General Employees Pension Plan Provisions
Contributions & Funding Policy (Effective 10/22/10)
- Plan A - 9.65% of their compensation
- Plan B - 9.65% of their compensation
- Plan C - 6.00% of their compensation
Retirement benefits are calculated by multiplying the member's earnings averaged over five years times the member's years of continuous service times a multiplier determined by the plan level.
Members become eligible for unreduced retirement benefits upon the attainment of age 65, age 55 with 20 years of service, or age 53 with 30 years of service. Plan A or B participants utilize a 3% multiplier and Plan C participants utilize a 1.75% multiplier.
Members become eligible for a Rule of 68 retirement benefit when age plus service equals 68 and requires a minimum age of 50 and minimum service of 15 years. Plan A participants utilize a 2.5% multiplier and Plan B or C participants utilize a 1.50% multiplier.
Members qualify for alternate unreduced early retirement upon the attainment of age 55 and completion of 15 years of service. Plan A or B participants utilize a 2% multiplier and Plan C participants utilize a 1.75% multiplier.
Members qualify for early retirement upon attaining the age of 50 and completing 20 years of continuous service. If a participant terminates employment after having attained his or her early retirement date, the following two options are available:
- The benefits can be deferred until the member's normal retirement date, in which case the benefit will be calculated the same as normal retirement, or
- The member may take a reduced benefit, which may start any time prior to the normal retirement date. The reduction factor is 5% for each year by which the early retirement date precedes the normal retirement age 55.
Active employees who become disabled are entitled to receive 60% of earnings for a service incurred disability, and 50% of earnings for a non-service incurred disability, reduced by workers’ compensation or any public disability benefits. Disability benefits are paid until the earlier of death, recovery, or the end of the maximum disability benefit period. The maximum benefit period is until age 65 if the member became disabled prior to attainment of age 60 or for 60 months if the member became disabled after the attainment of age 60.
Preretirement Death Benefit
If an employee dies while an active member or on disability, the benefit is equal to 3.5 times the member's annual earnings as of the date of death or date member became disabled. The beneficiary receives an initial lump sum followed by monthly payments until the designated amount is paid in full. Interest, at a rate equal to the yield of the five-year U.S. Treasury Note on the first day of the fiscal year, is approved annually by the Board of Trustees and is credited on the unpaid balance.
If a member meets the minimum service requirement of 10 years of continuous service at the time employment terminates, the benefit will be paid when the member turns 65 or later attains the age requirement for unreduced benefits provided the service requirement for unreduced benefits was met prior to termination. A member may elect to take an immediate reduced benefit, when eligible, calculated in the same manner as for early retirement.
If termination occurs after the completion of 10 years of continuous service, the full accrued retirement benefit is payable at normal retirement date. If termination occurs prior to the completion of 10 years of continuous service, a refund of contributions is made, with interest credited at 3 percent per year, compounded annually.
Deferred Retirement Option Plan
The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) is available to all Plan members who are still actively employed and have attained age 55 with 20 years of service, age 53 with 30 years of service, or a reduced benefit at age 50 with 20 years of service. Upon electing to participate in the DROP, members are considered to have retired for purposes of the pension plan but continue to remain in active employment with the City. The member's pension benefit is calculated as if they actually retired on the date of DROP participation, using continuous service, average monthly earnings and the current multiplier as of that date. Instead of paying the benefit to the member, a DROP account is established and the benefit is deposited in the account each month; these deposits continue to accumulate during the remainder of the member's employment. City and employee contributions cease when a member elects to participate in the DROP. DROP Participants are no longer eligible for disability or preretirement death benefits from the Plan.
During the period of DROP participation, the member's DROP account is credited monthly with investment earnings. The member may elect to receive the same rate that is earned on the total pension fund or they may elect to receive the federal funds rate each month. The maximum period of DROP participation is 60 months. If a member continues to remain in employment more than the maximum period, no further deposits will be made to the member's account and investment earnings will cease to be posted. There is no taxation of benefits during the period of DROP participation.
Upon termination of employment, members shall receive their normal retirement benefits and may elect to receive their funds from the DROP account in a lump sum distribution or roll their account balance into a qualified instrument.
Cost of Living Adjustment
There are no automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments for members in the Plan.