§ 16-161. Definitions.  

Latest version.
  • As used herein, unless otherwise defined or required by the context, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning indicated:

    Accrued benefit means the benefit accrued by a member under the terms of the plan.

    Accumulated contributions means a member's own contributions without interest. For those members who purchase credited service with interest and at no cost to the system, any payment representing the amount attributable to member contributions based on the applicable member contribution rate, and any actuarially calculated payments for their purchase, shall be included in accumulated contributions.

    Act means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-406) and any regulations issued thereunder by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service, as that statute and these regulations shall be amended.

    Actuarial equivalent means a benefit or amount of equal value, based upon the 1983 group annuity mortality table and an interest rate of eight (8) percent per annum.

    Average final compensation for a firefighter means one-twelfth (1/12) of the average salary of the three (3) best years of the last ten (10) years of creditable service prior to retirement, termination, or death or the career average as a full-time firefighter since July 1, 1953, whichever is greater. A year shall be twelve (12) consecutive months. Notwithstanding the preceding, effective October 1, 2012, for all members who have not yet retired and/or entered the DROP as of the enactment date of September 17, 2013. Average final compensation for a firefighter shall mean one-twelfth (1/12) of the average salary of the five (5) highest years of the last ten (10) years of creditable service prior to retirement, termination, or death.

    Beneficiary means the person or persons entitled to receive benefits hereunder at the death of a member as provided in section 16-170 of this plan.

    Board means the board of trustees, which shall administer and manage the system herein provided and serve as trustees of the fund.

    City means City of Lake Wales, Florida.

    Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.

    Credited service means the total number of years and fractional parts of years of service as a firefighter with member contributions, when required, omitting intervening years or fractional parts of years when such member was not employed by the city as a firefighter. A member may voluntarily leave his contributions in the fund for a period of five (5) years after leaving the employ of the city pending the possibility of being re-employed as a firefighter without losing credit for the time that he was a member of the system, if after he is rehired he remains re-employed with the same department not less than three (3) years, otherwise his contributions shall be returned without interest. If the member who left the employ of the fire department should not be re-employed as a firefighter within five (5) years, then accumulated contribution will be returned upon the written request of the member and all of his rights and benefits under the system shall be forfeited and terminated. However, no member will receive credit for service for which he has withdrawn his contributions unless he pays into the fund the contributions he has withdrawn, with interest, at the actuarially assumed rate within ninety (90) days of his reemployment. Years and completed months of employment with the city during which time the member is participating in the deferred retirement option plan (DROP) as described in this plan, shall not be counted as credited service for benefit purposes unless the member elects to continue employment with the city following the completion of the DROP period and makes payment of the omitted member contributions. In the event of continued employment following participation in the DROP program, the member will receive credit for the DROP period in accordance with the required procedure.

    In the event that a member of this system has also accumulated credited service in another pension system maintained by the city, or has a period or periods of previous employment as a firefighter, but is not eligible to receive credited service for this period or periods of previous employment for benefit calculation purposes, then such other credited service shall be used in determining eligibility for early or normal retirement. Such other credited service will not, however, be considered in determining benefits under this system. Unless otherwise provided herein only his or her credited service and compensation under this system on or after his or her latest date of membership in this system will be considered for benefit calculation. In addition, any benefit calculation for a member of this system who is or becomes eligible for a benefit from this system after he or she has become a member of another pension system maintained by the city, shall be based upon the member's average final compensation, credited service and benefit accrual rate as of the date the member ceases to be a firefighter.

    Effective date means the date of the enactment of the ordinance, except where an earlier effective date is required by reason of the application of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and subsequent legislation, in which case the latest effective date required to comply with such act and subsequent legislation shall be substituted with respect only to the specific portions of the plan affected by such act.

    Firefighter means any person employed full-time in a constituted fire department of any municipality or special fire control district who is certified as a firefighter as a condition of employment in accordance with the provisions of F.S. § 633.35 and whose duty it is to extinguish fires, to protect life, and to protect property. However, for purposes of this chapter only, "firefighter" also includes public safety officers who are responsible for performing both police and fire services, who are certified as police officers or firefighters and who are certified by their employers to the insurance commissioner and treasurer as participating in this chapter prior to October 1, 1979. Effective October 1, 1979, public safety officers who have not been certified as participating in this plan under F.S. Ch. 175 shall be considered police officers for retirement purposes and shall be eligible to participate in the city police officers pension plan under F.S. Ch. 185. Full-time employment shall be deemed to be employment of more than thirty (30) hours per week.

    Fund means the trust fund established herein as part of the system.

    General counsel means the attorney retained by the board to represent it with respect to the plan.

    Masculine gender where used herein, unless the context specifically requires otherwise, shall include both the feminine and masculine genders.

    Member means an actively employed full-time firefighter who fulfills the prescribed member ship requirements. Benefit improvements which, in the past, have been provided for by amendments to the system adopted by city ordinance, and any benefit improvements which might be made in the future shall apply prospectively and shall not apply to members who terminate employment or who retire prior to the effective date of any ordinance adopting such benefit improvements, unless such ordinance specifically provides to the contrary.

    Plan means the City of Lake Wales Firefighter's Pension Plan and Trust.

    Plan year means the twelve-month period beginning October 1 and ending September 30 of the following year. The plan year shall be the computation period for the purposes of the plan. The change in plan year shall be effective January 1, 1997.

    Retiree means a member who has entered retirement status.

    Retirement means a member's separation from city employment with eligibility for immediate receipt of retirement benefits under the system.

    Salary prior to July 1, 2011, means the total compensation reported on the member's W-2 form, plus all tax deferred, tax sheltered or tax exempt items of income derived from elective employee payroll deductions or salary reductions. Compensation in excess of limitations set forth in section 401(a)(17) of the Code shall be disregarded. The limitation on compensation for an "eligible employee" shall not be less than the amount which was allowed to be taken into account hereunder in effect on July 1, 1993.

    Salary on July 1, 2011 and thereafter means the fixed monthly remuneration paid a firefighter, provide that when calculating retirement benefits, up to three hundred (300) hours per year in overtime compensation shall be included, but payments for accrued unused sick or vacation leave may not be included.

    For the purpose of applying the limitations set forth in Sections 401(a)(17) and 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, earnings shall include any elective deferral (as defined in Code Section 402(g)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code), and any amount which is contributed or deferred by the employer at the election of the member and which is not includible in the gross income of the member by reason of Section 125 or 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. For limitation years beginning on and after January 1, 2001, for the purposes of applying the limitations described in subsection (a) of section 16-175 hereof, compensation paid or made available during such limitation years shall include elective amounts that are not includible in the gross income of the member by reason of Section 132(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Spouse means the lawful wife or husband of a member or retiree at the time benefits become payable.

    System means the City of Lake Wales Firefighter's Pension Plan and Trust as contained herein and all amendments thereto.

    Trust means the trust herein established and continued herein.

(Ord. No. 98-18, § 2, 10-20-98; Ord. No. 2000-12, § 2, 9-5-00; Ord. No. 2002-01, § 2, 5-7-02; Ord. No. 2010-26, § 2, 10-19-10; Ord. No. 2012-11, § 2, 8-7-12; Ord. No. 2013-16, § 1, 9-17-13)