AN ACT ALLOWING FIRST RESPONDERS (LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS, AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES PERSONNEL) WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE TEACHERS' AND STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO RETIRE WITH UNREDUCED BENEFITS AFTER ACHIEVING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE AND MAKING CONFORMING CHANGES.
Amends GS 135-5, concerning the Teachers and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) and GS 128-27, concerning the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System (LGERS), to provide for certain law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel (EMS personnel) benefits under each system. Defines EMS personnel under the TSERS system to mean all full-time employees of any State department, agency, or institution who meet the definition of emergency services personnel in GS 131E-155 (which defines the term as it related to EMS regulations) and under LGERS to mean all rescue squad workers and full-time employees of any employer participating in LGERS who meet the definition of emergency services personnel under GS 131E-155. Adds and defines firefighter under TSERS to mean all full-time employees of any State department, agency, or institution who are actively serving in a position with assigned primary duties and responsibilities for the prevention, detection, and suppression of fire.
Enacts GS 135-5(a)(4b) and GS 128-27(a)(6), allowing for any TSERS member who is a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or EMS personnel who has completed 25 years of creditable service to retire upon electronic submission or written application of the Board within the time period specified; provides for members who do not retire upon meeting that creditable service threshold who becomes later employed other than as the member was employed while completing the service to continue to have the right to commence retirement.
Enacts GS 135-5(b22) and GS 128-27(b23) to detail the service retirement allowance provided under each system for members retiring from service on or after January 1, 2022, under subsections (a) or (a1) of each statute, which include both standard retirement and early retirement. Provides for the allowance calculation of law enforcement officers, eligible former law enforcement officers, firefighters, eligible former firefighters, EMS personnel, and eligible former EMS personnel, based on age at retirement and years of creditable service, setting the base allowance at 1.82% under TSERS and 1.85% under LGERS of the member's average final compensation multiplied by the years of creditable service for those retiring after the member's 55th birthday with five years of creditable service, or after 25 years of creditable service regardless of age. Provides for reductions for early retirement. Provides for reductions for early retirement. Makes conforming and clarifying changes under each System.
Amends GS 135-5(m)(1) to extend the alternative benefit option for a survivor of a firefighter or EMS personnel member of TSERS who had obtained 15 years of service a a firefighter or EMS personnel and was killed in the line of duty. Provides for the retirement allowance to be computed pursuant to new GS 135-5(b22)(1), notwithstanding the requirement for the member to have obtained the age of 50.
Similarly amends GS 128-27(m)(1) to extend the alternative benefit option for a survivor of an EMS personnel member of LGERS who had obtained 15 years of service as EMS personnel and was killed in the line of duty. Provides for the retirement allowance to be computed pursuant to new GS 128-27(b23)(1), notwithstanding the requirement for the member to have obtained the age of 50.
Amends GS 143-166.41 and GS 143-166.42, expanding eligibility of the annual separation allowance set forth for sworn law enforcement officers retiring from a State department, agency, or institution, or a local government employer, subject to TSERS and LGERS retirement requirements, to include officers who have completed 25 years of creditable service or more or attainted the age of 55 and completed five or more years of creditable service, beginning January 1, 2022. Makes conforming changes to each statute.
Effective January 1, 2022.