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 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.