by an employee of the Foundation to participate in the retirement plan established by the Foundation, the employee may also elect to transfer his accumulated contribution account, as reduced by the amount of any retirement allowance previously received by him under any of the provisions of this chapter or the abolished system, directly to the retirement plan established by the Foundation as a credit to his account in such plan. This election shall only be permitted if the plan established by the Foundation is a qualified plan under Section 401 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code. If a transfer is elected, no portion of the transferred amount shall be available to the member until benefits under the retirement plan established by the Foundation are otherwise available for distribution. The transfer of the accumulated contributions to such retirement plan shall be treated as a withdrawal of the member's accumulated contributions for purposes of § 51.1-128.

D. The Foundation shall continue to pay the required contributions to the Virginia Retirement System for employees who do not elect to participate in the retirement plan established by the Foundation pursuant to this section.

2001, c. 698.

§ 51.1-126.8. Maximum contributions to optional plans; coordination of limits.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the annual additions to the optional retirement plans described in Article 4 (§ 51.1-125 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of this title shall be reduced, if necessary, to the extent required by § 415 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to § 415 (d) of the Internal Revenue Code. If an employee participating in an optional retirement plan is also a participant in another defined contribution plan qualified under §§ 401 (a) or 403 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code and sponsored or maintained by an employer participating in such optional retirement plan, the employer shall apply the combined limit test required by § 415 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Whenever a reduction in annual additions is required to comply with the limitations of § 415 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code, the annual additions under such employer's other plan or plans will be reduced before contributions under the optional retirement plan.

B. Any vendor for an optional retirement plan that is a defined contribution plan established by Article 4 of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1 shall (i) request and maintain the records needed, (ii) perform the testing services required to assure compliance with the limitation described in § 415 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code, including testing required where the employer maintains or sponsors another defined contribution plan that must be tested together with the optional retirement plan, and (iii) advise the employer of any contribution that exceeds the applicable limitation. If there is no vendor for these services, the employer shall (a) request and maintain the records needed, (b) perform the testing services required to assure compliance with the limitation described in § 415 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code, including testing required where the employer maintains or sponsors another defined contribution plan that must be tested together with the optional retirement plan, and (c) reduce any contribution that exceeds the applicable limitation.

2002, c. 435.

§ 51.1-127. Federal Employees' Retirement System.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension Service is hereby authorized to make contributions into the Federal Employees' Retirement System for the benefit of its employees who hold federal governmental appointments and who elect to participate in the system. No employee who is an active member of the Federal Employees' Retirement System shall also be an active member or beneficiary other than a contingent annuitant of the retirement system or any retirement plan authorized by this chapter or administered by the Board.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.28; 1978, c. 841; 1982, c. 467; 1987, c. 215; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-128. Cessation of membership.

Membership in the retirement system shall cease (i) upon the withdrawal of the member's accumulated contributions except as provided in subsection C of § 51.1-153, (ii) upon retirement, (iii) upon death, or (iv) as provided by Board policy for dormant accounts.

An employee shall lose all rights to any benefits under this chapter arising from service rendered prior to the date of cessation of membership.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.29, 51-111.43; 1954, c. 643; 1960, c. 604; 1966, c. 174; 1978, c. 841; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832; 1992, c. 811.

§ 51.1-129. Limitation on membership.

No provision of any other statute which provides that the Commonwealth shall pay the entire or a portion of the cost of retirement benefits for employees, their surviving spouses, or other dependents shall apply to members or beneficiaries of the retirement system, or to their surviving spouses, or other dependents. This provision shall not apply to any benefits extended under any agreement between the Commonwealth and the federal government, or any agency thereof, or any benefits extended under the Government Employees Deferred Compensation Plan Act (§ 51.1-600 et seq.).

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.30; 1976, c. 654; 1990, c. 832.

Article 5. Participation of Political Subdivisions in Retirement System.

§ 51.1-130. Resolution of governing body; approval by Board.

A. The governing body of a political subdivision may adopt a resolution requesting that its eligible employees become members of the retirement system. The governing body's resolution shall be submitted to the Board for approval, and acceptance of the employees in the retirement system shall be at the option of the Board. If the Board approves the resolution, eligible employees may become members of the retirement system. The Board shall not approve the resolution unless the political subdivision has first entered into a plan of agreement, as defined in § 51.1-700, to extend benefits under the Social Security Act to its employees approved under the provisions of § 51.1-705.

B. The governing body of any political subdivision approved for participation in the retirement system pursuant to subsection A may adopt a resolution that provides, on or after October 1, 1994, an additional retirement allowance not to exceed three percent of the applicable service or disability retirement allowances payable under § 51.1-155, 51.1-157, 51.1-206, 51.1-306, or 51.1-308.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.31; 1954, c. 241; 1958, c. 367; 1960, c. 400; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 296; 1976, c. 581; 1977, c. 620; 1990, c. 832; 1994, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 5; 2005, c. 902.

§ 51.1-131. Local pension systems; transfer to retirement system.

The members of any annuity fund, benevolent association, or retirement system of any political subdivision, hereafter referred to as a local pension system, may elect to become members of the retirement system by submitting to the Board a petition duly signed by a majority of the members. The Board may approve the participation of such members in the retirement system as though the local pension system was not in operation, and the provisions of this article shall thereupon apply. Existing pensioners or annuitants of the local pension system who are being paid pensions on the effective date of coverage and former employees whose rights are vested may retain their rights under the local pension system and be paid at their existing rates by the retirement system. After the local pension system is discontinued, the rates may be increased by all future percentage increases which are granted to beneficiaries retired under the provisions of this chapter.

If deemed practicable by the Board, any cash and securities credited to the local pension system shall be transferred to the retirement system as of the effective date of coverage. The administrative head of the local pension system shall certify the proportion of the funds of the system that represents the accumulated contributions and the relative shares of the members. If appropriate, the accumulated contributions and shares shall be credited to the individual accounts of the members in the members' contribution account. The operation of the local pension system shall be discontinued as of the effective date of coverage.

If the Board determines that the transfer of funds is not practicable, the Board may enter into an agreement with the employer to coordinate any benefits payable under this chapter with any vested benefits payable under the discontinued local system.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.34; 1960, c. 604; 1973, c. 523; 1976, c. 654; 1978, c. 841; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-132. Eligible employees.

Officers and employees of the political subdivision who are regularly employed full time on a salaried basis and whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment may become members of the retirement system. Clerks of the circuit court and deputies shall be included in the coverage group. Officers and employees of an organization other than a public school board that functions solely within the boundaries of a county, city, or town shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the county, city, or town, and not of the organization, unless the cost of the organization's operation is borne by (i) the users of services, (ii) more than one county, city, or town, or (iii) any entity other than a county, city, or town.

A member of a local system who, through election to a position as a constitutional officer, is no longer eligible for membership in the local system, and who, prior to such election, has accumulated within that system more than half the total service credits necessary to become eligible for full normal retirement benefits, may choose, with the concurrence of the local governing body, (i) not to participate in the retirement system established pursuant to this chapter and (ii) to become a member of the local system. In such case, the member shall be deemed, for retirement purposes only, to have ceased employment, and shall be permitted to withdraw his contribution as provided in § 51.1-161.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.31; 1954, c. 241; 1958, c. 367; 1960, c. 400; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 296; 1976, c. 581; 1977, c. 620; 1990, c. 832; 1994, c. 883.

§ 51.1-133. Limitation on membership.

Employees who are members of any retirement, pension, or benefit fund partially or wholly supported by public funds shall not be entitled to become members of the retirement system on that part of their compensation covered by the fund except as provided under this article.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.31; 1954, c. 241; 1958, c. 367; 1960, c. 400; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 296; 1976, c. 581; 1977, c. 620; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-134. Optional membership; creditable service.

Membership in the retirement system for eligible employees in service on the date of coverage shall be optional. Any employee who elects to join the retirement system within one calendar year after the date of coverage shall be entitled to credit for service rendered prior to the date of coverage as certified by his employer for service rendered to the employer, his predecessor, the Commonwealth, or in any other capacity approved by the employer and the Board.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.32; 1960, c. 400; 1974, c. 353; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-135. Compulsory membership.

Membership in the retirement system shall be compulsory for all eligible employees who enter service after the effective date of coverage. For purposes of this section, "membership in the retirement system" includes an eligible employee's participation in the hybrid retirement program pursuant to § 51.1-169.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.33; 1960, c. 400; 1978, c. 841; 1987, c. 575; 1990, c. 832; 2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-136. Submitting information and performing duties prescribed by Board.

The chief fiscal officer of the employer and the heads of its departments shall submit information and perform duties prescribed by the Board in order to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.35; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-137. Computation of employer contribution rates; reimbursement by Commonwealth.

A. At least once in each two-year period, the actuary of the retirement system shall compute the annual rates of contributions payable by the employer on behalf of employees who are members. The rates shall be determined by an actuarial valuation of the retirement allowances and other benefits which will be payable on behalf of the employees who are members. The contributions shall be payable in lieu of contributions payable on behalf of other members in the system. The expense of making initial and subsequent valuations shall be assessed against and paid by the employer.

B. In the case of contributions payable by the employer on behalf of any local officer, the Commonwealth shall reimburse the employer on the basis on which the Commonwealth pays the salaries of the officer or shares or would share in the excess fees from the office. Payment shall be made from funds appropriated for this purpose.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.36; 1956, c. 560; 1958, c. 367; 1974, c. 353; 1982, c. 443; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-137.1. Certain local data to be provided.

In addition to the annual actuarial evaluation currently provided to participating localities by the Virginia Retirement System, VRS annually shall provide each participating locality the locality-specific data on which the annual actuarial evaluation is based, and such other information as may be necessary for each locality to determine the specific assumptions that are driving its VRS-related costs, and to understand the retirement costs of different classes of covered employees. The Virginia Retirement System is authorized to assess fees for data collection, reporting, actuarial analysis, and other requested services beyond those required for the annual actuarial valuation provided to each participating employer. Such fees may be collected from funds maintained and invested by the Virginia Retirement System on behalf of each requesting employer.

2007, c. 466.

§ 51.1-138. Benefits.

A. Employees who become members under this article and on whose behalf contributions are paid as provided in this article shall be entitled to benefits under the retirement system.

B. By resolution legally adopted and approved by the Board, the employer may elect to provide benefits equivalent to those provided under the State Police Officers' Retirement System, as set out in Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.) of this title except for § 51.1-209, and except that the employer may elect to establish the retirement allowance pursuant to the allowance provided in clause (i) or (ii) in subsection A of § 51.1-206, in lieu of the benefits that would otherwise be provided hereunder for any employees who are employed in (i) law-enforcement positions comparably hazardous to that of a state police officer, including any sworn law-enforcement officer who has the duty and obligation to enforce the penal and traffic laws of this Commonwealth as directed by his superior officer, if so certified by his appointing authority, (ii) positions as full-time salaried fire fighters, (iii) positions as full-time salaried emergency medical technicians, or (iv) positions as regional jail superintendents and jail officers of regional jail farms, regional jails or jail authorities, as approved by the respective jail board or authority and by the participating political subdivisions of such entities. Sheriffs of political subdivisions and superintendents of regional jails which participate in the retirement system shall receive benefits equivalent to those of state police officers, except for the benefits provided under § 51.1-209, regardless of whether the employer has elected to provide equivalent benefits as set out in this subsection.

C. Each employer providing the benefits of subsection B for its employees prior to July 1, 1990, may elect to provide for the early retirement of employees as set forth in this subsection in lieu of the early retirement and death before retirement provisions of the State Police Officers' Retirement System. Such election must be made to the Board in writing prior to July 1, 1990. Any member in service on or after his fifty-fifth birthday with five or more years of creditable service (i) while earning the benefits permitted by this section, (ii) as a member in the retirement system established by Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.) of this title, or (iii) as a member in the retirement system established by Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) of this title may retire upon written notification to the Board setting forth at what time the retirement is to become effective. The effective date shall be after his last day of service but shall not be more than 90 days prior to the filing of such notice. The member shall receive an allowance that shall be determined in the same manner as for retirement at an employee's normal retirement with creditable service and average final compensation being determined as of the date of his actual retirement. If the member has less than 30 years of service at retirement, the amount of the retirement allowance shall be reduced on an actuarial equivalent basis for the period by which the actual retirement date precedes the earlier of (a) the member's normal retirement date or (b) the first date on or after the member's fifty-fifth birthday on which the member would have completed a total of 30 years of creditable service. Effective December 31, 2003, any employee in service on June 30, 2002, and July 1, 2002, who is credited with five or more years of creditable service rendered under this chapter and earning the benefits permitted by this section, Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), or Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.) of this title shall not be subject to the vesting requirements of this section, and §§ 51.1-205 and 51.1-216.

Members retiring under the provisions of this subsection shall be entitled to receive post-retirement supplements as provided in § 51.1-166. In computing the amount of any supplement, any additional allowances being paid under the provisions of subsection B of § 51.1-206 shall be disregarded. In the case of death before retirement, members whose employers elect to provide benefits in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and who have not attained the age of 50 on the date of death shall be assumed to be 50 years of age for the purposes of reducing the benefits on an actuarial equivalent basis.

D. Beginning July 1, 2008, each county and city participating in the Virginia Retirement System shall provide the benefit coverage described in subsection B to each deputy sheriff, regardless of whether the deputy sheriff's salary is funded or reimbursed in whole or in part by the Compensation Board.

E. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C, beginning July 1, 2009, the City of Danville shall provide to each deputy sheriff the benefit coverage described in subsection B.

F. Beginning July 1, 2009, each regional jail board and regional jail authority participating in the Virginia Retirement System and each county and city participating in such board or authority shall provide the benefit coverage described in subsection B to each sworn officer of a regional jail, regardless of whether the regional jail officer's salary is funded or reimbursed in whole or in part by the State Compensation Board.

G. Beginning July 1, 2010, any county or city that (i) participates in the Virginia Retirement System pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), (ii) has in effect a retirement supplement for deputy sheriffs (in addition to the annual retirement allowance provided under the Virginia Retirement System) that exceeds the allowance set forth in subsection B of § 51.1-206 hereof, and (iii) provides the same level of retirement benefits to all of its deputy sheriffs, may, by resolution legally adopted, elect to provide the benefits coverage under subsection B hereof except for the allowance described in subsection B of § 51.1-206. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the additional costs of such election shall be borne solely by such county or city.

H. If an employee (i) is in a position covered by the additional benefits under this section for at least five years, (ii) is separated from the position because of a disability that entitles him to the disability retirement benefits pursuant to § 51.1-156, and (iii) accepts a position with the same employer that is not covered by the benefits under this section but whose salary and benefits are not less than those of the position from which he is separated, then, at the sole discretion of the employer, the employee may continue to be covered under the benefits permitted by this section in his new position.

I. The retirement system shall not be liable for the payment of any retirement allowances or other benefits on behalf of a member or beneficiary of a member for which reserves have not been previously created from funds contributed by the employer or the members for such benefits.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.37; 1970, c. 476; 1972, c. 568; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 597; 1976, c. 654; 1977, cc. 326, 620; 1989, c. 484; 1990, c. 832; 1991, c. 719; 1999, c. 596; 2002, c. 466; 2004, c. 83; 2006, cc. 65, 388; 2007, c. 819; 2009, cc. 6, 91, 282; 2010, c. 745; 2012, c. 423.

§ 51.1-139. Procedure when employer in default.

An employer's agreement to contribute on behalf of its employees who become members shall be irrevocable. If an employer for any reason becomes financially unable to make the contributions payable on behalf of the members, the employer shall be deemed to be in default and the employees' membership in the Retirement System shall be terminated. As of the date of the default, (i) each member or beneficiary whose coverage under the Retirement System is affected by such default shall become fully vested, (ii) the actuary of the Retirement System shall determine by actuarial valuation the amount of the reserves held on behalf of each then member and each then beneficiary, and (iii) the Retirement System shall credit to each member and each beneficiary the amount of reserve so held. The reserve so credited together with the amount of the accumulated contributions of each member, shall be disbursed in a manner prescribed by the Board consistent with the applicable tax qualification rules of the Internal Revenue Code, whereupon the rights and privileges of the members and beneficiaries shall terminate.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.38; 1960, c. 604; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832; 2004, c. 207.

Article 6. Creditable Service.

§ 51.1-140. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, c. 696, cl. 2.

§ 51.1-141. Service equivalents.

The Board shall determine how much service in any month is the equivalent of a month of service or how much service in any year is the equivalent of a year of service. The Board shall not allow more than one year of service credit for all service rendered in any period of twelve consecutive months.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.40; 1956, c. 560; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-142. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2001, cc. 686 and 697.

§ 51.1-142.2. Prior service or membership credit for certain members; service credit for accumulated sick leave.

Certain members may purchase credit for service as provided in this section.

A. 1. Any member in service may purchase service credit from the following categories of service or leave: (i) leave of absence for educational purposes that was previously approved by the member's employer; (ii) leave of absence for a serious health condition of the member or of an immediate family member, all as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., as amended, and previously certified by the member's employer; (iii) up to one year of service credit per occurrence of leave for any unpaid leave of absence due to the birth, adoption, or death of a qualifying child, as defined in § 51.1-500; (iv) service as a full-time employee of another state, a public school system of another state, or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth or another state, as certified by such state, public school system, or political subdivision; (v) full-time service of a political subdivision of this state not credited to the member under an agreement as provided for in § 51.1-143.1, as certified by such political subdivision; (vi) full-time civilian service of the United States; (vii) full-time service at a private institution of higher education if the private institution is merged with a public institution of higher education and graduates of the private institution are then issued new degrees from the public institution; or (viii) any period of time when the member was employed part time or in a wage position by a participating employer and not otherwise eligible to participate in the retirement system because the member was not an employee as defined in § 51.1-124.3. However, no member in service shall be allowed to purchase more than a total of four years of service credit pursuant to this subdivision.

2. In addition to the service credit that may be purchased under subdivision 1, any member in service may purchase up to four years of service credit for prior active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States, provided that the discharge from a period of active duty status with the armed forces was not dishonorable.

3. The service credit to be credited to a member under this subsection shall be calculated at the ratio of one year, or portion thereof, of service credit to one year, or portion thereof, of service purchased, except for employment service purchased under clause (viii) of subdivision 1, which shall be calculated at the ratio of one month of service credit for each 173 hours of service as certified by the employer.

For each year or portion thereof to be credited at the time of purchase under this subsection, the member shall pay the approximate normal cost of the retirement plan under which the member is covered at the time of such purchase, as determined by the Board in its sole discretion. If the member does not purchase, or enter into a purchase of service credit contract for, the service made available in this subsection within the first 24 months of the member's active service following his first date of hire or the final day of any applicable leave of absence, as applicable, then, for each year or portion thereof to be credited at the time of purchase, the member shall pay the actuarial equivalent cost. To the extent the member becomes inactive during the 24 months following his first date of hire or the final day of any applicable leave of absence, such periods shall not be included in the 24 months of active service.

Except as otherwise required by Chapter 1223 of Title 10 of the United States Code, as amended, no service credit may be purchased under this section if it is included in the calculation of any retirement allowance received or to be received by the member from this or another retirement system, or if there is a balance in a defined contribution account that serves as a primary retirement account related to such service.

For purposes of this subsection, "active duty military service" means full-time service of at least 180 consecutive days in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or reserve components thereof.

B. Any member in service may purchase all prior service credit for creditable service lost from ceasing to be a member under this chapter, as provided in § 51.1-128, because of the withdrawal of his accumulated contributions. For each year or portion thereof to be credited at the time of purchase under this subsection, the member shall pay the withdrawn amount to be purchased plus interest accrued daily and compounded annually from the date of withdrawal to the date of payment at the assumed rate of return established by the Board for the actuarial valuation of the retirement system that is in effect at the time of the purchase. The Board shall develop guidelines and procedures for administering this subsection.

C. Any member in service may purchase service credit for accumulated sick leave on his effective date of retirement based upon such sums as the employer may provide as payment for any unused sick leave balances. The cost of service credit purchased under this subsection shall be the actuarial equivalent cost of such service.

D. Any member receiving benefits under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.) may, in a manner prescribed by the Board and prior to the effective date of retirement, purchase service that is not reported to the retirement system by the member's employer while the member is receiving such benefits.

For each year or portion thereof to be credited at the time of purchase under this subsection, the member shall pay the approximate normal cost of the retirement plan under which the member is covered, as determined by the Board in its sole discretion. If the member does not purchase, or enter into a purchase of service credit contract for, any service made available in this subsection within the first 24 months of the member's active service following his first date of hire or the final day of any applicable leave of absence, then, for each year or portion thereof to be credited at the time of purchase, the member shall pay the actuarial equivalent cost. To the extent the member becomes inactive during the 24 months following his first date of hire or the final day of any applicable leave of absence, such periods shall not be included in the 24 months of active service.

E. Payment may be made in a lump sum at the time of purchase or by payroll deduction. Any number of additional deductions may be permitted at any time. Should any deduction be terminated before the member purchases the entire period contracted for, the member shall be credited with the number of full or partial months of service for which full payment has been made. If any deduction is continued after the entire period has been purchased, the member shall be credited with no more than the amount of service for which he was eligible and for which he paid, and the excess amount deducted shall be refunded to the member.

F. Any employer may elect to pay an equivalent amount in lieu of all member contributions required of its employees for the purchase of service credit pursuant to this section. These contributions shall not be considered wages for purposes of Chapter 7 (§ 51.1-700 et seq.), nor shall they be considered salary for purposes of this chapter.

G. In any case where member and employer contributions, as required under this chapter, were not made because of an error in the payroll, personnel, or other classification system of an employer participating in the retirement system, service that has not been credited because of such error may be purchased on the following basis:

1. The most recent three years of service credit shall be purchased, using applicable member and employer contribution rates and creditable compensation in effect for such period, in a manner and at the cost prescribed by the Board; and

2. All other years of service credit shall be purchased by the employer at an actuarial equivalent cost.

H. Any member may receive credit at no cost for service rendered in the armed forces of the United States provided (i) the member was on leave of absence from a covered position, (ii) the discharge from a period of active duty with the armed forces was not dishonorable, (iii) the member has not withdrawn his accumulated contributions, (iv) the member is not disabled or killed while on leave without pay while performing active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States, and (v) the member reenters service in a covered position within one year after discharge from the armed forces. In order to receive such service, the member must complete such forms and other requirements as are required by the Board and the retirement system.

2001, cc. 686, 697; 2003, c. 7; 2005, c. 292; 2006, c. 635; 2007, c. 89; 2008, c. 27; 2009, c. 362; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2011, cc. 722, 880; 2012, cc. 696, 701, 823; 2014, c. 356; 2015, cc. 508, 536; 2016, cc. 263, 280; 2018, cc. 53, 305.

§ 51.1-142.3. Purchase of additional prior service credit by certain school division superintendents.

A. In addition to the four years of prior service credit that may be purchased under clause (iv) of subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-142.2, a school division superintendent appointed by a school board pursuant to § 22.1-60, with at least five years of creditable service in the Retirement System, may purchase up to a maximum of 10 additional years of prior service credit for creditable service of another state or of a political subdivision, or public school system of this or another state, as certified by such state, political subdivision, or public school system. Except as otherwise required by Chapter 1223 of Title 10 of the United States Code, the service credit made available under this section may not be purchased if, before being purchased or at the time of such purchase pursuant to this section, the service to be purchased is service that is included in the calculation of any retirement allowance received or to be received by the member from this or any other retirement system.

The school board that has appointed such school division superintendent may purchase such prior service credit on behalf of the school division superintendent.

B. The cost at the time of purchase for each additional year of service credit (or portion thereof) pursuant to this section, shall be 10 percent of the school division superintendent's creditable compensation or 10 percent of the school division superintendent's average final compensation, whichever is greater, provided that the service credit to be purchased is paid for in one lump-sum payment within one year after the school division superintendent first became eligible to purchase such service credit or by July 1, 2004, whichever is later.

A school division superintendent shall first become eligible to purchase prior service credit under this section as follows:

1. For members in service on June 30, 2003, and July 1, 2003, upon attaining five years of creditable service as a school division superintendent in the Retirement System;

2. For members in service on June 30, 2003, and July 1, 2003, who become a school division superintendent on or after July 1, 2003, upon attaining five years of creditable service as a school division superintendent in the Retirement System; and

3. For members not in service on June 30, 2003, upon the member earning five years of creditable service as a school division superintendent in the Retirement System for service performed after June 30, 2003.

C. In any case in which prior service credit pursuant to this section has been purchased by or on behalf of a school division superintendent, if the school division superintendent, subsequent to the date of such purchase, does not remain in such position with the local school board for at least the number of years purchased: (i) the Retirement System shall reduce the creditable service credited to the school division superintendent by an amount equivalent to the number of years of prior service purchased less the number of years served by the person as a school division superintendent with the local school board subsequent to the date of such purchase. Such reduction in creditable service shall be deemed to be forfeited by the school division superintendent for purposes of this chapter and the contributions representing that forfeited service shall be refunded to the school division superintendent; and (ii) the school division superintendent shall be liable to the local school board for the amount paid by the local school board for purchasing the forfeited prior service credit.

D. If a school division superintendent does not purchase the prior service credit described in subsection A within the timeframe provided in subsection B, such prior service credit may be purchased at the actuarial equivalent cost, provided that in no case shall any person purchase more than 10 years of such prior service credit under this section.

2003, c. 947; 2015, c. 508.

§ 51.1-143. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2001, cc. 686 and 697.

§ 51.1-143.1. Portability of service credit between the Virginia Retirement System and certain political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Retirement System may enter into an agreement with any political subdivision of the Commonwealth which has a defined benefit plan that is not supplemental to the Retirement System to permit any vested member of the political subdivision's plan, upon entering service in a covered position and filing a written application with the Retirement System, to purchase service credit, of an amount to be determined by the Board of Trustees, in the Retirement System. The purchase shall be accomplished by and upon the transfer of assets to the Retirement System from the political subdivision's plan as provided in the agreement.

1996, cc. 939, 990.

Article 7. Contributions.

§ 51.1-144. Member contributions.

A. Each member shall contribute five percent of his creditable compensation for each pay period for which he receives compensation.

The employer shall deduct the contribution payable by the member. Every employee accepting employment shall be deemed to consent and agree to any deductions from his compensation required by this chapter.

B. In determining the creditable compensation of a member in a payroll period, the Board may consider the rate of compensation payable to the member on the date of entry or removal of his name from the payroll as having been received throughout the month if service for the month is creditable. If service for the month is not creditable, the Board may consider any compensation payable during the month as not being creditable compensation.

C. The minimum compensation provided by law for any member shall be reduced by the deduction required by this section. Except for any benefits provided by this chapter, payment of compensation minus the deductions shall be a full and complete discharge of all claims for services rendered by the member during the period covered by the payment.

D. No deduction shall be made from any member's compensation if the employer's contribution is in default.

E. The Board may modify the method of collecting the contributions of members so that the employer may retain the amounts deducted from members' salaries and have a corresponding amount deducted from state funds otherwise payable to the employer.

F. 1. Only as provided in subdivisions 3 and 4 may any employer elect to pay an equivalent amount in lieu of any member contributions required of its employees. Such payments shall be credited to the members' contribution account. These contributions shall not be considered wages for purposes of Chapter 7 (§ 51.1-700 et seq.), nor shall they be considered to be salary for purposes of this chapter.

2. A person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, shall be required to pay member contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code in the amount of five percent of creditable compensation if the person is (i) a member covered by the defined benefit plan established under this chapter, (ii) a member of the State Police Officers' Retirement System under Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), (iii) a member of the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System under Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), (iv) a member of the Judicial Retirement System under Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.), or (v) earning the benefits permitted by § 51.1-138.

3. A member who is an employee of a county, city, town, or other local employer other than a local public school board, regardless of whether the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, shall be required to pay member contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code in the amount of five percent of creditable compensation as follows: (i) any member who commences or recommences employment on or after July 1, 2012, shall be required to contribute five percent of his creditable compensation upon commencing or recommencing employment and (ii) members in service on June 30, 2012, shall be required to contribute five percent of their creditable compensation no later than July 1, 2016. Such member described in subdivision (ii) shall contribute a minimum of an additional one percent of his creditable compensation beginning on each July 1 of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, or until the member's contribution equals five percent of creditable compensation, but the county, city, town, or other local employer other than a local public school board may elect to require members to contribute more than an additional one percent each year, in whole percentages. In no case shall a member be required to contribute more than five percent of his creditable compensation for each pay period for which he receives compensation. No county, city, town, or other local employer other than a local public school board shall be allowed to elect to pay any amount of member contributions except to pay the difference between five percent and the employee contribution during the phase-in period described in this subdivision for a member who was in service on June 30, 2012.

4. A member who is an employee of a local public school board, regardless of whether the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, shall be required to pay member contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code in the amount of five percent of creditable compensation as follows: (i) any member who commences or recommences employment on or after July 1, 2012, shall be required to contribute five percent of his creditable compensation upon commencing or recommencing employment and (ii) members in service on June 30, 2012, shall be required to contribute five percent of their creditable compensation no later than July 1, 2016. Such member described in subdivision (ii) shall contribute a minimum of an additional one percent of his creditable compensation beginning on each July 1 of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, or until the member's contribution equals five percent of creditable compensation, but the local public school board employer may elect to require members to contribute more than an additional one percent each year, in whole percentages. In no case shall a member be required to contribute more than five percent of his creditable compensation for each pay period for which he receives compensation. No local public school board employer shall be allowed to elect to pay any amount of member contributions except to pay the difference between five percent and the employee contribution during the phase-in period described in this subdivision for a member who was in service on June 30, 2012.

G. The Board may develop procedures to effect the transfer of member contributions paid by employers on or after July 1, 1980, and accrued interest on those contributions, to the member contribution account of the member, if such contributions have been previously deposited into the retirement allowance account of the employer.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.13, 51-111.46; 1956, c. 560; 1960, c. 604; 1966, c. 174; 1972, c. 568; 1974, c. 353; 1976, c. 537; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.46:1; 1982, c. 467; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832; 1998, c. 660; 2001, cc. 693, 702; 2002, c. 307; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2012, c. 822; 2013, c. 463.

§ 51.1-145. Employer contributions.

A. The total annual employer contribution for each employer, expressed as a percentage of the annual membership payroll, shall be determined in a manner so as to remain relatively level from year to year. Each employer shall contribute an amount equal to the sum of the normal contribution, any accrued liability contribution, and any supplementary contribution. The contribution rates for each employer shall be determined after each valuation and shall remain in effect until a new valuation is made. All contribution rates shall be computed in accordance with recognized actuarial principles on the basis of methods and assumptions approved by the Board.

B. The normal employer contribution for any period shall be determined as a percentage, equal to the normal contribution rate, of the total covered compensation of the members employed during the period.

C. The normal contribution rate for any employer shall be determined as the percentage represented by the ratio of (i) the annual normal cost to provide the benefits of the retirement system with respect to members employed by the employer in excess of the members' contributions to (ii) the total annual compensation of the members.

D. The accrued liability contribution for any employer for any period shall be determined as a percentage, equal to the accrued liability contribution rate, of the total compensation of the members during the period.

E. The accrued liability contribution rate for any employer shall be a percentage of the total annual compensation of the members, determined so that a continuation of annual contributions by the employer at the same percentage of total annual compensation over a period of 40 years will be sufficient to amortize the unfunded accrued liability with respect to the employer.

F. The unfunded accrued liability with respect to any employer as of any valuation date shall be determined as the excess of (i) the then present value of the benefits to be provided under the retirement system in the future to members and former members over (ii) the sum of the assets of the retirement system then currently in the members' contribution account and in the employer's retirement allowance account, plus the then present value of the stipulated contributions to be made in the future by the members, plus the then present value of the normal contributions expected to be made in the future by the employer.

G. The supplementary contribution for any employer for any period shall be determined as a percentage, equal to the supplementary contribution rate, of the total compensation of the members employed during the period.

H. Until July 1, 1997, the supplementary contribution rate for any employer shall be determined as the percentage represented by the ratio of (i) the average annual amount of post-retirement supplements, as provided for in this chapter, which is anticipated to become payable during the period to which the rate will be applicable with respect to former members to (ii) the total annual compensation of the members.

I. The Board shall certify to each employer the applicable contribution rate and any changes in the rate.

J. The employer contribution for the year shall be increased to the extent necessary to overcome any insufficiency if the contributions for any employer, when combined with the amount of the retirement allowance account of the employer, are insufficient to provide the benefits payable during the year.

K. The appropriation bill which is submitted to the General Assembly by the Governor prior to each regular session that begins in an even-numbered year shall include the contributions which will become due and payable to the retirement allowance account from the state treasury during the following biennium. The amount of the contributions shall be based on the contribution rates certified by the Board pursuant to subsection I of this section that are applicable to the Commonwealth as an employer and the anticipated compensation during the biennium of the members of the retirement system on behalf of whom the Commonwealth is the employer.

K1. The General Assembly shall set contribution rates that are at least equal to the following percentage of the contribution rates certified by the Board pursuant to subsection I:

1. For members who are state employees as defined in § 51.1-124.3 and who are participating in a retirement plan established pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), (i) 67.02 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, (ii) 78.02 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, (iii) 89.01 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and (iv) 100 percent for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018;

2. For members who are teachers as defined in § 51.1-124.3 and who are participating in a retirement plan established pursuant to Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), (i) 69.53 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, (ii) 79.69 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, (iii) 89.84 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and (iv) 100 percent for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018;

3. For members participating in a retirement plan established pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), (i) 75.84 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, (ii) 83.90 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, (iii) 91.95 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and (iv) 100 percent for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018;

4. For members participating in a retirement plan established pursuant to Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), (i) 75.82 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, (ii) 83.88 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, (iii) 91.94 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and (iv) 100 percent for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018; and

5. For members participating in a retirement plan established pursuant to Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.), (i) 83.98 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, (ii) 89.32 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, (iii) 94.66 percent for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, and (iv) 100 percent for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2018.

L. In the case of all teachers whose compensation is paid exclusively out of funds derived from local revenues and appropriations from the general fund of the state treasury, the Commonwealth shall contribute to the extent specified in the appropriations act. In the case of any teacher whose compensation is paid out of funds derived in whole or in part from any special fund or from a contributor other than the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, contributions shall be paid out of the special fund or by the other contributor in proportion to that part of the compensation derived therefrom. In the case of all state employees whose compensation is paid exclusively by the Commonwealth out of the general fund of the state treasury, the Commonwealth shall be the sole contributor, and all contributions shall be paid out of the general fund. In the case of a state employee whose compensation is paid in whole or in part out of any special fund or by any contributor other than the Commonwealth, contributions on behalf of the employee shall be paid out of the special fund or by the other contributor in proportion to that part of the employee's compensation derived therefrom. The governing body of each political subdivision is hereby authorized to make appropriations from the funds of the political subdivision necessary to pay its proportionate share of contributions on behalf of every state employee whose compensation is paid in part by the political subdivision. In the case of each person who has elected to remain a member of a local retirement system, the Commonwealth shall reimburse the local employer an amount equal to the product of the compensation of the person and the employer contribution rate as used to determine the employer contribution for state employees under this section. Each employer shall keep such records and periodically furnish such information as the Board may require and shall inform new employees of their duties and obligations in connection with the retirement system.

M. The employer contribution rate established for each employer may include the cost to administer any defined contribution plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System and available to the employer. The portion of such contribution designated to cover administrative costs of the defined contribution plans shall not be deposited into the trust fund established for the defined benefit plans but shall be separately accounted for and used solely to defray the administrative costs associated with the various defined contributions plans. This provision shall supplement the authority of the Board under §§ 51.1-124.22 and 51.1-602 to charge and collect administrative fees to employers whose employees have available the various defined contribution plans administered by the Virginia Retirement System.

N. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the total employer contribution for each employer authorized to participate in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169 for any period, expressed as a percentage of the employer's payroll for such period, shall be established as the contribution rate payable by such employer with respect to its employees enrolled in the defined benefit plan established under this chapter. The employer's contribution shall be first applied to the defined contribution component of the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, and the remainder shall be deposited in the employer's retirement allowance account. Institutions of higher education shall also pay contributions to the employer's retirement allowance account in amounts representing the difference between the contribution rate payable with respect to employees enrolled in the defined benefit plan under this chapter and the employer contributions paid to any optional retirement plan it offers on behalf of any of its nonfaculty Covered Employees, as described in §§ 23.1-1020 through 23.1-1026. The employer contribution rate established for each employer may include the annual rate of contribution payable by such employer with respect to employees enrolled in the optional defined contribution retirement plans established under §§ 51.1-126, 51.1-126.1, 51.1-126.3, and 51.1-126.4.

O. Employer contributions may be returned to the employer only as determined in accordance with § 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended or renumbered, and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans.

1952, c. 157, §§ 51-111.12, 51-111.47; 1960, c. 604; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1974, c. 353; 1975, cc. 360, 597, 610, § 51-111.10:2; 1978, cc. 1, 841; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.47:01; 1981, c. 403; 1982, c. 467; 1985, c. 129; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832; 1991, c. 719; 1996, c. 1030; 2005, c. 161; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2013, c. 463; 2015, c. 660.

§ 51.1-146. Failure to report or pay contributions or insurance premiums.

Every employer shall file all reports and pay all contributions and insurance premiums required by this title or Board regulation. Failure to file reports or pay contributions or insurance premiums by the end of the month in which due may result in a penalty of five percent of the amount due plus interest at the rate of one percent per month until payment is made. The Board may waive all or a part of the penalty and interest if good cause is shown. Delinquent contributions, insurance premiums, penalties, and interest may be recovered by action in a court of competent jurisdiction. At the discretion of the Board, contributions, insurance premiums, penalties and interest may be deducted from the retirement allowance account of the employer or may be deducted by the State Treasurer, upon warrant of the Comptroller, from any nonearmarked moneys distributable to the employer by any department or agency of the Commonwealth.

1980, c. 644, § 51-111.47:1; 1984, c. 430; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832; 1995, c. 307; 1997, c. 273.

Article 8. Assets of Retirement System.

§ 51.1-147. Members' contribution account.

A. All members' contributions and interest allowances shall be credited to the member's contribution account. Accumulated contributions required to be returned to a member or required to be paid in the event of a member's death before retirement shall be paid from the member's contribution account.

B. At the end of each payroll period, the Comptroller shall transfer to the members' contribution account an amount equal to the aggregate amount of the deductions which would have been made for the preceding payroll period from the salaries of all members from the appropriate fund in the state treasury. The Comptroller shall forward a record of all such transfers to the Board. In all other cases, the employer shall transmit its warrant to the State Treasurer for the payment of an amount equal to the aggregate amount of the deductions made for each payroll period from the salaries of all members paid by the employer for the preceding payroll period. The funds collected by the State Treasurer shall be credited to the members' contribution account. The State Treasurer shall transmit a record of all moneys collected to the Comptroller and the Board.

C. Each individual account of the members' contribution account shall be credited annually with interest at the rate of four percent annually on the accumulated contributions of the member. Interest shall accrue on any contribution beginning at the end of the fiscal year in which the contribution was made. The Board shall have the authority to determine the manner in which the interest is to be credited to the members' contribution account.

D. Upon the retirement of a member, his accumulated contributions shall be transferred from the members' contribution account to the retirement allowance account.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.49; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1976, c. 540; 1982, c. 467; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-148. Retirement allowance account.

A. All employer contributions, all amounts transferred from the members' contribution account, and all income from the invested assets of the retirement system shall be credited to the retirement allowance account. All benefits under the retirement system, other than refunds of members' accumulated contributions, and all administrative expenses of the retirement system, except to the extent that such expenses are otherwise paid, shall be paid from the retirement allowance account. At the discretion of the Board, contributions, penalties, and interest assessments may be deducted from the retirement allowance account of the employer.

B. The amount of the interest allowances provided for in this chapter shall be transferred from the retirement allowance account to the members' contribution account annually.

C. The records of the retirement allowance account shall be maintained so that the portion that is applicable to each respective employer may be ascertained at all times.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.50; 1956, c. 560; 1978, c. 841; 1980, c. 137; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-149. Appointment of custodian; payments.

The Board is authorized to appoint custodians for the safekeeping and payment of retirement system assets. The selection of these investment services shall be governed exclusively by the fiduciary standard set forth in this chapter.

The Board may request the State Treasurer to issue retirement benefit payments on behalf of the retirement system. At the direction of the Board, retirement payments from the accounts shall be made by the State Treasurer, on warrants of the Comptroller, issued upon vouchers signed by persons designated by the Board. A duly attested copy of a resolution of the Board designating the persons and bearing on its face the specimen signatures of the persons shall be filed with the Comptroller as his authority for issuing warrants upon such vouchers. No voucher shall be drawn unless it has been authorized by Board resolution.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.51; 1988, c. 809; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-150. Deposits.

For the purpose of meeting disbursements for retirement allowances and other payments, cash, not exceeding ten percent of the total amount in the accounts of the retirement system, may be kept on deposit to the credit of the State Treasurer in one or more banks or trust companies, located in Virginia, organized under the laws of Virginia or of the United States and qualified as state depositories.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.52; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-151. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 641.

Article 9. Benefits.

§ 51.1-152. Limitations on average final compensation.

If an employee receives increases in compensation in the last four years of service which are not related to promotion and which exceed the average increase received by other employees of the same employer holding comparable positions, the excess shall be excluded when computing the average final compensation if the Board finds, after consideration of all circumstances, that the primary purpose of the salary increase was to increase the retirement benefit of the employee. If there are no employees of the same employer holding comparable positions, the increases may be excluded from the average final compensation if they exceed the average percentage increase received by all other employees of the same employer. Creditable compensation assumed to have been received for the purpose of purchasing service shall be excluded from a member's average final compensation.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.10; 1954, c. 497; 1956, c. 98; 1956, Ex. Sess., c. 64; 1960, c. 604; 1966, cc. 174, 175; 1970, c. 779; 1971, Ex. Sess., cc. 88, 185; 1972, cc. 568, 708; 1973, cc. 322, 523, 545, 546; 1974, cc. 353, 484; 1975, cc. 597, 611; 1976, cc. 678, 699; 1977, c. 620; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.10:01; 1982, cc. 467, 478; 1984, c. 430; 1986, c. 474; 1987, c. 392; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-153. Service retirement.

A. Normal retirement. -- Any member in service at his normal retirement date with five or more years of creditable service may retire at any time upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective. Any member in service who was denied membership prior to July 1, 1987, as a result of being age 60 or over when first employed may retire at any time after his normal retirement date and the requirement of having five or more years of service shall not apply.

B. Early retirement. -- 1. Any member in service who has attained his fifty-fifth birthday with five or more years of creditable service may retire prior to his normal retirement date upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective.

However, a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or a member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, under this chapter shall be allowed to retire under this subdivision prior to his normal retirement date only if the person is in service and has attained his sixtieth birthday with five or more years of creditable service, and the benefit for such person shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of subdivision A 3 of § 51.1-155.

2. Subject to the provisions of subdivision 3, any state employee, teacher, or employee of a political subdivision who is a member of the retirement system may retire prior to his normal retirement date after attaining age 50 and 30 years of creditable service, upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective. The benefit for such member shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155.

3. A person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or a member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, as a state employee, teacher, or employee of a political subdivision may retire prior to his normal retirement date after the sum of his age and years of creditable service equals 90, upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective. The benefit for such member shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155.

4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a political subdivision by legally adopted resolution may declare to the Board that, for purposes of subdivisions B 1 and B 3 and subsection D, and subdivision A 3 of § 51.1-155, any person who is an individual who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 or who is employed as a firefighter, or law-enforcement officer as those terms are defined in § 15.2-1512.2 (i) shall not be considered a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and (ii) shall be deemed to have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013. Such resolution shall be irrevocable.

C. Deferred retirement for members terminating service. -- Any member who terminates service after five or more years of creditable service, regardless of termination date, may retire under the provisions of subsection A, B, or D if he has not withdrawn his accumulated contributions prior to the effective date of his retirement or if he has five or more years of creditable service for which his employer has paid the contributions and such contributions cannot be withdrawn. For the purposes of this subsection, any requirements as to the member being in service shall not apply.

D. 50/10 retirement. -- Any member in service on or after January 1, 1994, who has attained his fiftieth birthday with 10 or more years of creditable service may retire prior to his normal retirement date upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective. A person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or a member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, shall not be allowed to retire pursuant to this subsection.

E. Effective date of retirement. -- The effective date of retirement shall be after the last day of service of the member, but shall not be more than 90 days prior to the filing of the notice of retirement.

F. Notification on behalf of member. -- If the member is physically or mentally unable to submit written notification of his intention to retire, the member's appointing authority may submit notification on his behalf.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.53; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1976, c. 429; 1977, c. 620; 1982, c. 427; 1986, c. 474; 1988, c. 222; 1990, c. 832; 1995, cc. 152, 692, 811; 1996, cc. 768, 997; 1999, cc. 111, 567, 568, 569, 591, 592, 598, 599; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 911; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2011, c. 483; 2012, cc. 701, 811, 823; 2013, cc. 456, 666; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 51.1-154. Compulsory service retirement.

Any employer, subsequent to the employee's normal retirement date, may provide for compulsory service retirement upon a determination that age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or that an employee is incapable of performing his duties in a safe and efficient manner. Any such determination shall be made by the employer.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.54; 1954, c. 460; 1956, c. 458; 1958, c. 356; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 59; 1966, c. 147; 1968, c. 177; 1970, c. 476; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 185; 1972, c. 26; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 611; 1980, c. 595; 1982, c. 406; 1984, c. 430; 1987, c. 571; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-155. Service retirement allowance.

A. Retirement allowance. — A member shall receive an annual retirement allowance, payable for life, as follows:

1. Normal retirement. — The allowance shall equal 1.70 percent of his average final compensation multiplied by the amount of his creditable service. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for a member who (i) is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or (ii) does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, the allowance shall equal the sum of (a) 1.65 percent of his average final compensation multiplied by the amount of his creditable service performed or purchased on or after January 1, 2013, and (b) 1.70 percent of his average final compensation multiplied by the amount of all other creditable service.

2. Early retirement; applicable to teachers, state employees, and certain others. — The allowance shall be determined in the same manner as for normal retirement with creditable service and average final compensation being determined as of the date of actual retirement. If the member has less than 30 years of service at retirement, the amount of the retirement allowance shall be reduced on an actuarial equivalent basis for the period by which the actual retirement date precedes the earlier of (i) his normal retirement date or (ii) the first date on which he would have completed a total of 30 years of creditable service. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to teachers and state employees. These provisions shall also apply to employees of any political subdivision that participates in the retirement system if the political subdivision makes the election provided in subdivision 3.

3. Early retirement; applicable to employees of certain political subdivisions, any person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and any member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013. — The allowance shall be determined in the same manner as for normal retirement with creditable service and average final compensation being determined as of the date of actual retirement. If the creditable service of the member equals 30 or more years but the sum of his age at retirement plus his creditable service at retirement is less than 90, the amount of the retirement allowance shall be reduced on an actuarial equivalent basis for the period by which the actual retirement date precedes the earlier of (i) his normal retirement date or (ii) the first date on which the sum of his then attained age plus his then creditable service would have been equal to 90 or more had he remained in service until such date. If the member has less than 30 years of creditable service, the retirement allowance shall be reduced for the period by which the actual retirement date precedes the earlier of (i) his normal retirement date or (ii) the first date on which he would have completed a total of at least 30 years of creditable service and his then creditable service plus his then attained age would have been equal to 90 or more.

The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to the employees of any political subdivision that participates in the retirement system and any other employees as provided by law. The participating political subdivision may, however, elect to provide its employees with the early retirement allowance set forth in subdivision 2. No such election shall be made for a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or a member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013. Any election pursuant to this subdivision shall be set forth in a legally adopted resolution.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a political subdivision by legally adopted resolution may declare to the Board that, for purposes of this subdivision, subdivisions B 1 and B 3 and subsection D of § 51.1-153, any person who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 or is employed as a firefighter or law-enforcement officer as those terms are defined in § 15.2-1512.2 (i) shall not be considered a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and (ii) shall be deemed to have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013. Such resolution shall be irrevocable.

4. Additional allowance. — In addition to the allowance payable under subdivisions 1, 2, and 3, a member shall receive an additional allowance which shall be the actuarial equivalent, for his attained age at the time of retirement, of the excess of his accumulated contributions transferred from the abolished system to the retirement system, including interest credited at the rate of two percent compounded annually since the transfer to the date of retirement, over the annual amounts equal to four percent of his annual creditable compensation at the date of abolishment for a period equal to his period of membership in the abolished system.

5. 50/10 retirement. — The allowance shall be payable in a monthly stream of payments equal to the greater of (i) the actuarial equivalent of the benefit the member would have received had he terminated service and deferred retirement to age 55 or (ii) the actuarially calculated present value of the member's accumulated contributions, including accrued interest.

B. Beneficiary serving in position covered by this title.

1. Except as provided in subdivisions 2, 3, and 4, if a beneficiary of a service retirement allowance under this chapter or the provisions of Chapters 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) is at any time in service as an employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of this or any chapter other than Chapter 6 (§ 51.1-600 et seq.), 6.1 (§ 51.1-607 et seq.), or 7 (§ 51.1-700 et seq.), his retirement allowance shall cease while so employed. Any member who retires and later returns to covered employment shall not be entitled to select a different retirement option for a subsequent retirement.

2. Active members of the General Assembly who are eligible to receive a retirement allowance under this title, excluding their service as a member of the General Assembly, shall be eligible to receive a retirement allowance based on their creditable service and average final compensation for service other than as a member of the General Assembly. Such members of the General Assembly shall continue to be reported as any other members of the retirement system. Upon ceasing to serve in the General Assembly, members of the General Assembly receiving a retirement allowance based on their creditable service and average final compensation for service other than as a member of the General Assembly shall have their retirement allowance recomputed prospectively to include their service as a member of the General Assembly. Active members of the General Assembly shall be prohibited from receiving a service retirement allowance under this title based solely on their service as a member of the General Assembly.

3. (Expires July 1, 2025) Any person receiving a service retirement allowance under this chapter, who is hired by a local school board as an instructional or administrative employee required to be licensed by the Board of Education or as a school bus driver, may elect to continue to receive the retirement allowance during such employment, under the following conditions:

(a) The person has been receiving such retirement allowance for at least 12 calendar months preceding his employment;

(b) The person is not receiving a retirement benefit pursuant to an early retirement incentive program from any local school division within the Commonwealth; and

(c) At the time the person is employed, the position to which he is assigned is among those identified by the Superintendent of Public Instruction pursuant to subdivision 4 of § 22.1-23, by the relevant division superintendent, pursuant to § 22.1-70.3, or by the relevant local school board, pursuant to subdivision 9 of § 22.1-79.

If the person elects to continue to receive the retirement allowance during the period of such employment, then his service performed and compensation received during such period of time will not increase, decrease, or affect in any way his retirement benefits before, during, or after such employment.

4. Any person receiving a service retirement allowance under this title for service as a sworn law-enforcement officer and who is employed in a local school division as a school security officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, may elect to continue to receive the retirement allowance during such employment under the following conditions: (i) the person has a break in service of at least 12 calendar months between retirement for service as a sworn law-enforcement officer and employment as a school security officer; (ii) the person is not receiving a retirement benefit pursuant to an early retirement incentive program from any local school division within the Commonwealth; (iii) the person is not receiving a retirement benefit pursuant to an early retirement incentive program from any employer, as defined in § 51.1-124.3; and (iv) the person did not participate in any incentive program established under the second or third enactment of Chapters 152 and 811 of the Acts of Assembly of 1995. If the person elects to continue to receive the retirement allowance during the period of such employment, then his service performed and compensation received during such period of time will not increase, decrease, or affect in any way his retirement benefits before, during, or after such employment, nor shall such person be eligible to receive any retirement benefits available to him pursuant to Chapter 6.1 (§ 51.1-607 et seq.). In addition, the employer shall include the person's compensation in membership payroll subject to employer contributions under § 51.1-145.

At least once in each four-year period, in conjunction with the actuarial investigation made under subdivision A 4 of § 51.1-124.22, there shall be an actuarial investigation made of the experience under subdivisions B 3 and 4 of this section, and the retirement system shall submit a report to the General Assembly advising it of the results of such investigation.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.55; 1956, c. 560; 1960, cc. 138, 604; 1962, c. 417; 1964, c. 223; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1972, cc. 118, 568; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1976, c. 538; 1977, c. 620; 1978, c. 841; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.55:1; 1982, c. 467; 1984, c. 430; 1987, cc. 13, 14; 1988, c. 224; 1990, c. 832; 1991, c. 719; 1992, c. 826; 1994, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 5; 1995, cc. 152, 692, 811; 1998, cc. 407, 674, 746; 1999, c. 111; 2001, cc. 689, 700; 2002, cc. 778, 781; 2003, c. 211; 2004, c. 563; 2005, cc. 605, 606, 793; 2006, c. 513; 2010, cc. 737, 738; 2012, cc. 701, 811, 823; 2013, cc. 456, 666; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, cc. 379, 437, 968, 969.

§ 51.1-155.1. Exceptions from general early retirement provisions for certain state employees and constitutional officers.

A. The provisions of this subsection apply to any member of the retirement system (i) whose position is described by subdivision 1 (except a member of the Judicial Retirement System (§ 51.1-300 et seq.)), 2 (except a member of the Judicial Retirement System (§ 51.1-300 et seq.)), 3, 4 (except an officer elected by popular vote), 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 20 of § 2.2-2905; (ii) who is an agency head appointed by a state board, state commission, or state council; or (iii) who is a school division superintendent appointed by a school board pursuant to § 22.1-60, and (a) who is involuntarily separated from state service and (b) who has 20 or more years of creditable service at the date of separation. Such member may retire with the retirement allowance as provided in subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 50, provided, however, that if (1) the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, (2) the member does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or (3) the member is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, then the member may retire with the retirement allowance as provided in subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 60.

B. The provisions of this subsection apply to any member of the retirement system who (i) serves as chief executive officer of an interstate commission pursuant to Virginia's participation in such commission; (ii) is involuntarily separated from service; and (iii) has 20 or more years of creditable service at the date of separation. Such member may retire without the reduction in retirement allowance required by subdivision A 2 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 50, provided, however, that if (a) the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, (b) the member does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or (c) the member is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, then the member may retire without the reduction in retirement allowance required by subdivision A 2 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 60.

C. The provisions of this subsection apply to any member of the retirement system who (i) serves as a constitutional officer, (ii) is involuntarily separated from service because his office is lawfully abolished, and (iii) has 20 or more years of creditable service at the date of separation. Such member may retire with the retirement allowance as provided in subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155, upon attaining age 50, provided, however, that if (a) the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, (b) the member does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or (c) the member is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, then the member may retire with the retirement allowance as provided in subdivision A 1 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 60.

D. For the purposes of this section, except for subsection C, "involuntary separation" means any dismissal, requested resignation, or failure to obtain reappointment, except in case of a conviction for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty.

E. Any state employee who retires under the provisions of this section on or after January 1, 1994, shall be eligible to participate in the state health insurance program as provided in § 2.2-2818 and receive group life insurance benefits as provided in § 51.1-505.

1994, c. 785; 1995, cc. 152, 692, 721, 811; 1996, cc. 662, 924; 1997, c. 711; 1998, c. 746; 2000, c. 911; 2003, c. 220; 2011, cc. 250, 880; 2014, c. 356.

§ 51.1-155.2. Exceptions from general early retirement provisions for certain local government officials.

A. The provisions of this section apply to any member of the retirement system who (i) is appointed county administrator pursuant to § 15.2-406 or 15.2-1540, urban county executive pursuant to § 15.2-804, county executive pursuant to § 15.2-509, county manager pursuant to § 15.2-609 or 15.2-702, county administrator or city or town manager pursuant to Chapter 15 (§ 15.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 15.2 or county, city or town attorney pursuant to § 15.2-1542; (ii) is involuntarily separated from service; and (iii) has 20 or more years of creditable service at the date of separation. Such member may retire without the reduction in retirement allowance required by subdivisions A 2 and A 3 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 50, provided, however, that if (a) the member is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, (b) the member does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or (c) the member is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, then the member may retire without the reduction in retirement allowance required by subdivisions A 2 and A 3 of § 51.1-155 upon attaining age 60.

B. For the purposes of this section, "involuntary separation" means any dismissal, requested resignation, or failure to obtain reappointment, except in case of a conviction for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty.

C. The cost of this provision shall be borne by the locality.

1995, c. 721; 1996, cc. 662, 924; 1998, c. 676; 2000, cc. 343, 911; 2008, c. 537; 2011, c. 880; 2014, c. 356.

§ 51.1-156. Disability retirement.

A. Any member in service or within ninety days after termination of service who has not withdrawn his accumulated contributions as provided for in § 51.1-128 may retire for disability not compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.) upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective.

B. Any member in service or within ninety days after termination of service may retire for disability from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act upon written notification to the Board setting forth the date the retirement is to become effective.

C. If no compensation is finally awarded under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, due to legal proceedings or otherwise resulting in settlement from the persons causing the disability, the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission shall determine whether the member's disability is from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

D. The effective date of retirement shall be after the member's last day of service but shall not be more than ninety days prior to the filing of the notice of retirement. The Board may waive the ninety-day requirement upon a showing of good cause.

E. After a medical examination of the member or after reviewing pertinent medical records, the Medical Board shall certify that (i) the member is and has been continuously since the effective date of retirement if prior to filing of the notification, mentally or physically incapacitated for the further performance of duty, (ii) the incapacity is likely to be permanent, and (iii) the member should be retired. A member shall not be retired for disability for any condition which existed at the time of becoming a member unless medical evidence, convincing to the Board, supports the fact that the pre-existing condition has worsened substantially.

F. In the event the member is physically or mentally unable to submit written notification of his intention to retire, the member's appointing authority may submit notification on his behalf.

G. Any member who has been on leave of absence without pay for a period exceeding twenty-four months shall not be entitled to retire under the provisions of this section. This subsection shall not apply to any member who is disabled while on leave without pay while performing active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States.

H. For good cause shown, the Board may waive the ninety-day notification periods set forth in subsections A and B. For purposes of this section, good cause shall exist and the Board shall waive such ninety-day notification periods if (i) the member would otherwise qualify for disability retirement but for failing to comply with the requirements of subsection A or B and (ii) the Medical Board, acting solely in its own discretion after reviewing objective medical evidence of the disability and its cause, certifies that: (a) the disability and its cause existed on the date the member's employment was terminated, (b) the member had no knowledge of the existence of the disability and its cause at any time within ninety days after the date the member's employment was terminated, and (c) the member could not, with reasonable inquiry, have ascertained the existence of the disability and its cause within ninety days after the date the member's employment was terminated.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.56; 1960, c. 604; 1964, c. 186; 1966, c. 174; 1973, c. 523; 1982, c. 427; 1986, c. 474; 1988, c. 724; 1990, c. 832; 1992, c. 811; 1995, c. 307; 2009, c. 362.

§ 51.1-157. Disability retirement allowance.

A. Allowance payable on retirement. — Upon retirement for disability, a member who has five or more years of creditable service shall receive an annual retirement allowance during his lifetime and continued disability equal to 1.70 percent of his average final compensation multiplied by the smaller of (i) twice the amount of his creditable service or (ii) the amount of creditable service he would have completed at age 60 if he had remained in service to that age. Notwithstanding the foregoing, for a member who (a) is a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, or (b) does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, the allowance shall equal 1.65 percent of his average final compensation multiplied by the smaller of (1) twice the amount of his creditable service or (2) the amount of creditable service he would have completed at age 60 if he had remained in service to that age. If a member has already attained age 60, the amount of creditable service at his date of retirement shall be used.

For retirements between October 1, 1994, and December 31, 1998, any employee or local officer who is a member or beneficiary of a retirement system administered by the Board shall receive an additional retirement allowance equal to three percent of the disability retirement allowance payable under this section; provided that, for purposes of this additional retirement allowance, the term employee shall include only those employees of political subdivisions that have adopted a resolution providing for such an allowance under subsection B of § 51.1-130. Average final compensation attributable to service as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, or member of the General Assembly shall not be included in computing this additional retirement allowance.

B. Workers' compensation guarantee. — If a member retires for disability from a cause which is compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.), the amount of the annual retirement allowance shall equal 66 and two-thirds percent of the member's average final compensation if the member does not qualify for social security disability benefits under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of his retirement. If the member qualifies for social security disability benefits or has attained his normal retirement age under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of his retirement, the allowance payable from the retirement system shall equal 50 percent of his average final compensation. A member shall be entitled to the larger of the retirement allowance as determined under the provisions of subsection A or under the provisions of this subsection.

C. Reduction of allowance. — Any allowance payable to a member who retires for disability from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act shall be reduced by the amount of any payments under the provisions of the Act in effect on the date of retirement of the member and the excess of the allowance shall be paid to the member. When the time for compensation payments under the Act has elapsed, the member shall receive the full amount of the allowance payable during his lifetime and continued disability. If the member's payments under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act are adjusted or terminated for refusal to work or to comply with the requirements of § 65.2-603, his allowance shall be computed as if he were receiving the compensation to which he would otherwise be entitled.

D. Special retirement allowance guarantee. — Any member retired from a cause which is not compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act shall be guaranteed an annual retirement allowance during his lifetime and continued disability which equals 50 percent of the member's average final compensation if the member does not qualify for social security disability benefits under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of his retirement. If the member qualifies for social security disability benefits or has attained his normal retirement age under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of retirement, the allowance payable from the retirement system shall equal 33 and one-third percent of his average final compensation.

E. Determination of retirement allowance. — For the purposes of this section, the retirement allowance shall be determined on the assumption that the retirement allowance is payable to the member alone and that no optional retirement allowance is elected.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.57; 1956, cc. 560, 652; 1960, c. 604; 1962, c. 245; 1964, c. 186; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 88; 1972, c. 568; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1976, c. 541; 1980, c. 722, § 51-111.57:1; 1982, c. 467; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832; 1993, c. 895; 1994, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 5; 1998, c. 674; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 53, 54.

§ 51.1-158. Reduction of benefits for acceptance of lump-sum settlement under Workers' Compensation Act.

The retirement allowance (i) of any member retiring for disability from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.) or (ii) of any surviving spouse, minor child, or parent, eligible to receive a benefit as a result of the death of a member from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, who elects to receive a lump-sum settlement in lieu of periodic payments for disability or death compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act shall be adjusted by an amount determined by dividing the workers' compensation benefit which such person would have received had the lump-sum settlement not been consummated, into the settlement actually accepted by the member, surviving spouse, child, or parent.

1980, c. 645, § 51-111.59:1; 1982, c. 467; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-159. Medical examinations of persons retired for disability.

A. Once each year following retirement, the Board may require a former member who retired for disability and who has not attained his normal retirement age to undergo a medical examination by the Medical Board or a physician or other health care professional designated by the Medical Board. If the former member refuses to submit to the required medical examination, his retirement allowance shall be discontinued until he complies. If he does not comply within six months of the date of the request, all of his rights to any further disability retirement allowance shall cease, subject to the provisions of § 51.1-160.

B. If the Medical Board determines that a beneficiary is not disabled after reviewing the findings of any of the medical examinations provided for in this section, all rights to any further disability allowance shall cease, subject to the provisions of § 51.1-160.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.61; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832; 1998, c. 657; 2018, cc. 53, 305.

§ 51.1-160. Cessation of disability retirement allowance.

A. If a beneficiary of a disability retirement allowance returns to service prior to his normal retirement date, his disability retirement allowance shall cease and he shall become a member of the retirement system and shall thereafter contribute. Any prior service on the basis of which his disability retirement allowance was computed shall be restored and, in addition, he shall be credited with all of his previous membership service including the period of disability retirement.

B. The balance of any contributions of the beneficiary in excess of the disability retirement allowance received by him shall be transferred from the retirement allowance account to the members' contribution account.

C. If disability benefits are terminated as set forth in subsection B of § 51.1-159, a beneficiary may (i) receive a refund of any accumulated contributions in excess of the disability retirement allowance received by him, in which case all rights to any further benefits payable under this chapter shall cease, (ii) return to service, in which case the provisions of subsections A and B of this section shall apply, or (iii) receive a deferred service allowance upon attaining the early retirement age if the total of the prior membership service and the period of disability retirement meet the creditable service requirements for deferred retirement for members terminating service.

D. The retirement system shall have no responsibility for the reemployment of a beneficiary in a covered position.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.63; 1960, c. 604; 1974, c. 353; 1984, c. 430; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-161. Withdrawal of contributions before retirement.

A. 1. Any member who has five or more years of creditable service, who ceases to be an employee, other than by death or retirement, may receive a refund of his accumulated contributions reduced by the amount of any retirement allowance previously received by him under any of the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) or the abolished system.

2. Any member who has less than five years of creditable service, who ceases to be an employee other than by death or involuntary separation due to causes other than job performance or misconduct, as determined by the employer in its sole discretion, shall have such refund reduced by that portion of his accumulated contributions that were paid by his employer on his behalf on or after July 1, 2010. Such reduction shall be transferred to the retirement allowance account of each employer who paid such contributions on a pro rata basis.

B. Accumulated contributions shall be refunded to a member upon retirement for disability only from a cause that is compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.) or to his designated beneficiary upon the death of the member from a cause that is compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

C. If a member becomes covered by an optional retirement plan established under § 51.1-126, 51.1-126.3, 51.1-126.5, or 51.1-126.6, the member may elect to have the balance of his accumulated contributions, as determined under subsection A, transferred directly to such optional retirement plan as a credit to his account in such plan. No portion of the transferred amount shall be available to the member until benefits under the optional retirement plan are otherwise available for distribution. An election to transfer the accumulated contributions to an optional retirement plan shall be treated as a withdrawal of the member's accumulated contributions for purposes of § 51.1-128, except that the member's creditable service shall be taken into account for purposes of Chapter 14 (§ 51.1-1400 et seq.).

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.58; 1960, c. 604; 1970, c. 476; 1986, c. 474; 1988, c. 809; 1990, c. 832; 2001, c. 691; 2006, c. 403; 2010, c. 758; 2012, c. 696.

§ 51.1-162. Death before retirement.

A. If a member dies before retirement, and if no benefits are payable under subsection B, the amount of his accumulated contributions shall be paid to the designated beneficiary or to a surviving relative according to the order of precedence set forth in this section. This amount shall be reduced by the amount of any retirement allowance previously received by the member under this chapter or the abolished system. Each member shall designate who is to receive a refund of accumulated contributions credited to his account in the event of the death of the member prior to retirement. The designation must be made in a manner prescribed by the Board.

If no designation has been made, or the death of the designated person occurs prior to the death of the member and another designation has not been made, the proceeds shall be paid to the persons surviving at the death of the member in the following order of precedence:

First, to the spouse of the member;

Second, if no surviving spouse, to the children of the member and descendants of deceased children, per stirpes;

Third, if none of the above, to the parents of the member;

Fourth, if none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the member;

Fifth, if none of the above, to other next of kin of the member entitled under the laws of the domicile of the member at the time of his death.

B. To the extent required by § 401(a)(37) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended or renumbered, and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans, if a member dies in service, including a member performing active duty military service in the armed forces of the United States, and if no benefits are payable under subsection C of this section, a retirement allowance shall be paid to the person or persons designated as provided in subsection A of this section if the person is the member's (i) surviving spouse, (ii) minor child, or (iii) parent(s). If no designation has been made, or if the death of the designated person occurs prior to the death of the member and another designation has not been made, a retirement allowance shall be paid in the following order of precedence to the member's (a) surviving spouse, (b) minor children, or (c) parent(s). The retirement allowance shall be paid to the first person qualifying in the orders of precedence set out in this subsection. If more than one minor child survives the deceased member, the allowance shall be divided among them in a manner determined by the Board. If more than one parent survives the deceased member, the allowance shall be divided among them in a manner determined by the Board. The retirement allowance shall be continued during the lifetime of the person or in the case of a minor child until the child dies or attains the age of majority, whichever occurs first. The retirement allowance shall equal the decreased retirement allowance that would have been payable under the joint and survivor option so that the same amount would be continued to such person after the member's death. If the member dies prior to his fifty-fifth birthday, then, for purposes of this subsection, the member shall be presumed to be age 55 on his date of death. However, if the member dies in service prior to his sixtieth birthday and is (1) a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, (2) a member who does not have at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or (3) a member of the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, then, for purposes of this subsection, the member shall be presumed to be age 60 on his date of death. When determining the allowance that would have been payable to the member had the member retired on the date of his death, the provisions of subdivision A 4 of § 51.1-155 shall not apply. If the person elects in writing, the amount of the member's accumulated contributions or lump sum payment shall be paid to him exclusively, in lieu of any other benefits under this section. This amount shall be reduced by the amount of any retirement allowance previously received by the member under this chapter.

C. If a member dies in service from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq.), a retirement allowance shall be paid to the member's surviving spouse. If no compensation is finally awarded under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act due to legal proceedings or otherwise resulting in settlement from the persons causing such death, the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission shall determine whether the member's death was from a cause compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act. If the member leaves no surviving spouse or the surviving spouse dies, any minor children of the deceased member shall be paid an allowance until the children die or attain the age of majority, whichever occurs first. If more than one minor child survives the deceased member, the allowance shall be divided in a manner determined by the Board. If the deceased member leaves neither surviving spouse nor minor child, the allowance, divided in a manner determined by the Board, shall be paid to the member's parents during their lives.

The retirement allowance payable hereunder to a qualifying survivor shall be the annual amount which when added to the compensation payable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act for the death of the member equals 50 percent of the member's average final compensation if the survivor does not qualify for death benefits under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of the death of the member. If the survivor qualifies for death benefits under the provisions of the Social Security Act in effect on the date of the death of the member, the allowance payable from the retirement system when added to the compensation payable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act shall equal thirty-three and one-third percent of the member's average final compensation.

Any beneficiary entitled to the entire amount of a retirement allowance under the provisions of this subsection as a result of the death of a member shall be entitled to waive his rights to the allowance by written notification to the Board within ninety days after the death of the member in order to make available a retirement allowance under the provisions of subsection B of this section.

1960, c. 604, § 51-111.58:1; 1962, c. 438; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1972, c. 568; 1973, c. 523; 1974, c. 353; 1977, c. 620; 1986, c. 474; 1988, cc. 531, 540; 1990, c. 832; 1998, c. 407; 1999, cc. 111, 510; 2001, c. 683; 2002, c. 313; 2009, cc. 22, 362; 2011, c. 880; 2014, c. 356; 2015, c. 660.

§ 51.1-163. Death after retirement.

If a member dies after the effective date of retirement, any excess of his accumulated contributions as of the effective date of his retirement, over the total retirement allowances received by him, shall be paid in the same manner as provided in subsection A of § 51.1-162, subsection A of § 51.1-207, or subsection A of § 51.1-218, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member, unless the retirement allowance is then being paid in accordance with any of the optional benefits provided for in § 51.1-165 or § 51.1-165.01. Accumulated contributions as of the effective date of retirement shall include all member contributions paid by the employer on behalf of the member on and after July 1, 1980, and all interest which would have accrued to these funds.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.59; 1960, c. 604; 1990, c. 832; 1991, c. 302; 1995, c. 307; 2001, cc. 679, 699.

§ 51.1-164. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 269, cl. 2.

§ 51.1-165. Optional benefits.

A. Any member not taking 50/10 retirement as provided in § 51.1-153 or 51.1-216, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member, may elect to have his retirement allowance payable under one of the options set forth in this subsection and receive the actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance otherwise payable to him. The election of an optional benefit shall be subject to the approval of the Board.

1. Straight life option. -- A member may elect to receive an increased retirement allowance in lieu of any death benefits.

2. Joint and last-survivor option. -- A member may elect to receive a decreased retirement allowance during his lifetime in order that a fraction of such retirement allowance be continued to a contingent annuitant at the death of the member. The amount to be received by the contingent annuitant, in accordance with such election by the member, shall not exceed 100 percent of the amount to be received by the member during his lifetime nor shall it be less than 10 percent of such amount. In case of such an election, death benefits that might otherwise be provided shall not be payable upon the death of the member unless death of the member occurs prior to the effective date of retirement as set forth in subsection C of this section. This option may be elected if the contingent annuitant is the spouse of the member. If the contingent annuitant is not the spouse of the member, this option may be elected only if the actuarial present value of the payments expected to be made to the member is greater than one-half of the actuarial present value of the total payments expected to be made to the member and contingent annuitant.

3. Level income option. -- If a member retires from service prior to his retirement age, as such term is defined under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 416 et seq., as now or hereafter amended), he may elect to receive an increased retirement allowance beginning on the member's effective date of retirement and continuing until the member reaches age 62 or any whole age up to his normal retirement age, as such term is defined under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 416 et seq., as now or hereafter amended) and a decreased retirement allowance thereafter, thereby providing a more nearly level retirement allowance when such decreased retirement allowance is added to his anticipated primary benefits under the federal Social Security Act. In determining the amount of such retirement allowance under this option before the electing retiree reaches his retirement age, as such term is defined under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 416 et seq., as now or hereafter amended), the Board may use an estimate of the member's anticipated social security benefit for computing the amount of such retirement allowance. Any member electing to receive such an allowance shall not be entitled to a joint and last survivor benefit. The amount of the increased retirement allowance shall be determined actuarially, but the election of this option shall not result in more than a 50 percent reduction in the member's benefit as provided in § 51.1-155, 51.1-206, 51.1-217, or 51.1-306.

B. Any member taking 50/10 retirement as provided in § 51.1-153 or 51.1-216, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member, may elect to have his retirement allowance payable under the option set forth in this subsection and receive the actuarial equivalent of the retirement allowance otherwise payable to him. The election of this optional benefit shall be subject to the approval of the Board.

50/10 retirement joint and last-survivor option. -- A member may elect to receive a decreased retirement allowance during his lifetime and have the retirement allowance continued after his death to a contingent annuitant during the lifetime of such person. The retirement allowance pursuant to this option shall be determined as provided in subdivision A 5 of § 51.1-155 or subsection A of § 51.1-217, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member, except (i) the present value of future retirement benefits shall be calculated based on the life expectancies of both the member and the contingent annuitant and (ii) the actuarially computed present value of the payments expected to be made under this option shall be actuarially equivalent to the actuarially computed present value of the payments expected to be made to the member as determined pursuant to subdivision A 5 of § 51.1-155 or subsection A of § 51.1-217, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member.

C. 1. The election of any one of the options stated in this section shall be null and void if the member dies prior to the Board receiving written notification of the member's effective date of retirement. The election of a joint and last-survivor option shall be null and void if the contingent annuitant dies before the member's retirement. Except as provided in subdivision 2 of this subsection, in all cases where the death of the member occurs prior to the effective date of retirement but after the Board has received written notification of the member's effective date of retirement, benefits shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of § 51.1-163 and the requirement that the member be in service shall not apply. For purposes of this subdivision, retirement shall be deemed to commence on the effective date of a member's service retirement or disability.

2. If (i) the death of the member occurs prior to the effective date of retirement but after the Board has received written notification of the member's effective date of retirement; (ii) the member died while in service; (iii) at the time of the member's death the election for payment of the member's retirement allowance was a joint and last-survivor optional retirement benefit; and (iv) the member named his spouse, minor child, or parent as the contingent annuitant under the joint and last-survivor optional benefit, then benefits shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of § 51.1-163. However, if such contingent annuitant or annuitants are the same person or persons who would receive a monthly benefit under subsection B of § 51.1-162 and the monthly benefit under such subsection would be greater than the benefit provided in accordance with the provisions of § 51.1-163, then retirement benefits shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of § 51.1-162.

For purposes of this subdivision, retirement shall be deemed to commence on the effective date of a member's service retirement or disability.

D. A member who has elected any of the options stated in this section may revoke such an election by written notification to the Board any time prior to the later of the effective date of retirement or the date of written notification to the Board of retirement of the member.

E. A retired member who has elected a joint and last-survivor option may, in a manner prescribed by the Board, revoke such election and elect to receive from time of notification either the retirement allowance to which he would have been entitled had no option been elected initially or an allowance actuarially equivalent thereto under a joint and last-survivor option with a different contingent annuitant, if (i) the original contingent annuitant has died, (ii) a final decree of divorce of the retired member from the original contingent annuitant has been entered, or (iii) the written consent of the original contingent annuitant, together with evidence satisfactory to the Board of the good health of the original contingent annuitant, is submitted with the notification. If the provisions of this subsection are invoked by a retired member on the basis of the member's having been divorced from his contingent annuitant and the marriage had been of a duration of 20 years or more, the provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable until the death or remarriage of the former spouse unless such spouse consents in writing to the revocation of the option prior to death or remarriage.

If such an election is made as a result of the death or divorce of the contingent annuitant, the benefit payable to the retired member may be adjusted retroactively for a period of not more than 60 days from the date the Board first receives notification of the desire of the retired member to make such a change.

F. Subject to the provisions of subsection E of this section, any member who retires on or after July 1, 1986, and returns to covered employment shall not be entitled to select a different optional benefit upon making application for retirement a second or subsequent time.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.60; 1956, c. 560; 1966, c. 174; 1970, c. 476; 1974, c. 353; 1975, c. 597; 1976, cc. 511, 542; 1978, c. 841; 1980, cc. 85, 642, 646; 1982, c. 581; 1986, c. 474; 1990, c. 832; 1992, cc. 518, 548, 811; 1993, c. 548; 1995, cc. 152, 307, 692, 811; 1998, c. 676; 1999, c. 111; 2001, cc. 679, 699; 2003, c. 263; 2005, cc. 146, 162.

§ 51.1-165.01. Partial lump-sum option for payment of retirement allowance.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Normal retirement" means normal retirement as described in §§ 51.1-153, 51.1-205, 51.1-216 or § 51.1-305, in accordance with the retirement plan covering the member.

B. The following members are eligible to receive a portion of their retirement allowance paid in a lump-sum distribution upon retirement as provided in this section:

1. Any retiring member who (i) has satisfied the requirements for normal retirement after January 1, 2004, or has been credited with at least three years of creditable service for service performed after the date he was first eligible for an unreduced service retirement allowance and (ii) was in service for at least three full years after January 1, 2001, is eligible to elect one of the partial lump-sum options described in either subdivision C 1, C 2, or C 3.

2. Any retiring member who (i) has been credited with at least two years of creditable service for service performed after the date he was first eligible for an unreduced service retirement allowance and (ii) was in service for at least two full years after January 1, 2001, is eligible to elect one of the partial lump-sum options described in either subdivision C 1 or C 2.

3. Any retiring member who (i) has been credited with at least one year of creditable service for service performed after the date he was first eligible for an unreduced service retirement allowance and (ii) was in service for at least one full year after January 1, 2001, is eligible to elect the partial lump-sum option described in subdivision C 1.

For purposes of this subsection, service of an employee of a locality participating in the Retirement System shall mean service for which retirement credit is granted under this chapter.

C. An eligible retiring member may make a one-time election to receive a portion of his retirement allowance paid in a lump-sum distribution upon his retirement. The monthly amount of the service retirement allowance otherwise payable to such member making the election shall be reduced on an actuarially equivalent basis to reflect the payment of such lump-sum distribution. Any optional payment of the retirement allowance, pursuant to § 51.1-165, shall also be based upon such reduced retirement allowance. The computation and payment of any service retirement allowance that is reduced on an actuarially equivalent basis to reflect the payment of a lump-sum distribution shall also reflect the provisions of subsection B of § 51.1-168 applicable to the total retirement benefit including the lump-sum distribution. An eligible retiring member may elect one of the following partial lump-sum options pursuant to the limitations provided in subsection B:

1. A lump-sum distribution shall be paid to such member upon his retirement equal to twelve times the monthly amount of his service retirement allowance as determined in subsection A of § 51.1-155, subsection A of § 51.1-206, subsection A of § 51.1-217, or subsection A of § 51.1-306, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member but without regard to the limitation set forth in subsection B of § 51.1-168.

2. A lump-sum distribution shall be paid to such member upon his retirement equal to twenty-four times the monthly amount of his service retirement allowance as determined in subsection A of § 51.1-155, subsection A of § 51.1-206, subsection A of § 51.1-217, or subsection A of § 51.1-306, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member but without regard to the limitation set forth in subsection B of § 51.1-168.

3. A lump-sum distribution shall be paid to such member upon his retirement equal to thirty-six times the monthly amount of his service retirement allowance as determined in subsection A of § 51.1-155, subsection A of § 51.1-206, subsection A of § 51.1-217, or subsection A of § 51.1-306, in accordance with the retirement plan covering such member but without regard to the limitation set forth in subsection B of § 51.1-168.

D. The lump-sum distribution, if elected by the eligible retiring member, shall be paid at the same time that the first monthly annuity payment is paid to such member.

E. Before an eligible retiring member may make an election to receive a lump-sum distribution, such member shall have been provided from the Retirement System the amount by which his monthly retirement allowance shall be reduced under each of the partial lump-sum options provided in subsection C, as available to such member. No eligible retiring member shall be allowed to make an election for a lump-sum distribution pursuant to this section more than once in his lifetime.

F. The election of any one of the options stated in this section shall be void if the member dies prior to the Board receiving written notification of the member's effective date of retirement. If the death of the member occurs prior to the effective date of retirement but after the Board has received written notification of the member's effective date of retirement, benefits shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of § 51.1-163 and the requirement that the member be in service shall not apply.

2001, cc. 679, 699; 2002, c. 404.

§ 51.1-165.1. Acknowledgment by spouse of member.

Any application for retirement benefits under this chapter or Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.) or Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) of this title shall include a statement made by the spouse, if any, of the applicant, acknowledging (i) that the spouse has read the provisions of payment options and (ii) the selection of the basic benefit or any other benefit selected. Payments to a retired member who fails to have executed properly a statement of acknowledgment, and the provisions for obtaining such statement, shall be governed by procedures adopted by the Board.

1996, c. 709; 2009, c. 22.

§ 51.1-166. Post-retirement supplements generally.

A. In addition to the allowances payable under this title, post-retirement supplements shall be payable to the recipients of such allowances. Supplements shall be subject to the same conditions of payment as are allowances.

B. The amounts of the post-retirement supplements shall be determined as percentages of the allowances supplemented hereby. The percentages shall be determined annually by reference to the increase in the United States Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. The percentages shall be based on monthly averages and shall be the difference between (i) the average for the calendar year just ended and (ii) the average for the most recent calendar year used in the determination of the post-retirement supplements currently being paid. The annual increase, if any, in the CPI-U shall be considered only to the extent of the first two percent plus one-half of the next two percent of any additional increase, or a maximum increase in the post-retirement supplement of three percent in any given year. However, for anyone who (a) is not a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, and (b) has at least 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, the applicable annual increase, if any, in the CPI-U shall be considered only to the extent of the first three percent plus one-half of the next four percent of any additional increase, or a maximum increase in the post-retirement supplement of five percent in any given year. If the difference in the percentages determined above is zero or less, the post-retirement supplements shall either not commence or shall continue unchanged until such time as an annual determination results in a difference in the percentages that are greater than zero. A participant in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169 shall be considered to be a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, for the purposes of this section.

Contribution rates for all employers shall include an amount equal to 100 percent of the total annual amount necessary to fund all post-retirement supplements. All contribution rates shall be computed in accordance with recognized actuarial principles on the basis of methods and assumptions approved by the Board.

C. There shall be no change in the amount of any post-retirement supplement between determination dates except as necessary to reflect changes in the amount of the allowance being supplemented. The post-retirement supplement shall remain a constant percentage of the respective allowance being supplemented. No new post-retirement supplement shall be commenced except as of a determination date. The post-retirement supplement determined as of any determination dates shall become effective at the beginning of the fiscal year and shall be in lieu of any post-retirement supplements previously payable, which shall thereupon be terminated.

D. 1. Any recipient of an allowance which initially commenced on or prior to January 1, 1990, shall be entitled to post-retirement supplements effective July 1, 1991.

2. A person who is the recipient of an allowance pursuant to § 2.2-3204, subsection Q of Item 469 of Chapter 890 of the Acts of Assembly of 2011, or § 51.1-155.1, 51.1-155.2, 51.1-157, 51.1-162, 51.1-207, 51.1-218, 51.1-308, 51.1-1117, 51.1-1128, 51.1-1161, or 51.1-1169 must receive that allowance for one full calendar year before being entitled to post-retirement supplements.

3. Any person who, as of January 1, 2013, (i) is the recipient of an allowance under this title or (ii) would otherwise be eligible for an unreduced allowance under the applicable chapter within five years, including a person described in clause (ii) who commences an unreduced allowance on or after January 1, 2013, must receive that allowance for one full calendar year before being entitled to post-retirement supplements.

4. Any other person who has less than 20 years of creditable service must receive that allowance for one full calendar year after the date he would otherwise have been eligible for an unreduced allowance under the applicable chapter before being entitled to post-retirement supplements.

1970, c. 476, § 51-111.60:1; 1977, c. 620; 1980, c. 163; 1982, c. 467; 1987, cc. 13, 14; 1990, c. 832; 1991, c. 719; 1996, c. 1030; 2010, cc. 737, 738, 752; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2013, c. 463; 2014, c. 356.

§ 51.1-167. Retirement allowance to be reduced in certain cases.

In the case of any state employee whose compensation is not paid exclusively out of the state treasury and in the case of any teacher whose compensation is paid out of any fund not derived from local revenues or state appropriations, if any contributor other than the Commonwealth is in default in the payment of any required contribution, the total retirement allowance to which the employee would have been entitled but for the default shall be reduced by the amount of the retirement allowance provided by the defaulted contribution.

1952, c. 157, § 51-111.65; 1974, c. 353; 1982, c. 467; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-168. Limits on creditable compensation; maximum benefits; mandatory payment of allowance.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, creditable compensation used for computing any benefit or employee contribution under or to the Retirement System shall not exceed $200,000 (as adjusted in $5,000 increments from time to time by the adjustment factor described in I.R.C. § 415 (d) on the basis of a base period of the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2001). In determining average final compensation for periods beginning on or after July 1, 2001, the limit on creditable compensation applied to compensation attributable to periods prior to July 1, 2001, shall be $200,000. Notwithstanding the foregoing, compensation for any employee who became a member of the Retirement System (i) prior to the ninetieth day after the opening date of the 1996 Session of the General Assembly, on whose behalf employee or employer contributions are made into the Retirement System, and for whom annual compensation is used for computing any benefit, shall not exceed the limit on compensation as adjusted by the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the transition provisions applicable to eligible participants under state and local governmental plans under I.R.C. § 401 (a)(17) as amended in 1993 and as contained in § 13212 (d)(3) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (P. L. 103-66).

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the annual benefit under the Retirement System of a member and any related death or other benefit shall, if necessary, be reduced to the extent required by § 415 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to § 415 (d) of the Internal Revenue Code. Any adjustment pursuant to § 415 (d) of the Internal Revenue Code shall apply to all members including those who have died, retired, or otherwise terminated service with a nonforfeitable right to a retirement allowance before the effective date of such adjustment. If an employee participating in the Retirement System is also a participant in another defined benefit plan sponsored or maintained by an employer participating in the Retirement System and subject to the limitations under § 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, such employer shall apply the combined limit test required by § 415 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code to all such plans, to the extent required by § 415 of the Internal Revenue Code. Whenever a reduction in annual benefits is required to meet the annual benefit limit required by § 415 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code, the annual benefits under such employer's other plan or plans will be reduced before benefits under the Retirement System.

C. Any vendor for a defined benefit plan sponsored or maintained by an employer that participates in the Retirement System shall (i) request and maintain the records needed, (ii) perform the testing services required to assure compliance with the limitations described in § 415 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code, including testing required where the employer maintains or sponsors another plan that must be tested together with the Retirement System, and (iii) advise the employer of any annual benefit that exceeds the applicable limitation. If there is no vendor for these services, the employer shall (a) request and maintain the records needed, (b) perform the testing services required to assure compliance with the limitations described in § 415 (b) of the Internal Revenue Code, including testing required where the employer maintains or sponsors another plan that must be tested together with the Retirement System, and (c) reduce any annual benefit that exceeds the applicable limitation.

D. On and after January 1, 1989, the retirement allowance of a member who has terminated employment shall begin no later than the later of (i) April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year that the member attains the required age as provided in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or (ii) April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the member terminates employment. If the member fails, following reasonable notification, to elect a form of payment by such required beginning date, the retirement allowance shall be paid as a single life annuity and the spousal acknowledgement otherwise required by § 51.1-165.1 shall not be required. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, § 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended or renumbered, and the regulations thereunder applicable to governmental plans are incorporated by reference.

1990, c. 832; 1995, c. 307; 1998, c. 389; 2000, c. 502; 2002, c. 435; 2005, c. 728; 2015, c. 660; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 53, 54.

§ 51.1-169. Hybrid retirement program.

A. For purposes of this section, "hybrid retirement program" or "program" means a hybrid retirement program covering any employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) for retirement purposes other than the Virginia Retirement System defined benefit retirement plan established under Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.). Persons who are participants in, or eligible to be participants in, the retirement plans under the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), Chapter 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), the optional retirement plans established under §§ 51.1-126.1, 51.1-126.3, 51.1-126.4, and 51.1-126.7, or a person eligible to earn the benefits permitted by § 51.1-138 shall not be eligible to participate in the hybrid retirement program. Any person who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 or is employed as a firefighter, or law-enforcement officer as those terms are defined in § 15.2-1512.2 and whose employing political subdivision has legally adopted an irrevocable resolution as described in subdivision B 4 of § 51.1-153 and subdivision A 3 of § 51.1-155 shall not be eligible to participate in the hybrid retirement program. No member of the Judicial Retirement System under Chapter 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) shall be eligible to participate in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169 except members appointed to an original term on or after January 1, 2014.

The Board shall maintain the hybrid retirement program established by this section, and any employer is authorized to make contributions under such program for the benefit of its employees participating in such program. Every person who is otherwise eligible to participate in the program but is not a member of a retirement plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System the first time he is hired or rehired on or after January 1, 2014, in a covered position, shall participate in the hybrid retirement program established by this section.

A person who participates in the otherwise applicable defined benefit retirement plan established by this title and administered by the Virginia Retirement System under this chapter may make an irrevocable election to participate in the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section. Such election shall be exercised no later than April 30, 2014. If an election is not made by April 30, 2014, such employee shall be deemed to have elected not to participate in the hybrid retirement program and shall continue to participate in his current retirement plan.

B. Except as otherwise provided in subsection G:

1. The employer shall make contributions to the defined benefit component of the program in accordance with § 51.1-145.

2. The employer shall make a mandatory contribution to the defined contribution component of the program on behalf of an employee participating in the program in the amount of one percent of creditable compensation, which shall be made to the appropriate cash match plan established for the employee under § 51.1-608. In addition, the employer shall make a matching contribution on behalf of the employee based on the employee's voluntary contributions under the defined contribution component of the program to the deferred compensation plan established under § 51.1-602, up to a maximum of 2.5 percent of creditable compensation for the payroll period, as follows: (i) 100 percent of the first one percent of creditable compensation contributed by the employee to the defined contribution component of the program under subdivision C 2 for the payroll period, and (ii) 50 percent of the next three percent of creditable compensation contributed by the employee to the defined contribution component of the program under subdivision C 2 for the payroll period. The matching contribution by the employer shall be made to the appropriate cash match plan established for the employee under § 51.1-608.

3. The total amount contributed by the employer under subdivision 2 shall vest to the employee's benefit according to the following schedule:

a. Upon completion of two years of active participation, 50 percent.

b. Upon completion of three years of active participation, 75 percent.

c. Upon completion of four years of active participation, 100 percent.

For purposes of this subdivision, "active participation" includes creditable service, as defined in § 51.1-124.3, in any retirement plan established by this title and administered by the Retirement System.

If an employee ceases to be a member prior to achieving 100 percent vesting, contributions made by an employer on behalf of the employee under subdivision 2 that are not vested shall be forfeited. The Board may establish a forfeiture account and may specify the uses of the forfeiture account.

4. An employee may direct the investment of contributions made by an employer under subdivision B 2.

5. No loans or hardship distributions shall be available from contributions made by an employer under subdivision B 2.

C. Except as otherwise provided in subsection G:

1. An employee participating in the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section shall, pursuant to procedures established by the Board, make mandatory contributions on a salary reduction basis in accordance with § 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code (i) to the defined benefit component of the program in the amount of four percent of creditable compensation in lieu of the amount described in subsection A of § 51.1-144 and (ii) to the defined contribution component of the program in the amount of one percent of creditable compensation, which shall be made to the appropriate cash match plan established for the employee under § 51.1-608.

2. An employee participating in the hybrid retirement program may also make voluntary contributions to the defined contribution component of the program of up to four percent of creditable compensation or the limit on elective deferrals pursuant to § 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, whichever is less. The contribution by the employee shall be made to the appropriate deferred compensation plan established by the employee under § 51.1-602.

3. If an employee's voluntary contributions under subdivision C 2 are less than four percent of creditable compensation, the contribution will increase by one-half of one percent, beginning on January 1, 2017, and every three years thereafter, until the employee's voluntary contributions under subdivision C 2 reach four percent of creditable compensation. The increase will be effective beginning with the first pay period that begins in such calendar year unless the employee elects not to increase the voluntary contribution in a manner prescribed by the Board.

4. No loans or hardship distributions shall be available from contributions made by an employee under this subsection.

5. Disclosure of all services, fees, restrictions, and surrender penalties associated with employee voluntary contributions under subdivision C 2 shall be provided by the Board on an annual basis to an employee who does not make the election provided in subdivision G 1.

D. 1. The amount of the service retirement allowance under the defined benefit component of the program shall be governed by § 51.1-155 for all creditable service credited prior to the effective date of the member's participation in the program. For all other creditable service, the allowance shall equal one percent of a member's average final compensation multiplied by the amount of his creditable service while in the program. For judges who are participating in the hybrid retirement program, creditable service shall be determined as provided in § 51.1-303 and service retirement eligibility shall be determined as provided in § 51.1-305.

2. No member shall retire for disability under the defined benefit component of the program, provided, however, that judges who are participating in the hybrid retirement program may retire for disability under §§ 51.1-307 and 51.1-308.

3. Except as provided in subdivision 1, any employee participating in the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section shall be considered to be a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010.

4. In all other respects, administration of the defined benefit component of the program shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.).

E. With respect to any employee who elects, pursuant to subsection A, to participate in the otherwise applicable defined benefit retirement plan established by this title and administered by the Virginia Retirement System, the employer shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions to the Virginia Retirement System for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) for such employee.

F. 1. The Board shall develop policies and procedures for administering the hybrid retirement program it maintains, including the establishment of guidelines for employee elections and deferrals under the program.

2. No employee who is an active member in the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section shall also be an active member of any other optional retirement plan maintained under the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.).

3. If a member of the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section is at any time in service as an employee in a position covered for retirement purposes under the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.), his benefit payments under the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section shall be suspended while so employed; provided, however, reemployment shall have no effect on a payment under the defined contribution component of the program if the benefit is being paid in an annuity form under an annuity contract purchased with the member's account balance.

4. Any administrative fee imposed pursuant to subdivision A 13 of § 51.1-124.22 on any employer for administering and overseeing the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section shall be charged for each employee participating in such program and shall be for costs incurred by the Virginia Retirement System that are directly related to the administration and oversight of such program. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board is authorized to collect all or a portion of such fee directly from the employee.

5. The creditable compensation for any employee on whose behalf employee or employer contributions are made into the hybrid retirement program shall not exceed the limit on compensation as adjusted by the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the transition provisions applicable to eligible participants under state and local governmental plans under § 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code as amended in 1993 and as contained in § 13212(d)(3) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-66).

6. The Board may contract with private corporations or institutions, subject to the standards set forth in § 51.1-124.30, to provide investment products as well as any other goods and services related to the administration of the hybrid retirement program, except as provided in subsection G. The Virginia Retirement System is hereby authorized to perform related services, including but not limited to, providing consolidated billing, individual and collective recordkeeping and accountings, and asset purchase, control, and safekeeping.

G. 1. Any political subdivision of the Commonwealth that has established a plan pursuant to § 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (a "403(b) plan"), may, at its option, elect to allow its employees the option to direct that voluntary contributions to the defined contribution component of the program under subdivision C 2 be made to such 403(b) plan and the corresponding employer matching contributions under subdivision B 2 be made to such 403(b) plan or the appropriate local cash match plan established under § 51.1-610. All such voluntary contributions by an employee to such 403(b) plan shall be made on a pretax basis. Any such political subdivision of the Commonwealth that so directs shall develop policies and procedures for administering such contributions, subject to and in accordance with applicable federal law and regulations. The policies and procedures shall provide for the administration of vesting provisions as provided in subdivision B 3, the establishment of and uses for a forfeiture account as provided in subdivision B 3, and automatic contribution escalation provisions as provided in subdivision C 3, all with regard to employee voluntary contributions and corresponding employer matching contributions.

In all other respects, the political subdivision shall be subject to the provisions of the hybrid retirement program described in this section.

2. The governing body of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth electing to allow its employees to use its 403(b) plan or a local cash match plan as described in subdivision 1 shall adopt a resolution on or before November 1, 2015, and submit such resolution to the Board to notify the Board of its election, which shall be effective January 1, 2016, and shall remain effective for 12 months. Thereafter, the governing body of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth may make or change its election for its employees no more often than annually by adopting a resolution on or before November 1 of each year notifying the Board of a new or changed election, which shall become effective on January 1.

3. A person who participates in the hybrid retirement program maintained under this section may make an election to participate in the 403(b) plan established by his employer under subdivision G 1. Such election shall be exercised no later than November 30, 2015, and shall be effective January 1, 2016. If an election is not made by November 30, 2015, such employee shall be deemed to have elected not to participate in the 403(b) plan established by his employer under subdivision G 1. Thereafter, such employee may make or change his election on or before November 30 of each year by notifying his employer of a new or changed election, which shall become effective the following January 1. If an election is not made or changed by November 30, such employee shall be deemed to have elected not to change the prior year's election.

4. In the case of a 403(b) plan or local cash match plan administered by a political subdivision of the Commonwealth that provides individual accounts permitting an employee or beneficiary to exercise discretion over assets in his account, the political subdivision shall not be liable for any loss resulting from such employee's or beneficiary's (i) investment of voluntary contributions in the political subdivision's 403(b) plan or matching contributions in the political subdivision's 403(b) plan or local cash match plan, (ii) exercise of discretion over the assets in any of his accounts, or (iii) inaction with respect to the assets in any of his accounts that results in such assets being placed in a default investment option selected by the political subdivision, provided that the investment options for the affected individual account and the particular default investment option for such individual account are selected in accordance with subsection A of § 51.1-803, applied mutatis mutandis. Under no circumstances shall the Commonwealth, the Board, employees of the Retirement System, the Investment Advisory Committee of the Retirement System, or any other advisory committee established by the Board bear any liability with respect to any plan or individual account described in this subsection.

5. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any political subdivision of the Commonwealth that has entered into an agreement with the Retirement System pursuant to § 51.1-603.1 or 51.1-611 except with regard to a 403(b) plan.

6. Disclosure of all services, fees, restrictions, and surrender penalties associated with employee voluntary contributions under subsection G shall be provided by the political subdivision of the Commonwealth on an annual basis to an employee who makes the election provided in subdivision G 1. Such employee shall also be provided with a side-by-side comparison of the long-term effects of generic expense ratios on his investments.

7. The Board shall not be responsible for administration of or recordkeeping related to voluntary contributions to the defined contribution component of the program made to a 403(b) plan or the corresponding employer matching contributions made to a 403(b) plan or the appropriate local cash match plan established under § 51.1-610 that are authorized by subdivision G 1.

8. The Board shall develop policies and procedures for administering the provisions of this subsection.

2012, cc. 701, 823; 2013, cc. 456, 666; 2014, c. 356; 2015, cc. 502, 503, 538, 539, 660; 2016, cc. 263, 280.