New Retirement Plan Hired After 1/1/2011

New State Police Retirement Plan For Employees Hired On or After January 1, 2011

 

Acts 2010 No. 992

Act 992 created the “New State Police Retirement Plan” for individuals hired on or after January 1, 2011. This Act changed certain provisions of the plan such as the final average compensation calculation, survivor and disability benefits, contribution rate, and eligibility requirements. The Act also specifically states that if a provision has not been covered in this Act, old law prevails. Therefore, this section of the handbook will note the important changes to new hires’ benefits package. If not mentioned here, old law will apply and can be found in the appropriate chapter in this handbook.

 
If you were hired on or after January 1, 2011, the changes in your benefit package are as follows:

 

Contributions

If you were hired after January 1, 2011, the law sets the employee contribution rate at 9.5%.

 

Retirement Eligibility

• 25 or more years at any age
• 12 years or more at age 55
• 20 years at any age at an early retirement actuarially reduced rate (cannot use military or sick/annual leave to meet this eligibility, not eligible for Back DROP or the IBO)

 

Average Compensation

Retirement will be calculated using a 60 month final average (5 year average)

 

Disability Retirement

• Service Connected – If you become totally and permanentlydisabled as a result of an injury received while performing your job duties, upon approval you will receive 75% of your current final average compensation no matter how many years of service you have at the time of the disability
• Non-Service Connected – If you become totally and permanentlydisabled for reasons not connected with the performance of your job duties, and you have at least 10 years of service, upon approval you will receive 50% of your final average compensation plus 1½ % for each year of service credit in excess of 10 years, not to exceed 100% of your average compensation.

 

Service Connected Death

• Surviving Spouse Benefit – The surviving spouse of any sworn, commissioned law enforcement officer of the Office of State Police whose death results from an injury received in the line of dutywill be pensioned at 80% of the member’s average compensation (but this is shared with minor or handicapped children, see below), no matter how many years of service the employee has at the time of death. This benefit is payable until the death of the surviving spouse, and is exempt from federal income taxes.

• Minor or Handicapped Child(ren) – If the member has a surviving spouse, and a child or children, the benefit will equal 80% of the member’s average compensation and will be shared equally. As a minor child (excluding handicapped children) reaches the age of majority, the benefit will cease and the remaining beneficiaries will have their amounts adjusted accordingly.

 

Non Service Connected Death

Survivor Spouse w/Minor or Handicapped Children:
If the member was active at the time of death and had at least 5 years of service, two of which were earned immediately prior to death; or, twenty years of service regardless of whether active or when it was earned, the spouse will receive 50% of the benefit the member would have received at the time of death or $600.00 per month, whichever is greater. The spouse will continue to receive payments for as long as one or more children are eligible.When all surviving children are no longer eligible, the surviving spouse becomes eligible for benefits due a spouse with no children (see below).

 
Benefits will cease upon remarriage and resume in the event of a divorce or death of new spouse, unless the member was eligible to retire at the time of death. In this case, benefits will not cease upon remarriage.

 
Surviving Children:
Minor Children – In addition to the above amount, each surviving child (maximum of two), will be paid at 50% of what the spouse would be entitled to in the paragraph above. The member must have had at least 5 years of service and this benefit is payable even if no spouse is eligible. This benefit will cease when the child is no longer a minor. No minor child can receive more than one benefit at a time, only the larger amount will be paid. These provisions apply to minor childrenofdeceased retired members. The person having legal custody and who provided such documentation to the system shall receive the benefit unless a trust has been created. In this case the system will comply with trust documents provided to them.

 
Handicapped Children:
In addition to the above benefit for minor children, a mentally or physically handicap child, whether under or over the age of eighteen, will be paid in the same manner as minor children with the following exceptions:
• The child must have been disabled at the time of the member’s death and be completely dependent upon the surviving spouse or legal guardian
• The guardian must provide proof and documentation regarding the handicap and must advise the Board of any changes in the child’s status.
• The guardian may be required to provide annual documentation regarding the child’s eligibility status each year
• The child is not allowed to receive more than one survivor’s benefit, so would not receive both a minor child’s benefit and a handicapped child’s benefit.

 
Note: In no event will a benefit to surviving spouses with children, or surviving children be less than $600.00.

 
Surviving Spouse With No Children:
A surviving spouse with no children, or whose children are no longer minors, will receive a benefit for his/her lifetime based on the years of service at the time of the member’s death and the appropriate accrual rate, or $600.00 per month, whichever is greater. The spouse must have been married to the deceased member for at least one year prior to death and the member must have been active and have earned at least 10 years of service, two of which were earned immediately prior to death; or, twenty years of service regardless of when earned or active status.

 
Benefits will cease upon remarriage and resume in the event of a divorce or death of new spouse, unless the member was eligible to retire at the time of death. In this case, benefits will not cease upon remarriage

 
Each survivor must provide annual certification to the system that they continue to qualify for benefits. The Board of Trustees may suspend or cancel benefits without proper certification.

 

Retired or Former Member’s Survivor Benefits

Survivor of Former Member
50% of payment that the member would have received if:
• The decedent terminated employmentprior to reaching the required age for retirement eligibility
• Decedent had at least 12 years of service and did not receive a refundof his contributions
• The decedent and survivor were married for at least two years prior to death
• Remarriage cancels benefit

 
Survivor of Retired Member
75% of payment that the retiree was receiving if:
• The decedent and survivor were married for at least two years prior to death
• Remarriage cancels benefit

 
If remarriage occurs or there is no eligible spouse, the minor children will receive 50% of the retirement pay until they reach 18, or 23 if still in school full time.

 
If there is no surviving spouse eligible to receive benefits, and there are no eligible minor children, then the Dependent parents of the decedent shall be entitled to benefits as provided above.

 
You have the right to make an appeal whenever you feel your rights under state law and/or the policies of the system have been violated. You must file a written appeal within 30 days of the staff’s initial decision. The Board of Trustee’s duty is to hear such appeals and to issue timely written decisions in these cases. Should you disagree with a final decision of the board, you may file an appeal with the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge within 30 days of the board’s decision.

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