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 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.