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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 : Municipal and County Government

Chapter 125 : MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF VERMONT

(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 5051)
  • § 5051. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all the amounts deducted for Municipal Employees' Retirement System purposes from the compensation of a member with interest thereon, as provided in subsection 5063(b) of this title.

    (2) "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value under actuarial assumptions last adopted by the Retirement Board under subsection 5063a(h) of this title.

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

    (4) "Average final compensation" (AFC) means:

    (A) For a group A member, the average annual earnable compensation of a member during the five 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 five years. If the member's highest five years of earnable compensation are the five years prior to separation of service and the member separates prior to the end of a fiscal year, the AFC 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 four fiscal years; and

    (iii) The remaining service credit that is needed to complete the five full years, which shall be factored from the fiscal year preceding the four 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) For a group B or C member, the term means 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 in his or her 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 AFC 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 (B). 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.

    (C) For a group D member, the term means the average annual earnable compensation of a member during the two consecutive fiscal years beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of creditable service affording the highest such average, or during all of the years in his or her creditable service if fewer than two years. If the member's highest two years of earnable compensation are the two years prior to separation of service and the member separates prior to the end of a fiscal year, the AFC 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 fiscal year; and

    (iii) The remaining service credit that is needed to complete the two full years, which shall be factored from the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year described in subdivision (ii) of this subdivision (C). 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.

    (D) For purposes of determining average final compensation for a member who has accrued service in more than one group plan within the System, the highest consecutive years of earnings will be based on the formulas outlined in subdivision (A), (B), or (C) of this subdivision (4) using the earnable compensation received while a member of the System.

    (5) "Beneficiary" means any person in receipt of a pension, an annuity, a retirement allowance, or other benefit as provided by this chapter.

    (6) "Board" means the Board of Trustees of the System provided for in section 5062 of this title to administer the System.

    (7) "Continuous service" means those periods of service as an employee with all employers, provided:

    (A) The period of each employment was uninterrupted;

    (B) Not more than 30 days elapsed between termination of one period of employment and commencement of the next;

    (C) Each such termination occurred after the effective date of the System; and

    (D) Each employer employing the employee after the effective date was a participant in the System during the period it employed the employee. Notwithstanding any other provisions, continuous service prior to the effective date of this plan shall commence on the most recent date of hire as an employee, but in no case shall the continuous service of an employee prior to the effective date of this plan be for a period longer than 20 years. If an employee does not withdraw his or her contributions, continuous service shall not be interrupted by:

    (i) an approved leave of absence; or

    (ii) a departure from the Municipal Retirement System for a period of less than three years.

    (8) "Creditable service" means that period of continuous service subsequent to an employee joining the System and prior to his or her termination of service, during which an employee makes contributions. For those employees who join when first eligible, and whose employer joins on the effective date of this System, there shall be included as creditable service that period of continuous service as an employee prior to such effective date up to a maximum of 20 years with such employer. For those employees of employers who join on the effective date of the System, and who elect to join the System subsequent to the effective date, only the three years of continuous service immediately prior to joining the System shall be included as credited service. For those employees of employers who elect to purchase prior service credit in accordance with subsection 5054(e) of this title, there shall be included as creditable service that period of continuous service as an employee prior to the effective date of participation and allowed in accordance with the prior service purchase agreement but not in excess of 20 years. Creditable service shall also include that transferred under 3 V.S.A. § 495.

    (9) "Earnable compensation" means the total amounts paid to an employee for his or her position. In cases where compensation includes maintenance, the Retirement Board shall fix the value of that part of the compensation not paid in money. Fees shall be counted as compensation.

    (10) "Employee" means the following persons employed on a regular basis by a school district or by a supervisory union for no fewer than 1,040 hours in a year and for no fewer than 30 hours a week for the school year, as defined in 16 V.S.A. § 1071, or for no fewer than 1,040 hours in a year and for no fewer than 24 hours a week year-round; provided, however, that if a person who was employed on a regular basis by a school district as either a special education or transportation employee and who was transferred to and is working in a supervisory union in the same capacity pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 261a(a)(6) or (8)(E) and if that person is also employed on a regular basis by a school district within the supervisory union, then the person is an "employee" if these criteria are met by the combined hours worked for the supervisory union and school district. The term shall also mean persons employed on a regular basis by a municipality other than a school district for no fewer than 1,040 hours in a year and for no fewer than 24 hours per week, including persons employed in a library at least one-half of whose operating expenses are met by municipal funding:

    (A) "Group A member" means a person employed by a participating municipality who does not elect to become a group B, C, or D member under section 5068 of this title or does not become a group B or C member pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

    (B) "Group B member" means a person employed by a municipality who elects to become a group B member under section 5068 of this title or becomes a group B member pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

    (C) "Group C member" means a person employed by a municipality who elects to become a group C member under section 5068 of this title or becomes a group C member pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

    (D) "Group D member" means a person employed by a participating municipality who elects to become a group D member under section 5068 of this title.

    (E) The Retirement Board shall determine any question as to whether a person is an employee as defined in this chapter.

    (11) "Employer" means a municipality, a library at least one-half of whose operating expenses are paid from municipal funds, or a supervisory union.

    (12) "Medical Board" means the board of physicians provided for in section 5062 of this title.

    (13) "Member" means any employee included in the membership of the Retirement System under section 5053 of this title.

    (14) "Municipality" means a city, town, county, incorporated village, fire district, consolidated water district, housing authority, union municipal district, school district, incorporated school district, union school district, or any of their instrumentalities. The Retirement Board shall determine any question as to whether an employer is eligible to participate in the System.

    (15) "Normal retirement date."

    (A) "Normal retirement date" for group A members means the first day of the calendar month next following the attainment of age 65 and the completion of five years of creditable service or age 55 and completion of 35 years of creditable service.

    (B) "Normal retirement date" for group B members means the first day of the calendar month next following the attainment of age 62 and the completion of five years of creditable service or age 55 and completion of 30 years of creditable service.

    (C) "Normal retirement date" for group C and D members means the first day of the calendar month next following the attainment of age 55 and the completion of five years of creditable service.

    (16) "Pension" means annual payments for life derived from contributions by the State and municipality.

    (17) "Pension reserve" means the present value of all payments to be made on account of a pension, or benefit in lieu of a pension, computed at regular interest on the basis of tables last adopted by the Board.

    (18) "Regular interest" means interest at such rate or rates as may be established from time to time by the Board as provided in subsection 5063(b) of this title.

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

    (20) "Retirement allowance" or "maximum allowance" means the sum of the annuity and the pension. All retirement allowances shall be payable in equal monthly installments except that when the retirement allowance is less than $20.00 per month it shall be payable on such basis as the Board may direct.

    (21) "Service" means service as an employee for which compensation is paid by an employer as defined in subdivision (11) of this section, service recognized under section 5054 of this title, or service prior to the effective date of the plan.

    (22) "System" means the Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Vermont, as defined in section 5052 of this title.

    (23) "Fund" or "Vermont Municipal Retirement Fund" means the fund created by section 5064 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. (Added 1973, No. 251 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1977, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 31, 1978; 1977, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1983, No. 56, § 1, eff. April 22, 1983; 1983, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 39, § 1; 1987, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. May 7, 1988; 1989, No. 11, §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 61, § 1; 1999, No. 53, §§ 8, 8a; 2005, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 13, § 36; 2007, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2009, No. 24, §§ 7, 8; 2011, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. May 16, 2012; 2013, No. 22, § 13.)