Code of Virginia

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

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.