§ 16-42. Membership.  

Effective on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
  • (a) Conditions of eligibility. Except as provided in paragraph (c) below, all future new full time employees shall become members of this system, as a condition of employment, on the initial date of employment as a probationary employee. Each employee who was a member in the plan pursuant to the terms of the plan as it existed immediately prior to the effective date shall continue as a member in this plan as of the effective date. All present employees as of the effective date that are not enrolled in the plan shall have the continuing opportunity to become members upon submitting an application for membership.

    (b) Application for membership. Except as provided in paragraph (c) below, each new full time employee shall complete an application form covering the following, as well as such other items as may be prescribed by the board:

    (1) Acceptance of the terms and conditions of the retirement system;

    (2) Designation of a beneficiary or beneficiaries; and

    (3) Authorization of payroll deduction payable to the system.

    (c) Participation, election to opt out.

    (1) All full time employees shall participate in the plan as a condition of their employment, except for employees who serve in opt-out positions who may make an irrevocable election to opt-out of the plan. Opt-out positions are defined as pay grades 119(a)—300.

    (2) Employees eligible to opt-out shall be given notice and an opportunity to elect out of the plan from October 1, 1999 through December 31, 1999. Employees who are hired or promoted to opt-out positions after the initial opt-out election period expires shall be given the option to opt-out of the plan at the time they are hired or first promoted to an opt-out position. All elections are irrevocable, except as provided in subsection 16-42(d). An employee who elects to opt-out of the plan and establishes a qualified tax deferred pension plan in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and rules as promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be entitled to receive, via rollover, direct plan to plan transfer, or other method, an amount equal to the electing employee's member contributions, with simple interest thereon computed at the greater of five (5) percent per annum, or such other rate which may at that time be in effect, plus an amount equal to such employee's total compensation earned while a plan participant, multiplied by the average percentage of city contributions to its general employees over the five (5) year period immediately preceding the year in which the election is made. Participants who receive a payout of their plan benefits after opting out will not be entitled to any other benefits under the plan.

    (3) An employee who elects to opt-out may choose to leave their funds in the plan in which case the member shall be entitled to receive benefits under the plan in the same manner as other members, except that such members shall cease accruing additional credited service for benefit purposes and all determinations of compensation made under the plan will be based upon compensation earned during the time the member participated in the plan.

    (4) An employee who elects to opt-out is eligible to establish a tax deferred pension plan in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code and rules as promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury. In conjunction with the employee's remittance of an amount at least equal to the contribution requirements as stated in section 16-45(a)(1) but not more than the maximum deferral allowed by the Internal Revenue Code and treasury regulations, to the deferral plan of their choosing, the city shall remit an amount equal to their gross bi-weekly wages or salary times a percentage determined in the annual actuarial valuation report prepared by the general employee's pension plan actuary, for city contributions to the general employee's pension plan for participants. In the absence of adequate individual remittances, the city is absolved of its responsibility to make contributions.

    (d) Participation, written election to opt back into the Plan.

    (1) All members who opted-out of the Plan pursuant to subsection 16-42(c)(2) and remain employees of the city shall be provided an option to submit a one-time written election to rejoin the Plan. Upon joining the Plan, the member shall be transferred from the city's defined contribution plan into the General Employees' Pension Plan and Trust. The board of trustees shall provide all applicable opt-out employees with a copy of the ordinance permitting the election to opt into the Plan. The board of trustees shall have the authority to adopt administrative rules and procedures to govern the opt-in procedure to be uniformly applied to all applicable employees.

    (2) Upon entry into the Plan, opt-out members shall have the option to purchase prior creditable service with the city. The member shall be required to pay the full actuarial cost of the prior service for any service purchased. The member shall also be required to reimburse the Plan for the cost of the actuary's individual service buyback calculation. Payment in full for the cost of the prior service buyback must be submitted within ninety (90) days from the date the actuarially determined calculation is provided to the employee. Payment may be made by rollover from another qualified plan. Members electing to rejoin the Plan but not to purchase prior creditable service will be deemed to have commenced credited service on the date of entry into the Plan.

(Ord. No. 99-02, § 2, 5-4-99; Ord. No. 99-11, § 2, 9-21-99; Ord. No. 2004-31, § 2, 10-5-04; Ord. No. 2006-50, § 2, 12-5-06; Ord. No. 2008-06, § 1, 2-5-08; Ord. No. 2015-01, § 2, 01-20-15)