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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 16 : Education

Chapter 055 : STATE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF VERMONT

(Cite as: 16 V.S.A. § 1931)
  • § 1931. Definitions

    The following words and phrases as used in this chapter, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:

    (1) "Accumulated contributions" shall mean the sum of all the amounts deducted from the compensation of a member and credited to his or her individual account in the fund, together with regular interest thereon, as provided in subsection 1944(b) of this title.

    (2) "Actuarial equivalent" shall mean a benefit of equal value under the actuarial assumptions last adopted by the Retirement Board under subsection 1943a(h) of this title.

    (3) "Annuity" shall mean annual payments for life derived from the accumulated contributions of a member.

    (4) "Average final compensation" shall mean:

    (A) The average annual earnable compensation of a member during the three consecutive fiscal years beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of creditable service affording the highest average, or during all of the years of creditable service if fewer than three years. If the member's highest three years of earnable compensation are the three years prior to separation of service and the member separates prior to the end of a fiscal year, the average final compensation shall be determined by adding:

    (i) the actual earnable compensation earned through the date of separation and corresponding service credit;

    (ii) the earnable compensation and service credit earned in the preceding two fiscal years; and

    (iii) the remaining service credit that is needed to complete the three full years, which shall be factored from the fiscal year preceding the two fiscal years described in subdivision (ii) of this subdivision (A). The earnable compensation associated with this remaining service credit shall be calculated by multiplying the annual earnable compensation reported by the remaining service credit that is needed.

    (B) A member who works less than full-time shall have his or her reported earnable compensation annualized for purposes of determining average final compensation.

    (C) An increase in compensation in excess of 10 percent in any of the years used to calculate average final compensation shall be excluded. For purposes of calculating average final compensation for any member, payments made in lieu of benefits shall not be considered part of a member's average final compensation. For purposes of determining average final compensation for group C members, unused annual or sick leave, termination bonuses, and any other compensation for service not actually performed shall also be excluded.

    (5) "Beneficiary" shall mean any person in receipt of a pension, an annuity, a retirement allowance or other benefit as provided by the System.

    (6) "Board" shall mean the board of trustees of the System provided for in section 1942 of this title to administer the System.

    (7) "Creditable service" shall mean membership service plus prior service, plus service transferred under 3 V.S.A. § 495.

    (8) "Earnable compensation" shall mean the full rate of compensation for the performance of professional services paid to a teacher when the teacher works the full normal working time for his or her position, in whatever manner paid, plus all additional wages received by a teacher for duties performed that provide direct educational value to the students. Long-term disability benefits, as long as the teacher remains in an employment relationship with the school district, shall be included.

    (9) "Medical Board" shall mean the board of physicians provided for in subsection 1942(k) of this title.

    (10) "Member" shall mean

    (A) "Group A member": any person who is first included in the membership of the System prior to July 1, 1981.

    (B) "Group C member": any person who is first included in the membership of the System on or after July 1, 1990, any person who was a Group B member on June 30, 1990 who was in service on that date, and any person who was a Group B member on June 30, 1990 who was absent from service on that date who returns to service on or after July 1, 1990.

    (11) "Membership service" shall mean service as a member for which credit is allowable as provided in subsection 1936(a) or 1935(d) of this title.

    (12) "Pension" shall mean annual payments for life derived from money provided by the State.

    (13) "Prior service" shall mean service rendered in Vermont prior to July 1, 1947 for which credit is allowable as provided in subsection 1936(b) or 1935(d) of this title.

    (14) "Regular interest" shall mean interest at such rate as may be established from time to time by the Board as provided in subsection 1943(b) of  this title.

    (15) "Retirement" shall mean withdrawal from active service with a retirement allowance granted under the provisions of this chapter.

    (16) "Retirement allowance" or "maximum allowance" shall mean the sum of the annuity and the pension. All retirement allowances shall be payable in monthly installments; provided, however, that if the retirement allowance is less than $20.00 per month, it may be paid, at the discretion of the Board of Trustees, in quarterly or semi-annual installments or in a lump sum of equivalent actuarial value.

    (17) "Service" shall mean all service as a teacher for which compensation is received.

    (18) "State" shall mean the State of Vermont.

    (19) "System" shall mean the State Teachers' Retirement System of Vermont, as defined in section 1932 of this title.

    (20) "Teacher" shall mean any licensed teacher, principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional licensed by the Vermont Standards Board for professional educators regularly employed, or otherwise contracted if following retirement, for the full normal working time for his or her position in a public day school or school district within the State, or in any school or teacher-training institution located within the State, controlled by the State Board of Education, and supported wholly by the State; or any licensed teacher, principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional licensed by the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators and regularly employed, or otherwise contracted if following retirement, for the full normal working time for his or her position in any nonsectarian independent school that serves as a high school for the town or city in which the same is located, provided such school is not conducted for personal profit. It shall also mean any licensed teacher employed, or otherwise contracted if following retirement, in a teaching capacity and licensed by the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators in certain public independent schools designated for such purposes by the Board of Trustees in accordance with section 1935 of this title. In all cases of doubt the Board of Trustees, herein defined, shall determine whether any person is a teacher as defined in this chapter. It shall not mean a person who is teaching with an emergency license.

    (21) "Fund" or "Vermont Teachers' Retirement Fund" as used in this chapter shall mean the Fund created by section 1944 of this title, which shall contain the assets of the Retirement System and from which shall be paid the benefits due to beneficiaries and the expenses of the Retirement System. (Amended 1981, No. 41, § 23; 1989, No. 78, § 2; 1989, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 24, § 11; 1991, No. 64, § 6, eff. June 18, 1991; 1991, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1995, No. 36, §§ 3, 4; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 297d; 2005, No. 214 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 13, § 22; 2007, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2009, No. 24, § 5; 2009, No. 74 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 22, § 10.)