§ 16-48. Optional forms of benefits.  

Latest version.
  • (a) In lieu of the amount and form of retirement income payable in the event of normal, early, delayed retirement or deferred pension as specified herein, a member, upon written request to the board, which request shall be retained by the board, may elect to receive a retirement income or benefit of equivalent actuarial value payable in accordance with one (1) of the following options:

    (1) A retirement income of a larger monthly amount, payable to the member for their lifetime, with a ten (10) year term certain.

    (2) A retirement income of a modified monthly amount, payable to the member during the lifetime of the member, and following the death of the member, one hundred (100) percent, seventy-five (75) percent, sixty-six and two-thirds (662/3) percent, or fifty (50) percent of such monthly amounts payable to a joint pensioner for his or her lifetime. Except where the retiree's joint pensioner is their spouse, the present value of payments to the retiree shall not be less than fifty (50) percent of the total present value of payments to the retiree and his or her joint pensioner.

    (3) An actuarially equivalent larger monthly amount, with a reduction in the monthly amount when the member's social security benefits are estimated to start so that the member's total monthly benefit, inclusive of social security benefits, will remain constant upon the starting date of his social security benefits.

    (b) A retiree may not change their form of benefit after the date of cashing or depositing their first retirement check. Notwithstanding the above, in the event a retiree becomes divorced after receiving their first retirement check, such retiree may change their form of benefit to a single life annuity as long as a certified copy of retiree's divorce decree does not purport to provide any benefit to his or her ex-spouse, so long as such order does not reserve jurisdiction to make such a provision for the surviving spouse and so long as the retiree is alive at the time of the change and pays all costs associated with such change. All changes shall be prospective and become effective only after the time of approval by the board.

    (c) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the board in its discretion, may elect to make a lump sum payment to a member or a member's beneficiary in the event that the total computed value of the remaining monthly income payments to be paid do not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). Any such payment made to any person pursuant to the power and discretion conferred upon the board by the preceding sentence shall operate as a complete discharge of all obligations under the plan with regard to such member and shall not be subject to review by anyone, but shall be final, binding and conclusive on all persons.

    (d) Actuarially equivalent pop-up option. Members shall be permitted to select an actuarially equivalent pop-up option in conjunction with the joint and survivor annuity contained in paragraph 16-48(a)(2). For members who have selected the pop-up option, if the member's joint pensioner predeceases the member, the survivorship benefit shall be deemed canceled and the member's annuity shall revert to the original life annuity monthly benefit, effective on the first day of the month following the death of the member's joint pensioner. By electing this option, the member consents to the actuarial adjustment of the member's retirement benefits sufficient to cover the cost of this option. The board, by uniform rule, may establish a procedure for implementing this option.

    (e) If a member has elected an option with a joint pensioner or designated beneficiary and the member's retirement benefits have commenced, the member may thereafter change his or her joint pensioner or designated beneficiary up to two (2) times without the approval of the board or the current joint pensioner or designated beneficiary. The ability to change a joint pensioner is contingent on the retiree agreeing to an actuarial recalculation of the benefit to avoid any actuarial impact on the plan. The retiree is not required to provide proof of the good health of the designated beneficiary or joint pensioner being removed, who need not be living, but such information may be taken into account by the actuary in recalculating the value of the benefit. In the absence of proof of good health of the joint pensioner being replaced, the actuary will assume that the joint pensioner has deceased for purposes of calculating the new payment. Any actuarial expenses resulting from the request shall be charged to the retiree.

(Ord. No. 99-02, § 2, 5-4-99; Ord. No. 2009-05, § 2, 3-3-09; Ord. No. 2012-06, § 4, 4-2-12)