AN ACT TO MODERNIZE, UPDATE, AND CLARIFY THE STATUTES GOVERNING THE FIREMEN'S AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS' PENSION FUND BY ADDING A DEFINITION SECTION TO THE STATUTES, TO REPEAL ARCHAIC AND UNNECESSARY PROVISIONS, TO MAKE THE PROVISIONS GENDER NEUTRAL, TO ELIMINATE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES WHILE TRANSFERRING ITS AUTHORITY TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, TO ESTABLISH A FIREFIGHTERS' AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS' ADVISORY PANEL, TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN FELONS FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE FUND, AND TO ESTABLISH AN AGGRAVATING FACTOR FOR DEFENDANTS WHO COMMIT OFFENSES DIRECTLY RELATED TO THEIR SERVICE AS FIREFIGHTERS OR RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS.
Identical to S 304, filed 3/13/13.
Updates language in Article 86 of GS Chapter 58 to make the provisions gender neutral; for example, replaces "firemen" with "firefighters." Also makes provisions regarding firefighters gender neutral in GS 25-9-406(i), GS 25-9-408(f), GS 147-69.2, GS 147-69.7(a), and GS 147-69.8.
Enacts new GS 58-86-2 to add a definitions section to Article 86 for words and phrases as used in this Article.
Deletes GS 58-86-5 to eliminate the six-member Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Firemen's and Rescue Squad Workers. Enacts GS 58-86-6 to create the Firefighters' and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund Advisory Panel (the advisory panel).
Provides that the advisory panel is to have seven members: (1) the director of the Retirement Systems Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, serving as chair; (2) a designee of the State Insurance Commissioner; and (3) five members appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Local Governmental Employees Retirement System (Board) that meet specified requirements. Allows members of the advisory panel to succeed themselves if they are reappointed by the Board.
Allows the persons who are serving on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Firemen's and Rescue Squad Workers on June 30, 2013, to serve as members of the advisory panel created in this act until their current terms expire.
Directs the Board to administer the Pension Fund. Amends GS 58-86-15, deleting the office of the Director of the North Carolina Firemen's and Rescue Squad Workers' Pension Fund.
Requires the advisory panel to meet at least once a year at the call of the chair. Provides that the advisory panel does not have any administrative authority, but requires the advisory panel to submit an annual report to the Board on the status and needs of the pension fund.
Amends GS 58-86-25 to delete the definition for eligible firemen (now moved to the definitions section in new GS 58-86-2 and titled eligible firefighters). Requires eligible firefighters to attend 36 hours of training in each calendar year. Directs each eligible fire department (was, department) to annually report the names of the firefighters who meet the eligibility requirements under this Article to its respective governing body. Prohibits an eligible firefighter from also qualifying as an eligible rescue squad worker in order to receive double benefits under Article 86 of GS Chapter 58. Amends GS 58-86-30 to make the same changes as above applicable to an eligible rescue squad worker, including the prohibition against receiving double benefits.
Amends GS 58-86-35 (firefighters) and GS 58-86-40 (rescue squad workers) to require that firefighters and rescue squad workers who are members of the fund make each monthly payment to the fund no later than March 31 following the end of the year in which the month occurred (was, 90 days after the end of the calendar year in which the month occurred). Provides that the pension fund does not award fully credited service based on payments after March 31, subsequent to the end of the calendar year in which the month occurred unless the payment is a lump sum payment as provided in GS 58-86-45(a1).
Amends GS 58-86-45, deleting outdated provisions regarding retroactive membership in the pension fund. Applies provision regarding a lump sum payment for service "otherwise not creditable" to all purchases of service credit for months for which timely payments were not previously made under GS 58-86-35 or GS 58-86-40.
Deletes provision that prohibited a member from receiving a pension until the member's official duties as a fireman or rescue squad worker, for which the member received compensation, had been terminated and the member had retired. Amends subdivision (4) of GS 58-86-60 to permit any member to withdraw from the fund, upon proper application, and receive a lump sum payment (was, made a distinction based on five or more years of contributing service and less than five years of contributing service). Provides that a member may not purchase time under GS 58-86-45 for which the member has received a refund.
Deletes GS 58-86-91, which allowed periodic deductions from a member's retirement benefits to be paid to an employees' or retirees' association meeting certain criteria.
Enacts new GS 58-86-95 to provide that members who resign as eligible firefighters or eligible rescue squad workers have the option of withdrawing from the fund and seeking a refund under GS 58-86-60 or taking a leave of absence under this section, or the member will be considered inactive. Requires any member not on active military service to provide written notice to the office of the director that the member is taking a leave of absence. Requires members on active military service to provide notice to the director before beginning active service and again upon returning from active duty. Provides additional criteria regarding leaves of absence and inactive membership.
Enacts new GS 58-86-100, effective December 1, 2013, to provide for the forfeiture of retirement benefits, except for a return of member contributions, for members convicted of certain felonies that would bring disrepute on a fire department or rescue squad. Applies to convictions under federal or state law meeting the specifications as detailed in this section. Provides for a member or former member to seek a reversal of a benefits forfeiture if the member subsequently receives a pardon, or the conviction is vacated or set aside for any reason, by presenting sufficient evidence to the State Treasurer.
Amends GS 15A-1340.16(d) to establish as an aggravating factor a defendant who is a firefighter or rescue squad worker and commits an offense that is directly related to service as a firefighter or rescue squad worker. Enacts new subdivision (h) to GS 58-86-95 to provide that a member with less than 20 years of fully credited service in this system as of December 1, 2013, and is convicted of certain offenses committed after December 1, 2013, forfeits all benefits except for a return of member contributions, and is not entitled to any fully credited service accruing after December 1, 2013. Effective December 1, 2013.
Except as otherwise indicated, this act becomes effective July 1, 2013.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.