Bill Summary for S 275 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 11 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 275 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 11, 2021
AN ACT MAKING TECHNICAL, CLARIFYING, AND ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO LAWS RELATING TO CREDITABLE SERVICE PURCHASES UNDER THE TEACHERS' AND STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, AND THE CONSOLIDATED JUDICIAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM.
Intro. by Alexander, Burgin.

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Bill summary

Identical to H 160, filed 2/25/21.

Part I

Recodifies specified subdivisions and subsections of GS 135-4 as subdivisions (1), (2), (4) through (13) and (15) of GS 135-4.5(b). Modifies those subdivisions and adds to GS 135-4.5, concerning creditable service purchases by members of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS), as follows.

Adds new subsection (a), stating a general authorization for members who meet the specified applicable eligibility requirements set forth in new subsection (b) to purchase creditable service by paying a lump sum amount to the annuity savings fund equal to the full liability increase due to additional service credits on the basis of the assumptions used for the purposes of the actuarial valuation of the liabilities of TSERS, except for two assumptions provided regarding the calculation of postretirement allowance. Requires the calculation of the amount payable to also include an administrative fee set by the Board of Trustees (TSERS Board). Authorizes employers to pay all or part of the cost of a service purchase of a member in service, subject to subsection (b), with employer paid costs credited to the pension accumulation fund and employee paid costs credited to the member's annuity savings account. Specifies that the provisions in subsection (b) supersede the provisions of subsection (a) in the event of conflict. 

As recodified, modifies and adds to subsection (b), which sets forth criteria for 15 various purchases of creditable service authorized. Makes conforming changes throughout to eliminate repetitive guidelines regarding cost and payment for creditable service purchases, now covered in new subsection (a). Enacts new subdivision (3), authorizing members in service with five or more years of membership service on or after January 1, 2023, to purchase creditable service for service as an NCGA member not otherwise creditable, so long as service is not also credited in the Legislative Retirement Fund or the Legislative Retirement System (LRS); caps the amount purchased under new subdivision (3) at five years. Restricts authorized purchases for NCGA creditable service under subdivision (2), which does not require five or more years of membership service or place a five year cap on purchases, to purchases before January 1, 2023. Adds to subdivision (6), concerning the purchase of service credit for prior temporary State employment on or before December 31, 2021, to explicitly state that any inchoate or accrued rights of a member to purchase creditable service that existed prior to December 31, 2021, cannot be diminished and can be purchased as creditable service with TSERS under the same conditions that would have otherwise applied. Amends subdivision (9), concerning the purchase of credit at full cost for federal employment, to no longer provide for purchase of creditable service on or before December 1, 2021, for periods of employment with public community service entities within the State funded entirely with federal funds that are not otherwise covered. Enacts new subdivision (14) to authorize a member in service with five or more years of membership service to purchase creditable service on or after January 1, 2023, for any employment as an employee of a charter school operated by a nonprofit or municipality whose board of directors did not elect to participate in TSERS; caps the amount of service purchased at five years. Restricts authorized purchases for charter school creditable service under subdivision (13), which does not require five or more years of membership service prior to purchase, to purchases before January 1, 2023. Makes technical and organizational changes. Makes language gender neutral.

Amends GS 135-4(ff) to enact identical provisions regarding the cost and payment of creditable service purchases as those enacted in GS 135-4.5(a), making the same general provisions applicable to retroactive membership service credit for reinstated members. Makes technical changes. Makes language gender neutral. 

Repeals the following subsections of GS 135-4: subsection (j), which requires creditable service to include any service rendered by a member while on leave of absence to serve as a member or officer of the General Assembly which is not creditable toward retirement under the Legislative Retirement Fund; subsection (k), which allows repayment of withdrawn contributions from the Law Enforcement Officers' Retirement System on or before December 31, 2021, upon return to service after five years of creditable service; subsection (ll), which authorizes any member and any retired member described to purchase creditable service, on or before December 31, 2021, previously rendered to the federal government or to any state, territory, or other governmental subdivision of the United States other than this State; and (bb), which authorizes a member to purchase creditable service, prior to retirement and on or before December 31, 2021, for employment with any local government employer when considered to be in a probationary or employer-imposed waiting period status, between the date of employment and the date of membership service with the Local Government Employees' Retirement System (LGERS).

Part II

Amends GS 128-24(2), concerning the purchase of creditable service by members of LGERS, to enact identical provisions regarding the cost and payment of creditable service purchases as those enacted for TSERS under GS 134.5(a), for purchases made on or after January 1, 2023. Makes existing provisions regarding the purchase of creditable service restricted to purchases made prior to January 1, 2023. 

Amends GS 128-26(h1), regarding the purchase of NCGA creditable service, to now restrict the provisions to purchases prior to January 1, 2023. 

Amends GS 128-26 to enact identical provisions regarding the cost and payment of creditable service purchases as those enacted in GS 135-4.5(a) and GS 128-24(2), making the same general provisions applicable to retroactive membership service credit for reinstated members. Makes technical changes. Makes language gender neutral. 

Repeals GS 128-26(h), which is identical to that repealed in GS 135-4(j), requiring creditable service to include any service rendered by a member while on leave of absence to serve as a member or officer of the General Assembly which is not creditable toward retirement under the Legislative Retirement Fund.

Part III

Enacts GS 135-56(d1), enacting substantively identical cost and payment provisions regarding creditable service purchases as those enacted in GS 135-4.5(a) and GS 126-24(2) for TSERS and LGERS members, for purchases made on or after January 1, 2023, applicable to member service as a judge, district attorney, or clerk of superior court, and excluding magistrates, justices of the peace, and mayor's court judges. Requires transfers of any accumulated contributions from TSERS and LGERS prior to purchase. Makes existing provisions regarding the purchase of creditable service, set out in subsection (d), restricted to purchases made prior to January 1, 2023. 

Amends GS 135-56(e), regarding the purchase of NCGA creditable service, to now restrict the provisions to purchases prior to January 1, 2023. 

Amends GS 135-56.2, to enact identical provisions regarding the cost and payment of creditable service purchases as those enacted in GS 135-56(d1), making the same general provisions applicable to retroactive membership service credit for reinstated members.

Part IV

Makes the act effective January 1, 2022, and applicable to purchases of creditable service occurring on or after that date. 

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