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The Nexus Group: Retirement & Benefits for Jan. 23


Retirement & Health Benefits

The following is a partial list of bills that could affect current and future retirees. The sponsors are listed so in the event you are meeting with any of them, please let them know of your interest and support or non-support.

First, a reminder: last Session, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed legislation that eliminated the annual option a member of Plan 3 has had to change his/her contribution rate. If you’re a TRS Plan 3 member, you have one last opportunity in January 2015 to change your contribution rate. If you decide to do so, please complete the TRS Plan 3 Contribution Rate Change form. Once you have filled out the form, submit it to your employer between January 1 and January 31. After that, TRS Plan 3 members would only be able to change their rate when they change employers, as is the case currently with PERS and SERS Plan 3 members.

This change was made because the Internal Revenue Service has provisionally qualified the state of Washington’s TRS Plan 3 with an important condition – that the annual rate change option be removed.

HB 1542 (SB 5473) Providing retirement benefits at earlier ages in the plans 2 and 3 of the public employees’ retirement system, the teachers’ retirement system, and the school employees’ retirement system.
(Rule of 85; Age 55 plus 30 years equals full retirement option)
Representatives S. Hunt, Moscoso, Reykdal, Sells, Pollet, Dunshee

SB 5473 (HB 1542) Providing retirement benefits at earlier ages in the plans 2 and 3 of the public employees’ retirement system, the teachers’ retirement system, and the school employees’ retirement system.
(Companion bill to HB 1542 cited above)
Senators Chase, Hasegawa, McAuliffe, Rolfes, Conway

SB 5148 Allowing members who retire early under alternate early retirement provisions as set forth in RCW 41.32.765(3) and 41.32.875(3) to work as substitute teachers and continue receiving retirement benefits at the same time.
(The title says it all. ”Beginning July 1, 2015, employment with an employer for the purposes of this subsection shall not include employment as a substitute teacher as defined in RCW 41.32.010.”

The definition of ‘teacher’ as cited in the bill is: “Substitute teacher” means:

(a) A teacher who is hired by an employer to work as a temporary teacher, except for teachers who are annual contract employees of an employer and are guaranteed a minimum number of hours; or (b) Teachers who either (i) work in ineligible positions for more than one employer or (ii) work in an ineligible position or positions together with an eligible position.)
Senators Parlette, Dammeier, Chase, Conway, McAuliffe, O’Ban

HB 1109 Authorizing membership in the teachers’ retirement system for certificated employees of the superintendent of public instruction.
Representatives Reykdal, Wilcox, Bergquist

SB 5435 Expanding participation in the Washington state deferred compensation program.
Senators Bailey, Schoesler
(*Beginning no later than January 1, 2017, all subdivisions of the state that participate in one or more the state retirement systems listed in RCS 41.50.030 must offer the state deferred compensation program as an option to all employees…

Beginning no later than January 1, 2016, all persons newly employed by the state who are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation plan shall be enrolled in the state deferred compensation plan unless the employee affirmatively elects to waive participation in the plan. Persons who participate in the plan without having selected a deferral amount or investment option shall contribute three percent of taxable compensation to their plan account which shall be invested in a default option selected by the state investment board in consultation with the director….*)

Fred Yancey fyancey@comcast.net
The Nexus Group