Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 51.1. Pensions, Benefits, and Retirement
Chapter 8. Local Retirement Systems
4/23/2021

Article 2. Members of Police Departments.

§ 51.1-807. Police officers' pension and retirement boards.

Any county, city, or town in this Commonwealth having a police department may establish, in the manner hereinafter provided, a board to be known as the "police officers' pension and retirement board." The board shall be a body corporate and consist of five members. One member shall be the treasurer of the county, city, or town and shall also be the treasurer of the board. Two members shall be elected by the majority vote of the members of the police department, one for a term of four years and one for a term of two years, and all successors in office of the one elected for two years shall be elected for terms of four years. Two members shall be appointed by the governing body for terms of four years.

When any board is established, it shall, at its first meeting and annually thereafter, elect one of the members as president and one as secretary. The board may also elect a vice-president.

1940, p. 737; Michie Code 1942, § 3035d; Code 1950, § 51-115; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-808. Powers, authority, and duties of board.

The general powers, authority, and duties of any police officers' pension and retirement board shall be as follows:

1. To adopt bylaws and regulations which the board deems necessary to conduct its affairs;

2. To provide for appropriate clerical, legal, medical, and other services and to pay reasonable compensation for such services;

3. To require deductions from the salaries of active and paid members of the police department and to pay certain percentages of salaries, as hereinafter specified, into the treasury of the board to raise funds for the necessary purposes of the board in the administration of its affairs;

4. To draw warrants on the treasurer of the board, for the payment of pensions, benefits, and administrative costs. Warrants shall be signed in the name of the board and countersigned by its president; and

5. Upon request by the policemen's pension and retirement board, the governing body of the county may by ordinance amend the retirement plan and trust at any time for the purpose of defining, enlarging and improving the benefits that any member thereof may receive and shall by ordinance amend the retirement plan and trust at any time for the purpose of compliance with federal or state law.

1940, p. 738; Michie Code 1942, § 3035e; Code 1950, § 51-116; 1990, c. 832; 1994, c. 523.

§ 51.1-809. Treasurer of board.

The treasurer of the board shall be the custodian of the board's funds and securities and shall give bond, payable to the board, in such amount and with such surety as the board requires, conditioned for the faithful performance of duties and the proper accounting for all funds and securities which the treasurer receives. The cost of the bond shall be paid out of the funds of the board. The treasurer shall disburse board funds on warrants drawn on him by the board, and signed and countersigned by the board's president.

1940, p. 738; Michie Code 1942, § 3035f; Code 1950, § 51-117; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-810. Time credited to service record.

The time of service of any member of a police department having a police pension and retirement board prior to June 22, 1940, shall be computed to the credit of the member's service record; however, the pension amount payable shall be determined by that proportion of the amounts provided for by this chapter, which the time of service of such member serving in the police department at the time of his retirement, or disability, bears to twenty years.

1940, p. 738; Michie Code 1942, § 3035g; Code 1950, § 51-118; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-811. Eligibility for retirement; retirement allowance.

Any member of a police department who has completed twenty years of service in the department and attained the age of fifty years may retire and receive the pension and benefits provided in this section. Upon retirement, a member shall receive a retirement allowance, payable to the member for life, equal to fifty percent of the member's annual salary, computed on the basis of the last three years of service and an additional amount equal to two percent of the member's salary for each year of service after the age of fifty and after twenty years of service in the department.

1940, p. 738; Michie Code 1942, § 3035i; Code 1950, § 51-120; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-812. Disability from natural causes not originating in performance of official duties.

Any member disabled on account of a natural cause or causes not originating in the performance of the member's official duties shall receive a minimum sum equal to ten percent of the member's salary, during such disability, if the member's disability occurs at any time during the first five years of service and an additional amount equal to two percent of the member's salary for each additional year of service exceeding five years. At no time shall the disability payment amount exceed one-half of the member's salary.

1940, p. 739; Michie Code 1942, § 3035j; Code 1950, § 51-121; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-813. Disability resulting from activities in discharge of official duties.

If any member of a police department of a county, city, or town, other than the City of Richmond, which has a pension plan becomes disabled as a result of activities in the discharge of the member's official duties, the member shall receive, as pension and benefits during such disability, the sum of not less than sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the member's salary until eligible to retire under age and service retirement. The member shall then be retired on the age and service pension as provided in § 51.1-811.

Any member of a county, city, or town police department or any sheriff or deputy sheriff who dies or is totally or partially disabled as a result of hypertension or heart disease shall be presumed to have died or become disabled in the line of duty, unless the contrary is shown by a preponderance of competent evidence. To be eligible, or for a beneficiary to be eligible, for retirement, sickness, or other benefit payments based upon such presumption, a member, sheriff, or deputy sheriff shall, before the claim was filed, have had a physical examination and been found free from hypertension or heart disease. The physical examination shall have included such appropriate laboratory and other diagnostic studies as the governing body prescribed and shall have been conducted by physicians whose qualifications were prescribed by the governing body. Any member, sheriff, or deputy sheriff filing a claim for such benefits based upon disability incurred in the line of duty shall, if requested by the governing body, submit to a physical examination by any physician designated by the governing body. The examination may include such tests or studies as may reasonably be prescribed by the designated physician or, in the case of a claim for death benefits, include a postmortem examination to be performed by the medical examiner for the county, city, or town appointed under § 32.1-282. The member or claimant shall have the right to have present at such examination, at his own expense, any qualified physician he may designate.

Michie Code 1942, § 3035k; Code 1950, § 51-122; 1950, p. 739; 1973, c. 499; 1974, c. 94; 1976, c. 772; 1978, c. 769; 1982, c. 581; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-814. Employing such presumption in determining eligibility for benefits.

The presumption established in § 51.1-813 shall be employed in determining eligibility for death, retirement, sickness, and other benefits, provided pursuant to any other provision of law, the charter of any city or town, or otherwise, for any member of a county, city, or town police department or sheriff or deputy sheriff who dies or becomes totally or partially disabled.

1976, c. 772, § 51-122.1; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-815. Counties, cities, and towns authorized to provide relief to surviving spouse and children.

Any county, city, or town may provide for the relief of any children and surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, sheriff, or deputy sheriff who dies while in the service of the county, city, or town. If any policeman loses his life while in the discharge of official duties, there shall be paid to the surviving spouse until death, or remarriage, a pension of not less than one-half of the policeman's salary at the time of death. The relief provided shall be exclusive of any payment out of the general fund of the state treasury pursuant to § 9.1-400 et seq.

1940, p. 738; Michie Code 1942, § 3035h; Code 1950, § 51-119; 1976, c. 772, § 51-122.2; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-816. Reduction of pension and benefits where income earned during disability retirement.

If any person receives a disability pension or benefit under this article and subsequently becomes employed, whether full time or part time, the pensions and benefits received shall be reduced by the amount of income received which exceeds the difference between the benefits received under this section and the amount of pay to which the member would have been entitled had the member's employment progressed in the same rank and grade with credit for the level of seniority the member would have attained had the member not been disabled. The reduction shall continue until the member would have been eligible for normal retirement, based on age and service, had the member remained uninjured and employed. For the purposes of this section, "income" means gross income received less deductions for social security taxes only.

Any person receiving pensions or benefits under the provisions of this section shall upon request, on or before May 1 of each year, provide a copy of all W-2 forms showing income received, or a statement under oath as to whether the member has received compensation for work performed in the previous calendar year, to the governing body of the jurisdiction providing this pension. Refusal to provide such documents shall be grounds for termination of benefits under this section until such documents are produced. Production of the documents shall be required until the person would have been eligible for normal retirement had the member remained uninjured.

Nothing contained in this section shall limit or restrict the right of any person to receive Workers' Compensation benefits under Title 65.2.

1983, c. 351, § 51-122.3; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-817. Salary deductions payable to estate or refunded.

If any police officer dies while in active service and leaves no dependents, the member's salary deductions shall be payable to the member's estate. If any police officer separates from service before becoming eligible for a pension, seventy-five percent of salary deductions shall be refunded to the member.

1940, p. 739; Michie Code 1942, § 3035l; Code 1950, § 51-124; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-818. Funds for payment of pensions and benefits.

Any and all cash assets and funds not necessary for immediate payment of pensions or benefits shall be invested in securities that are legal investments under the laws of the Commonwealth for public sinking funds. Any funds raised by any police officers' pension and retirement board for the payment of pensions and benefits shall be paid over to the treasurer of such board who shall deposit and pay the funds as provided in this section to the credit of the board.

1940, p. 739; Michie Code 1942, § 3035n; Code 1950, § 51-125; 1956, c. 184; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-819. Adoption of article optional by counties, cities, and towns; appeal.

Any county, city, or town in this Commonwealth having a police department may adopt the provisions of this article and establish a police officers' pension and retirement board if the governing body of the county, city, or town adopts a resolution approved by a majority of all the members thereof, by a recorded yea and nay vote.

Upon adoption of a resolution and establishment of the police officers' pension and retirement board, the board shall be vested with all the powers, authority, and duties established under this article.

A member shall be entitled to an appeal of right to the circuit court of the county or city which has jurisdiction of the board from any action on any matter in which the board has discretionary power.

1940, pp. 739, 740; Michie Code 1942, § 3035o; Code 1950, §§ 51-126, 51-126.1; 1990, c. 832.

§ 51.1-820. Police officers' pensions and retirements.

All of the provisions of this article, including all authorizations and all requirements, shall apply to all counties having the county manager plan of government, except Arlington County.

1974, c. 63, § 51-127.9; 1975, c. 272; 1990, c. 832.